WHETHER it's a ex's name, a holiday mistake or a trend that's gone way out of fashion, plenty of people have tattoos they regret.
Obviously, the best thing to do is think very carefully before committing to getting inked - but it's easy to say that in hindsight. So, if you've got a tattoo that has just got to go, here are the top methods for getting rid from laser removal to surgery...
Laser tattoo removalLaser tattoo removal is the most recommended and most popular method of permanent tattoo removal. It works by breaking down the ink particles in the tattoo, which are then removed by the immune system.
How many sessions you'll need depends on the size and age of the tattoo and the colour - as some generally lighter-coloured, inks are more difficult to remove than others. Usually, results won't be absolutely immediate - with fading occurring gradually over the 2 month healing period between each treatment.
Tattoos can be faded ready for a cover up inking.
Laser removal can be uncomfortable, expensive, and in some cases leave scarring - but it's the most non-invasive permanent option, and it's completely safe.
Make upThere are a number of heavy-duty make-up products, such as Dermablend (£29.75) specifically designed for covering up tattoos - but there are plenty of high street brands which can be just as effective. The trick is to use a thicker, lighter-coloured concealer, then cover with a shade of foundation that matches your skin and set with powder for a natural look.
SurgeryDepending on the size of your tattoo, surgery to cut out the inked section of skin could be an option. Surgery is a quicker option - and sometimes gives good results as the scar fades. However, it can also cause unsightly scarring, and if the incisions made aren't deep enough the tattoo may not be totally removed. So, surgical removal isn't suitable for all types of tattoo, meaning it's crucial to seek a detailed consultation before making a decision.
What NOT to doThere are other, often outdated, tattoo removal methods you may come across while researching tattoo removal. Methods such as dermabrasion and salabrasion, which involve effectively sanding away the skin, are extremely painful, cause and put you at risk of infection. Meanwhile, cryotherapy, which freeze-burns the skin, can damage the skin outside of the tattooed area. Generally, methods which target the skin itself are best left alone.