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7 Ways to Get Rid of a Bad Tattoo ...

If you’ve been regretting a tattoo, chances are, you’ve been dreaming of all the ways to get rid of a tattoo - and I can relate. I’ve tried several methods for getting rid of my solid black Celtic armband (what was I thinking?!) so I know, first-hand, what works, and what doesn’t. Here are 7 ways to get rid of a tattoo…

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1. Laser Tattoo Removal

I’ll start with the most effective, though somewhat expensive, of the ways to get rid of a tattoo – laser tattoo removal. The laser used to remove tattoo ink targets the pigments and breaks them down into tiny bits, which your body disposes of naturally. I won’t lie – it hurts like heck – but it works. At the office I go to, each treatment costs about $200, and my tattoo is very faded now. I’ve had 13 treatments, which is a lot more than normal.

2. Clothing

Another very effective way of getting rid of that tattoo you once loved but now loathe is to simply hide it with clothing. Of course, this works far better if you had the foresight to get the tattoo in a place it can be hidden with sleeves or socks or a turtleneck. It’s cheap, though, and convenient, and it doesn’t hurt like laser tattoo removal.

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3. Make-up

Covering a bad tattoo with clothing doesn’t always work… and it makes for a very sweaty summer! Another great way to camouflage a tattoo until you can remove it permanently is by using concealer specifically designed for tattoo “removal.” Kat Von D makes a great one (she’s probably needed it herself, a time or two); find it at Sephora stores or online at

4. Wrecking Balm

It sounds too good to be true, a cream you can rub into your skin to remove an old, much-regretted tattoo. I tried Wrecking Balm for three months before I made the switch to laser tattoo removal, and while it did indeed fade my tattoo a little, I’d have had to use it for years, literally, to get the effect of my first laser treatment. This wouldn’t be a problem if I were patient, or if I had a lot of money to spend on the Wrecking Balm. On the plus side, it doesn’t hurt at all. The verdict: it works… but it’s a little pricey, and it takes a long time to work.

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5. Plastic Surgery

Laser tattoo removal works beautifully, but it does take time. I’ve had 13 treatments in the past two years, and it’s still not completely gone. But if you’re too impatient to wait for the laser to work its magic, and you have a chunk of money you can spend on removing your tattoo, there’s another option: plastic surgery. Most plastic surgeons offer some sort of treatment that involves removing skin from your posterior and grafting it to your bad-tattoo area; there are other treatment plans available, too, but this is the most popular.

6. Salt Scrub?

This one I haven’t tried myself, but I’ve heard it’s also effective, about as effective as Wrecking Balm. It sounds painful though, like over-exfoliating. A good salt scrub, a few times a week, will apparently fade a bad tattoo quite a bit.

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7. Think Twice!

Of course, the best, least expensive, least painful tattoo removal option is to not get the tattoo in the first place! My favorite local tattoo artist recommends waiting six to eight weeks after you’ve chosen a design and a body space you’d like, before you get the actual tattoo. He also strongly recommends against having anyone’s name tattooed on your body, ever. Good advice, don’t you think?

Those are all the ways I know of to get rid of a bad tattoo… if you have ink you’re now regretting, which of these will you try to get rid of it? Or have you already tried some of these? Please share!

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