About Careers Internship MedBlog Contact us

Think Before You Tattoo

by Ann Samuel on September 21, 2007 at 7:35 PM
Font : A-A+

Think Before You Tattoo

Delhi city, home to thousands of tattoo lovers, also witnesses many more who want that 'beloved' tattoo off their body for good.

The euphoria behind a tattoo is often short-lived. You may not love that heavy metal band anymore, or you may want the name of your college sweetheart wiped off before your engagement to someone else.


Yet for those who have tried 'de-tattooing', they will well think twice before they try another tattoo. And this is because of the pain. Says Dr Deepak Vohra of Rockland Hospital: "The pain of getting a tattoo done is nothing compared to that of getting it removed. "People frequently get tattoos done under peer pressure and then regret it later." Gia, a 21-year-old cannot agree more. "When you're choosing a tattoo it should be something you know you'll want forever. Most people just choose a design off the walls of a tattoo parlor and soon grow out of it", she says.

Doctors say tattoos can also cause more than pain. "In a lot of cases, people react adversely to the pigments, that lead to itching, burning, swelling and the formation of nodules," says Dr S K Ghose, senior consultant, Apollo Hospital.

Tattoo removal, therefore, has become almost as popular, and definitely more expensive, than getting tattoos done. According to doctors, most of the patients who come to them are in the age group of 18-30 years. Among the several ways of removing tattoos, the most popular are lasers. "The process is relatively painless but for people with a low pain threshold we use local anesthesia," says Vohra.

However, limitations exist. "Laser is better for tattoos done professionally, where the pigments are at an even depth in the derma," says Vohra. "For amateur tattoos or those done in villages, the pigments go deep and are often uneven. They often just fade the tattoos instead of removing them completely. There could also be side-effects like hyper- or hypo-pigmentation, severe irritation in that area, or at times, scarring."

Ajay Kashyap of Fortis La Femme adds: "Laser removal can sometimes make diseases resurface, like herpes, for instance."

"In extreme cases, skin grafting might be an option. " A patch of skin is taken from buttocks or thighs and grafted on to the tattooed area," says Ghose. Yet, experts opine that while this removes the tattoo completely, there is a higher risk of scarring. Dermabrasion and excision are two other options. In the former the skin is "sanded" to remove the upper and middle layers. Scarring, however, is a major problem in this. Excision involves removing the tattoo surgically and stitching together the edges of the skin.

All these methods cost dearly. Getting a tattoo costs at least Rs 1,500 per square inch, a figure, which could go up depending on, the intricacy of design and the colors used. Removing it costs even more. Laser treatment could cost Rs 3,000-6,000 per sitting and several sittings are needed. While skin grafting costs at least Rs 10,000, and dermabrasion between Rs 10,000 and Rs 20,000. So, before reaching for the needle to etch in your lover's name for all time, ask yourself whether it will be just that.

Source: Medindia


Latest Indian Health News

More Minors Getting Addicted to Tobacco, Reveals Study
Tobacco and tobacco related products were found to cause 25 types of diseases and about 40 types of cancer.
National Medical Devices Policy 2023 Approved
The National Medical Devices Policy 2023 approved is aimed to create measures to accelerate the orderly growth of the medical device sector.
 Native Foods May Tackle Malnutrition in Vulnerable Tribal Communities in India
A new study exploring the associations between Indigenous food consumption, and malnutrition in four vulnerable tribal Communities in Jharkhand, India.
India Takes the Lead: The World's Most Populous Country
With a population of 1,428.6 million, India has overtaken China as the world's most populous country as per a new report.
 Alcohol Behind the Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease 'Epidemic' in India
Experts blame the increased consumption of alcohol, junk food, high-fat diets, and sugary drinks are driving a spike in alcoholic fatty liver disease in India.
View All
This site uses cookies to deliver our services.By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use  Ok, Got it. Close

Think Before You Tattoo Personalised Printable Document (PDF)

Please complete this form and we'll send you a personalised information that is requested

You may use this for your own reference or forward it to your friends.

Please use the information prudently. If you are not a medical doctor please remember to consult your healthcare provider as this information is not a substitute for professional advice.

Name *

Email Address *

Country *

Areas of Interests