Thinking of inking? Read this first
1 in 3 of us now have tattoos. And as the numbers increase so do the number of us wanting them gone. The now burgeoning business of tattoo removals are helping the nation get rid of the ridiculous rhymes on our backs, erase those ex’s names from our wrists and in my case remove an ill-advised cover up. A 6 inch black tribal design on my hip from 10 years ago.
If you caught my last article, on the topic of the acceptability of tattoos you will remember I mentioned I was going to go for a removal session and would share my experience with you. I have had approximately 8 treatments using Rejuvi. Rejuvi is an alternative to lazer treatments.
The removal of the mark of my teenage rebellion started two years ago. Rejuvi seems to have worked so far in removing the pigment and was fairly inexpensive in comparison to lazer.
I have been left what looks like a marble effect where areas have lifted completely and other areas have faded to grey. I was keen to keep up the treatments of Rejuvi, so I went to see an Independent Rejuvi Consultant based in Leeds. After 8 sessions at a salon elsewhere, what happened on arrival at the salon completely took me by surprise. On seeing my half removed tattoo she immediately said “Lazer treatment will work best for you.”
Not only was this response a surprise as I had been told Rejuvi was the natural advancement to lazer by the other consultants I had seen, but also refreshing as she was not just after my £50 cash. Instead offering me sound, impartial advice for what was the best treatment for me.
Apparently for black tattoos like mine, lazer is a better option. For coloured tattoos (an area where lazer struggles) is where Rejuvi works better. Rejuvi is cheaper yes, but after paying £50-80 a square inch of the past few years – is it really “cost effective” for a tattoo like mine?
I decided to still have the treatment. The consultant uses what looks like a tattoo gun to inject the Rejuvi cream into the tattoo. The feeling is ironically like you are having a tattoo. This forms a rather unattractive crust on the skin that looks like something a bird leaves on your car windscreen (nice – I know). The skin works to eject the Rejuvi remove along with the ink pigment. As she is performing the treatment, you can literally seem the ink being pushed up out of the skin along with the cream in globules. After about two weeks the inky crust drops off. But in that time, its a struggle. You have to keep it dry and be careful not to knock any of the crust off. You have to wait 8- 12 weeks after treatment before you can return. Your skin returns to normal about 2 months.
So what about Lazer?
Anyone who watched the Channel 4 programme Bodyshocks My Tattoo Hell with Katie Piper on the 30th January will have seen about 5 inked individuals getting some top notch lazer removal.
Lazer works by pulsating heat into the tattoo, shattering it into tiny particles that are then absorbed into the blood stream, which is then broken down by the body’s immune system. The immediate after effect looks like when you burn your skin with an iron and from the reaction of those on the programme – felt like it too… and can cost from a few hundred to thousands of pounds until full removal. Double ouch.
At the time of writing this my Rejuvi removal is healing still so it would not be a fair picture to show. It has worked , but if I was to continue with Rejuvi it will be another 5 or 6 treatments I think until it fades to what I see is an acceptable state.
Not a quick fix
I will be considering Lazer treatment as the next step, off the back of the consultant’s advice. One treatment may be more expensive but may work better on my black design, so long term may be the more cost effective option.
All types of tattoo removal, lazer, Rejuvi or anything else available is not a quick fix to a bad tat decision. Sure – its a way out if you change your mind but you have to be realistic, be prepared your skin will never look like it was before. It is a process and a lengthy, expensive one at that.