January 16th 2016
I found it really hard to get started with this whole process, so I thought I’d give you some tips.
1. Removing it or not
I guess it starts with really deciding if you want to have your tattoo removed. What is it worth to you, because it will involve quite a lot of money, pain and (in most cases) time. Is having it removed worth more to you then dealing with those things, then I would say go for it. If not, maybe just accepting it is there, is enough? Or get a cover up?
2. Kind of treatment
The second step would be to choose the kind of treatment you would have. In my case the laser treatment made the most sense and I think it is the most common method at the moment. The Youtube video shows a laser treatment at my current clinic, but off course there are many more clinics and videos to show you how this works.
There are also other options, like surgery and chemical peals. Here you can find a short description on the different methods, though I strongly suggest you stay away from the final ‘do it yourself’ option they imply! For me, laser would work best because of the size of my tattoo and the fact that my pale skin makes the laser shot more effective.
3. Do your homework
Reading into this whole thing can help you a lot when making your decisions. Go online and Google whatever terms or questions you come up with on the subject. You can look for online forums and ask others the things you want to know. (Such as; which is the best clinic, how much does it hurt or cost, how many treatment did you need and why)
Also, many celebrities are having them removed, causing more stories to appear online. For example Kelly Osborn and Victoria Beckham are removing some of them and a fellow blogger wrote this article about Angelina Jolie.
4. Be safe
There’s been a lot on the (Dutch) news lately, on how poorly trained staff members of small clinics do laser treatments. And how wrong it can go, since there is no current organization checking up on them. Basically, anyone can buy a laser and start treating you. They are working on getting things regulated, but it doesn’t seem like they’re there yet. Off course, I don’t know how it is in other parts of the world, but I think it needed to be addressed to make you aware of the risks.
So choosing a safe treatment clinic a very important part of the process. But where to start? Like I said, you can go to online forums and ask others. You can also read the reviews online, people are more likely to write about bad experiences than good ones. Please don’t go for the cheapest one or the one closest to your home. Choose a proper clinic where the staff make you feel safe and heard.
Listen to your gut feeling, if it’s not the place for you, you will know!
5. Visit more then one treatment clinic
My final advise before you get started would be to visit one or more clinics for an intake meeting. Usually they are free of charge.
Take a friend to a second opinion and write down your questions beforehand so you don’t forget anything. Also, I looked up things online and asked them about it, as if I didn’t know. I visited two clinics and one of them was lying straight to my face! They told me a treatment every 4 weeks would be fine and I would need about 20 of them, so I’d be done in two years. Actually, if you read into it, almost every professional clinic will tell you treatments need to be at least 8 weeks apart. That’s how much time your body needs to discard the broken down ink. More treatments will increase the risk of scarring and will not make the process go faster. It just empties your wallet..
What did I do?
In the end, I choose a Dutch clinic, called Kliniek Veldhoven.
I had my intake meeting a long time before the first treatment, because I was to scared to go. (I cancelled my appointment three times, I was surprised they put up with me through that!) During my intake the owner of the clinic took all the time I needed and gave me great advise. He answered every question patiently and was very friendly, he made me feel safe in their hands. I had read only good things about the online and on the forums, but this was the moment I got convinced. Since I only visited one other clinic for an intake, I’m no expert on the various clinics in Holland. But as far as I’m concerned, I found the best one out there! And I think that’s how your supposed to feel about a clinic who’s giving you a physical treatment!
Good luck finding yours.