Still looking around for a good skin doctor to help remove your tattoos? Well, take comfort in knowing you are not the only one who regrets those tattoos of yours. Of the 40 percent of Americans who have a tattoo, at least 23 percent regret getting inked. You may be one of them.
It could be that you started to regret the tattoos as soon as you sobered up. Or maybe the body art no longer has the sentimental value that it once had. It’s also possible that your body tattoos are preventing you from advancing up the career ladder as fast as you would like. Whatever the reason you may have for wanting to remove your tattoos, a good skin doctor will be instrumental in helping you achieve that goal.
Qualities of a Good Skin Doctor
Not every person who has the title of skin doctor is actually good at what they do. Some are merely quacks masquerading as professionals. Others have the qualifications, but their personality makes them the wrong choice for your tattoo removal needs. It’s important that you know what the qualities of an excellent skin doctor are. That way, you can use these qualities as criteria to choose the right expert for your needs.
Skin doctors must have proper training
Officially, the people you call skin doctors have studied dermatology. That's the field of medicine that deals with every aspect of the skin, nails, and hair. They are known as dermatologists. But not all skin doctors are the same. Dermatology, just like most fields of medicine, has different branches.
Since your interest lies in removing your tattoos, then you need to concentrate on experts who have specialized in cosmetic dermatology. These professionals have the training that enables them to treat disorders or complications that affect the aesthetic appearance of the skin. That includes your inked art, wrinkles, scars, and skin conditions like acne.
So, if you find out that the skin doctor you want to choose does not have cosmetic dermatology training, it’s better that you start your search again. Because that person, though qualified, doesn't have the training that is necessary for tattoo removal. However, if you're interested in undergoing more invasive tattoo removal methods like surgical excision of tattoos, then you need a professional trained in dermatologic surgery. But there is no need to consider invasive surgical tattoo removal procedures when so many non-invasive options exist.
Affordability of tattoo removal services
Some high-end skin doctors only deal with wealthy patients like Hollywood celebrities, and their charges are in line with the high circles in which they move. Think of TV star dermatologists who are celebrities in their own right. If you're capable of paying the kind of money that these skin doctors charge, by all means, consider doing so. But that may not be possible in your tattoo removal case.
For this reason, the affordability of tattoo removal services offered will determine whether a skin doctor qualifies as an excellent choice for your needs. It’s also worth noting that most tattoo removals are not covered by insurance unless they pose a threat to your life. That leaves the entire burden of the tattoo removal on your shoulders. With this in mind, it never hurts to dismiss skin doctors who are absolutely out of your budget range.
Caring nature and judgment-free attitude of the skin doctor
If the skin doctor that you want to hire to help you remove your tattoos has a horrible bedside manner, you will be in trouble. Not all doctors consider their work as a calling. Some are in it for the money, and it shows in the way they work and deal with their patients.
Studies show that people who have tattoos feel stigmatized, and you may have felt judged in the past because of your ink. Some skin doctors may end up judging you for getting inked. And such professionals wouldn't be the right people to help you remove your tattoos because it may affect the level of your care.
There's the possibility that their judgmental attitude may spill over into their work. What if the doctors’ attitude ends up affecting the quality of service that they provide, and they mess up your skin even more? If such uncaring skin doctors work on your body, you may end up worse off then where you started.
Experience in the tattoo removal field
Just because someone works as a dermatologist does not mean that person is qualified to remove your tattoos. So, it’s not enough for you to consider general work experience. You need to qualify your skin doctor based on the length of tattoo removal work experience. Don’t be a guinea pig.
How to Choose a Good Skin Doctor
Once you know the qualities to look for, it’s time to begin the process of finding the best skin doctor for your needs. It’s a process that will enable you to create a shortlist of qualified potential dermatologists. And it’s from this shortlist that you will be able to select a professional to work on getting rid of your ink.
Research on dermatology credentials
Understanding the branch of dermatology from which your skin doctor comes is half the battle, but it’s not enough. In addition to qualifying as a cosmetic dermatologist, the skin doctor who will handle your tattoo removal should be board certified. Board certified dermatologists met the threshold that makes them worth recognizing as specialists in their field.
When researching skin doctors, bear in mind that they receive their certifications from two official boards. Any certified professional you select belongs to either the American Board of Dermatology (ABD) or the American Osteopathic Board of Dermatology (AOBD). You can use web listings in order to find a board certified skin doctor in your area.
Eliminate doctors who advertise and ask for tattoo expert referrals instead
You need to worry if the skin doctor you're thinking of choosing advertises a lot and seems deceptive. That may mean that the doctor is not good enough to have customers lining up for his or her services. It could be that the dermatologist is inexperienced and hasn't had the time to build up a large clientele. But it could also be that the skin doctor in question doesn't provide services that are good enough to compel clients to refer others to his or her practice. Either way, a dermatologist that advertises a lot should give you cause for worry.
