This might seem like an odd question but there are a lot of considerations when having your tattoo removed.
Depending on your circumstances, ‘Which is Better, a Scar or a Tattoo?’ is a serious question.
The NZ Herald ran an article about an operator in Auckland who has scarred a large number of his tattoo removal clients. I have had some of his clients and some of them do have scarring. Some of them though, loved his work. Why you might ask? The answer is that this tattoo removal operator believed that a scar is better than a tattoo and so he turns up his high powered laser and gets rid of his clients tattoos as quickly as possible. The risk with this strategy is that his clients can, and do, end up with extensive keliod scaring.
This is not necessarily a bad thing as some of his clients dont care if they end up with scars. By taking this strategy the clients have to have less treatments and the actual treatments themselves are very quick. I recently did a treatment on one of his ex-clients which took me about 3 hours, the other technician completed the same area in less than 45 minutes. The client told me his earlier treatments with this operator were excruciating but at least they were quick. A lot of this operators clients were prison inmates and he was charging were only $40 a session. But my new client has extensive scaring which is going to make getting the rest of his ink out quite difficult. Still, he is happy enough with the treatment he received in jail.
Ironically, I have taken over providing tattoo removal treatments for the same prison that this operator was working in. As a high security prison the clients tend to be very tough and will tolerate high pain levels (or work hard not to show they are in pain!), in order to have a quick tattoo removal process and also in order to reduce the cost of the over-all tattoo removal.
So what happens if you do end up with scarring? Firstly, scarring can happen and what is more it is really easy to scar a client when doing tattoo removal. There was a time when the only way to get rid of keliod scaring was to have it surgically removed. Surgery is one option but you can also use a dermal roller on the scarring, you can also have a dermal pen treatment in our office which is a bit more aggressive and a bit more effective. This is not a quick fix but dermal treatments will eventually break down the scarring. Dermal rolling, if you are careful about infection control, is a really effective way to cost effectively reduce and possibly eliminate your tattoo removal scars and you can do it at home. There are lots of YouTube videos that will show you how to do dermal rolling on your face, just watch them and then do it on your scars. You can also purchase dermal rollers on this site. There is also some discussion around professional tattoo removal sites that dermal rollers can also reduce the ink in tattoos so you could see a reduction in the ink in your tattoo as a side benefit. Just know that if you dont reduce the scaring in your tattoo any encapsulated ink will not be able to be removed with laser.
Read the article and tell us… which would you prefer, your tattoo or a scar?