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Skin jewelry: How tattoos can be painfully removed
Many regret old tattoo youth sins, which are emblazoned on the arms, legs, bottom, on the upper body and even on the face. Although the tattoos can be painfully removed afterwards, the results often leave something to be desired. In some cases, visible scarring remains and some colors can never be completely removed.
Especially in summer, most of them want to finally show their skin again. Then everything is visible that has been hidden under the clothes so far. For some, the tattoos are beautiful skin jewelry and for other youthful sins that should quickly go away. Specialists and numerous tattoo studios have specialized in “erasing tattoos on the skin”.
Roy Vinnai, from the "Piercing & Tattoo Remover Studio" in Tübingen, told the "Welt" why his customers want their characters and symbols removed. "They want to get rid of their youthful sins." In the past, the engraved signs may have been iconic, but today they are not only considered a taste aberration in the scene.
Youthful deer antlers over the tailbone Katrin Kahler (37) from Burgdorf near Hanover is still angry today. "At that time, I didn't think about it at all." We are talking about the famous “antlers” over the buttocks. Just above the coccyx, hundreds of thousands of women in Germany have a portrait over their buttocks. “Back then I had a black tribal set,” reports Kahler. "In my youth I thought the picture was very chic, but today in adulthood I hardly dare to go to the swimming pool." Kahler has made an appointment with a dermatologist. He should now assess whether a distance is possible and how long it takes.
Others have to remove their complexions because they could otherwise cause problems at work. Vinnai reports that a father brought his daughter to the studio because she wanted to start training as an insurance clerk. The tattoo on the arm had to go so that the seriousness was not damaged. However, customers often want to have their old vows of love and abbreviations removed. Hardly anyone wants to have the name of their ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend on their skin when love has long since passed.
Laser treatment for tattoo removal: Green color mostly remains The only method to remove the tattoos without skin incisions is treatment with a laser device. The color pigments evaporate due to fast, violent waves of the laser. If the waves were slow, the skin would “burn”, as the dermatology specialist, Dr. Bernd Datz told the newspaper. The dermatologist is the owner of a laser clinic in Tübingen. The doctor has a special device and corresponding wavelength for each color. The doctor reports that a laser for the black color has 1064 Newton meters. Black tattoo ink is used, for example, for Japanese characters in the studios. The skin specialist uses a device with 532 Newton meters for the red tones. It becomes difficult with the green colors. For example, one customer wanted a sailboat with the sea removed. The sea was green. After the laser treatment, "the green sea is still there".
Painful therapy without local anesthesia The therapy is carried out without general anesthesia or local anesthesia. Otherwise it could be that “scars form”, as Datz says to “world”. A local anesthetic creates moisture in the skin. This then swells. Scars would develop together with the laser beams.
The tattoo removal hurts at least as much as the tattoo itself. "When I first got treatment, I had to pull myself together a lot," reports Kahler. However, one procedure is not enough to completely fade the portrait. It can take a long time for the tattoo to completely disappear. A recovery phase is important after each removal therapy. It often takes at least four weeks for the next session to take place. "I have to remove at least ten times until the tattoo is hopefully gone," says Kathrin Kahler after her first session. Vinnai confirms that there are usually ten sessions, so nine months of treatment are the average.
It gets complicated when the tattoos are not engraved in a studio, but probably with a self-made machine. "The colors are usually placed in much deeper layers of the skin," says Helge A., a tattoo artist from Hanover. In such cases, he advises his customers to think about having a new and more attractive tattoo “put over”, as he says. In his opinion, complete removal is extremely difficult in such cases.
Sometimes the removal can last for years, as the dermatologist Datz explains. He had cases that dragged on for up to two years. In the summer months, treatment often has to be suspended due to sun exposure and heat. The advice of the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment should not be missing. The risk assessors are of the opinion that laser therapy may involve some health risks, because the exact interactions through chemical compounds during the laser irradiation are still unclear.
How expensive is tattoo removal? Tattoo removal is not cheap and is not covered by health insurance, although there is evidence that the colors pose a health risk. Depending on the provider, a session costs around 100 euros. If an elaborate picture has to be removed, this can cost between 1000 and 2000 euros. Laser therapy is therefore often more expensive than the tattoo itself once cost.
If the tattoos have just been placed, they cannot be removed immediately, explains Vinnai. At least six months must have passed before the anchor on the forearm or the skull on the shoulder can be removed. “I advise everyone to think carefully about whether you really want to carry the picture around with you for a lifetime,” Kahler therefore advises from his own experience. And the doctor says everyone should "check if you really want the tattoo at least five times. A good method is to look at the motif every day for six months before it gets really tattooed. Avoid quick shots when choosing the motif. (sb)
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Images: Sabrina Gonstalla, Verena N. / pixelio.de