Good skin doctors, on the other hand, will be in demand. Moreover, they will come highly recommended by previous clients. For this reason, one of the first things that you should do when looking for a tattoo removal professional is to ask for recommendations. You could start by asking for a referral from your General Practitioner (GP). Also, ask your family, friends, and colleagues to recommend an excellent skin doctor they know. Include them in your shortlist.
Consider your budget for removing tattoos
No two tattoos are alike. Their size, design, ink depth, and quality will vary even if the same tattoo artist did them. It’s important to realize this when you shop around for a skin doctor to help get rid of your body art. That’s because the variations will affect the cost of removing them.
Be prepared to fork out quite a bit of money to get rid of your tattoos especially if yours are large. There is a reason why the tattoo removal industry is worth $3 billion. Undoing your regretful body art is not a joke. Tattoo removal is a tedious and sometimes painful process. The average cost of a complete tattoo removal procedure stands between $1,350 to $1,450 and usually takes place over seven sessions.
Tattoo removal processes that involve lasers take about three to four weeks between sessions. So, it may take months for you to get rid of the entire tattoo that only took you hours to get. Life's so unfair sometimes, isn’t it? For this reason, it’s important for you to have enough money in your budget to pay for your skin doctor’s tattoo removal services.
Higher doesn't necessarily mean better
If you want to try and cut down your dermatology service expenses, consider shopping around. The costs of hiring one may range from $100 to $200 per hour depending on factors like experience, brand value, and location. Some dermatologists charge as low as $26 to $30 per hour.
You shouldn’t necessarily choose the cheapest dermatologist around because cheap can be expensive. Instead, find someone in the middle who may not be as famous as the celebrity dermatologists you see on TV, but who has a decent amount of experience in tattoo removal. The goal is to find a skin doctor who will give you the best value for your money.
Read client reviews on previous tattoo removals
Just because the skin doctors you're considering are blowing their trumpets does not mean that you should hire them. There is a significant difference sometimes between what professionals think they can do and how customers feel about the services they receive. Dermatologists aren't any different. Some of them think they are all that, but clients would disagree. Your job is to find those who are as good as they claim.
It's your responsibility to read client reviews and check the ratings of individual skin doctors. Try to find cosmetic dermatologists with scores of four out of five stars and above. But ensure that there are a decent number of reviewers who have given such a rating. A good skin doctor is the one who will consistently provide excellent services to a large number of patients. Such a professional will have the ratings and reviews to match.
Sites like Yelp, Google, and Facebook facilitate business reviews. Search for reviews concerning the skin doctors on your shortlist and see what people say about them. Many professionals also have their own websites and usually provide a platform for clients to offer their testimonials. Go through those sites too. The more reviews you read, the more information you will have to decide on which skin doctor to select in the end. How successful your tattoo removal sessions are will largely depend on the choice you make.
Get a consultation appointment and ask questions about the tattoo removal procedure
Once you come up with a short list of potential skin doctors, you need to take the next step. That step involves scheduling a consultation appointment to discuss your tattoos and your removal options. With so many tattoo removal options available, you need to decide on the course to take, and each doctor has a different way of doing things.
Many dermatologists offer a free consultation, while others may charge you. Regardless of the cost, that initial consultation is crucial. It enables you to get a feel for how a particular skin doctor works. When you get an appointment, take the time to ask questions. Seek clarifications on any issues that may confuse you regarding the tattoo removal process. Pay attention to how the dermatologist answers the questions you ask.
Does that doctor listen? Is there communication transparency? Your conversation will tell you a lot about his or her bedside manner. Also, consider how other employees in the medical practice behave. That will give you clues on the kind of aftercare you will receive in case of complications. Based on those reactions and the attitude the doctor portrays, you can decide whether to hire that professional to remove your ink.
Go with your instinct
Your instinct is your survival mechanism. That sinking feeling in your stomach is there for a reason, so always go with your gut feeling even if it doesn't make sense. If you don't click with your potential skin doctor, reconsider hiring that professional. Remember, most tattoo removal procedures will take a while. The last thing you want to do is entrust your appearance to someone you don't even like or feel comfortable around.
Why You Should Choose a Good Skin Doctor
It’s okay to regret having tattoos. It’s also okay to want to remove them. While the procedure may end up being painful, it shouldn't be more uncomfortable than necessary. If you're going to spend a big chunk of money on undoing your ink, you might as well get the best skin doctor for your needs. In this case, that means a well-trained reputable professional who provides an excellent value for your money and cares about your comfort. The criteria you use to pick your doctor will determine your experience, so choose wisely.