What you should know before getting a tattoo and before having it removed:
- Tattoo inks contain metal particles. Therefore, it should be considered that primarily black and brown inks respond to strong magnetic fields and heat up. This means that an MRI-scan can cause second-degree burns in the tattooed areas.
- You should document which colors were used. This could provide information about whether the tattoo will cause problems during an MRI scan or not.
- Many tattoo artists do not know which color pigments their tattoo inks contain. Many inks contain pigments that were intended for printing inks, cars or other industrial applications. They may even contain recycled car tires. Furthermore, they may contain carcinogenic azo dyes and nitrosamines as well as harmful preservatives. Information about the ingredients is also important for a possible removal of the tattoo. Nowadays, laser treatment is the most common method to remove a tiresome or outdated tattoo. However, scientists warn that the ingredients of the inks could break down into even more hazardous substances. Red standard pigments are broken down into nitrotoluene and methylnitroaniline during laser treatment. Both substances are carcinogenic and accumulate in the body. Furthermore, the aniline components change the genetic material – a dangerous mixture! However, it has never been analyzed systematically which tattoo inks break down into harmful cleavage products during laser treatment! Experts advise leaving tattoos alone instead of having them removed by laser.
- It is important to understand that laser treatment is usually not completed after one session. According to experienced doctors, at least 20 sessions are required. A successful treatment is not guaranteed in spite of every effort.
- Yellow and purple inks can often not be removed. Black tattoos sometimes consist of a mixture of different colors. It may happen that a pale or colorful and ugly frame of the motif remains after more than a dozen laser treatments. Pure black and shades of red, on the other hand, can be removed relatively well.
- In case of large and multi-colored profile tattoos, experts advise against laser treatment. The risk of residual pigment is much too high.
- Meanwhile, leading clinics advise against unprofessional laser treatment. Decomposition products could lead to severe allergic reactions and poisoning. The tissue can also be damaged due to incorrect use of the laser. Furthermore, cancer diseases which have already formed in the area of the tattoo could be overlooked. Tattoos should only be removed by doctors in dermatological clinics.
If you insist on a removal of your tattoo after all these warnings, you will still have the option of a skin transplant. This, of course, is a major surgical procedure on the skin structure. It is a method with guaranteed results which, however, will heal with scars.