What You Need To Know About Face Tattoo Removal

March 7, 2022
Max Stevens
face tattoo removal

Facial tattoo removal is no joke! But you probably know this as getting the tattoo in the first place is as painful as they come. 

Tattoos on your face can cause unwarranted discrimination in your career, personal life, and more, and maybe you’re just looking for it to be removed. 

How would you go about doing it? Well, as some doctors and tattoo removal experts will tell you, it’s not that easy.

Read on as we discuss some of the risks and repercussions of these permanent facial markings and some of the other factors you should consider before trying to remove one.

Can You Remove a Face Tattoo?

woman with black tattoo around the left eye

The skin on your face is one of the most delicate and sensitive types of skin on your entire body.

It’s the type of skin that can wrinkle and age prematurely. Because as we age, our body releases decreasing amounts of collagen, a protein that provides structural support to tissues, leading to wrinkles and skin ageing.

To answer the question, yes, you can remove a face tattoo. 

The issue is that it’s not something you should take lightly, and I won’t sugar coat it and say it’s one of the worst locations to remove a tattoo. 

Getting a tattoo removed on any areas of your body can cause scarring and discolouration. But when it comes to the face, there are even more risks involved, such as infection or permanent disfigurement due to improper healing.

What are the Possible Risks of Face Tattoo Removal?

One of the most significant risks associated with tattoo removal is scarring. The skin on your face is not as thick as it is on other parts of your body, such as your arm or leg. Less thick skin may be more likely to result in scarring.  

Some other risks include: 

  • Hyperpigmentation (dark patches on the skin)
  • Hypopigmentation (light patches on the skin)
  • redness
  • infection
  • swelling
  • scarring

In some cases, the scars may be worse than the tattoo itself. The pigment in your skin is responsible for giving it its colour and tone, so if you alter it significantly, then you’re going to have a difficult time hiding the tattoo, even with makeup.

What are the Things You Need To Consider Before Getting Face Tattoos Removed?

Before you decide to get rid of face tattoos, there are several factors you need to consider.

First, see if the tattoo is suitable for removal.

Since it’s on your face, you need to be 100% certain that this is what you want. You’ll also want to consider how much it will cost and how long the process will last.

Of course, before you can do any of that, you’ll need to find a dermatologist in your area that offers tattoo removal services.

You should also consider how many sessions it’s going to require. After seeing a dermatologist, it’d be wise to book a consultation at a tattoo removal studio to get an idea. 

You also need to consider that there’s no guarantee you won’t leave with a scar or some other side effect such as skin discolouration.

What are the Different Methods for Face Tattoo Removal?

There are many methods for face tattoo removal. Some are more effective than others, and some have more risks. Here is a look at the most common methods.

Laser Tattoo Removal

Laser tattoo removal is one of the most popular methods used for tattoo removal. A laser is designed to target the specific colours in your tattoo without damaging the surrounding skin. 

Laser tattoo removal procedures are usually safe to have on all body areas. Still, some considerations should be made before deciding to get a tattoo removed from your face.

Surgery Tattoo Removal

This method eliminates your tattoo by surgically removing the whole tattoo and then stitching up the area. There’s a higher risk of scarring, which is why it is typically considered a last resort.

Surgical excision for face tattoo removal can be expensive, time-consuming, and may cause significant scarring.

Dermabrasion Tattoo Removal

This tattoo removal treatment removes your tattoo using a rough instrument to scrub away the top layers of skin and remove ink particles.

Dermabrasion tattoo removal on the face is also a risky procedure due to the delicate skin of the face and the potential for scarring or skin discolouration.

Chemical Peel

Chemical peel treatment is designed to remove dead layers of skin and encourage new ones to grow in their place. 

Dermatologists use chemical peels on the face, removing blemishes on the skin. But if used to remove a face tattoo, the results can cause skin discolouration because of the ink colour difference. 

OTC Tattoo Removal Creams

Several over-the-counter creams claim to remove tattoos. They cause problems because most of them contain ingredients like hydroquinone and trichloroacetic acid (TCA), which have been known to cause skin irritation and scarring if not used correctly.

Tattoos removed using these creams often lead to more serious dermal damage.

Among all these methods, tattoo laser removal is the most effective way to remove your face tattoo. It also has a lower risk for scarring and discolouration.

Laser Tattoo Removal: Costs and Process

Laser tattoo removal is one of the safest ways to remove a face tattoo. It usually requires several treatment sessions, so plan your calendar accordingly.

The process begins with injecting lidocaine (local anaesthetic) to numb the area around your tattoo. Then, the dermatologist uses a laser to break up the tattoo ink pigments. The body’s immune system then absorbs the broken-up pigment particles over time.

Your dermatologist might also choose to give you an oral anti-inflammatory medication to reduce swelling and redness after each treatment session.

The average laser tattoo removal cost can range from $200 to $500 per session. But since the face is much more delicate, the procedure can cost more.

The number of laser tattoo removal sessions required can vary from 7 to 10 sessions, depending on the size and colour of your tattoo.

Taking Care of Your Skin After Facial Tattoo Removal

Your recovery time from laser treatments will depend on how many treatments you need for full removal. Generally speaking, it could take several weeks before the skin around your tattoo can fully recover.

It’s no surprise that tattoo removal aftercare is important. Your aftercare routine may influence factors such as scarring and discolouration. 

Here are some tips we recommend: 

  • Avoid using any facial scrubs or exfoliants for at least two weeks after each session because they may interfere with wound healing.
  • Avoid using anti-ageing or acne treatments, but sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 every day is recommended to prevent the area from UV rays.
  • Wear a hat outdoors for 7 to 10 days after each session to reduce your risk of developing pigment changes.
  • If possible, cover the recently treated area to avoid infection.

Final Thoughts

Unfortunately, tattoo removal isn’t as easy as getting a new tattoo on your face. There’s a bigger risk for scarring and discolouration if you choose surgery or dermabrasion since they both cut away the entire surface of your tattoo, so laser removal is usually the best option.

Another thing to consider too is that tattoo removal doesn’t come cheap. Laser tattoo removal usually costs around $200 to $500 per session, and it can take several sessions before your tattoo is fully removed.

Still, you’ll want to avoid the cheaper options like OTC tattoo removal creams and chemical peels, so you don’t end up with an even bigger problem.

The best thing you can do is to take your time finding a dermatologist clinic that specialises in tattoo removal and book for a consultation. That way, you’re more likely sure that the method for tattoo removal works without hurting your skin in the process.



Max Stevens

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