TATTOO REMOVAL: Permanent is too Strong a Word
Think a thousand times before you ink yourself because, chances are, the shame and regret will galvanize your pride for the once thought masterpiece.
Everybody wants to unleash their inner rebel from time to time, break the rules and have pride in doing so. There are several ways in which people lash out, and maybe the hormones are to blame, but the adolescent years is when people act out. Getting inked is one of those things that people tend to do at the spur of the moment. Due to the permanent nature of tattoos, the importance of thinking it over cannot be emphasized enough. Think a thousand times before you ink yourself because, chances are, the shame and regret will galvanize your pride for the once thought masterpiece. Inevitably, some of us some learn it the hard way. Whether it is a memento to a romance gone sour, a barbwire around the arm or the lion your friend etched into your skin with a pin and ink; it is not unlikely to regret getting a tattoo. Yes, cover-ups may be an alternative to alter the design of the tattoo but sometimes it would be in your best interest if you remove the tattoo completely. Well don’t panic if you have a tattoo to get rid of, there are a handful of clinics and hospitals around town for your salvation.
Among some of the removal facilities in the country, TNM team consulted with Dr. Lalan Khatiwada from Nepal Skin Hospital. Dr. Lalan Khatiwada begins, “There’s always a story behind a tattoo removal, some have powerful sentiments behind them while some are immature decisions being regretted.”
Basically, there are two ways for removing a tattoo. One can opt for the old school plastic cosmetic surgery or the modern way of laser surgery. The plastic surgery includes a procedure in which the entire skin layer of the inked portion is replaced by a new one (sounds lovely, doesn’t it?) whereas the laser simply surgery destroys the ink from the skin (not particularly pleasant either). People opting for plastic surgery for removal is rare, clients prefer laser surgery when it comes to tattoo removal.
Dr. Khatiwada, “Normally 4 to 5 people visit us in a month. But the hospital receives overwhelming crowds of about 150 clients during the recruit season of the army and police”. Clients especially applying for British army and Singaporean police are seen at large. This is mainly because a tattoo will make them ineligible for the recruitment, shattering their dreams to become a ‘LAHURE’.
Tattoo removal involves an extensive process of laser treatments. Moreover, the laser treatment varies from patient to patient depending on the age, size, and type of tattoo (home-made or done by a professional). Other factors that come into play are the color of the patient’s skin, the depth to which the tattoo pigment extends etc. A client may have to follow up for 3 to 12 months for several removal sessions. Likewise, depending on the location of the tattoo and the pain threshold of the patient, the physician may decide on to using some form of anesthesia (topical anesthesia cream or painkiller injections) at the site of the procedure. From word of mouth, we can assure you, the process is no walk in the park. In fact, people say that the pain is worse than getting the tattoo done in the first place. The ordeal is not over yet, the client must protect the skin from the sun because it affects pigmentation and as a result they might end up with dark patches. One last thing, removal of tattoos does not come cheap. The cost for removing a tattoo ranges from about Rs2000 to Rs15000 per session.
So before you get yourself inked, be sure of what you want. You’ll be saving yourself from pain, some cash and even from potential scarring. As the old adage goes, better be safe than sorry. However, there is no point crying over spilt milk, so if the woman whose name is inked across your chest is currently canoodling with another man, you can always start over with a clean slate.
Words: Yonten Yonjan