The desire to remove tattoos has been around just about as long as their existence. Recent technological advances in lasers have now made it possible to remove tattoos without leaving an equally undesirable scar. You may have seen creams marketed to remove tattoos; some are currently being investigated for their effectiveness, but there isn't a great deal evidence for them as yet. Early attempts to remove tattoos have had less than worthwhile results. Early attempts to remove tattoos included sanding, cutting, or burning of the skin, which resulted in scarring.
A tattoo is meant to be for life. Unfortunately, what a customer might want these days may not be what they want in two or even twenty years time. Both the procedure and cost of acquiring a tattoo are relatively minor in comparison to having it removed at a later date. It may be wise to bear these facts in mind in before visiting your local tattoo artist with design and cash in hand.
Two of the most commonly used methods for removing an unwanted tattoo are also two of the most unsatisfactory. The first method involves removing a piece of skin from a less-noticeable area of your body and grafting it over the tattoo. This strange sort of "plastic surgery approach" covers up the tattoo but also leaves scar tissue as the skin is no longer in it's normal state.
Another method is to go to a tattoo artist and have a different design tattooed on top of the unwanted one. With this course of action, the black outline from the original tattoo can be noticeable around the new one; the larger the original, and the more black ink it has, the more difficult it will be to cover it up.
A surgical method which is just as unsatisfactory is called dermabrasion. In layman's term, you can think of it as rubbing at your skin with sandpaper. Even if this method is performed by a licensed doctor, you will likely conclude that the resulting scar is worse than the original tattoo. The reason for the scarring is that removing a tattoo with this method will entail going throughout the tattoo and the underlying skin. The scarring left by this method will most likely leave that portion of your skin a much lighter color and a different texture to the skin surrounding it. Of all the tattoo removal methods currently in use, dermabrasion will leave the most noticeable scarring.