Brad’s in, Billy Bob’s way out. What’s a girl to do when the last love of your life is tattood on your arm, but you’ve traded up, moved on, or just gotten bored? Laser surgery may just be the answer you’ve been looking for. It worked for Angie!
A common problem with tattoos is dissatisfaction. You may decide that the tattoo no longer fits your current image or that the once-stylish design has become dated. Some tattoos fade. If the tattoo artist injects the color too deeply into your skin, the dye can drift — causing a blurred design. Maybe you have left your last love whose name was “Fabio” and now you’re with “Mike”, who doesn’t like to see a previous partner’s name every time he looks at you. Or maybe you’ve decided to go into a line of work where the letters “DEATH” don’t look good on your knuckles, especially if you want to go to medical school.

Well, now that’s a problem because tattoos are meant to be permanent, so their complete removal is difficult. Several removal techniques exist, but regardless of the method used, scarring and skin color variations may remain.

Methods include:

* Laser surgery. This is the most common way to reduce the appearance of a tattoo. Pulses of laser light pass through the top layer of skin where the light’s energy is absorbed by the tattoo pigment. This process creates a very low grade inflammation and allows your body to process the small areas of altered pigment. You may require many treatments to lighten the tattoo, and the treatment might not completely erase it. This was Angelina’s method of choice, which worked pretty well as you can see.

* Dermabrasion. The tattoo area is chilled until numb, and the skin that contains the tattoo is sanded down to deeper levels. This generally isn’t painful, but it may leave a scar.

* Surgical removal. A doctor can surgically cut out the tattoo and stitch the edges back together, but this can leave a scar.
Do not use do-it-yourself tattoo removal creams or products sold online. They aren’t FDA-approved and may cause skin reactions. If you’re interested in tattoo removal, don’t attempt it on your own. Ask your dermatologist about laser surgery or other options for tattoo removal but leave the scrub brush alone.