“It is not illegal in Israel to remove a tattoo, but the procedure is very dangerous,” says Yaakov Meir, a criminal defense attorney who consults with clients who have tattooed themselves. “One needs a special license,” he adds, “but the procedure is less dangerous than getting a face lift.”
The procedure itself is relatively safe, though the removal of the tattoo would require removing the skin entirely. “You remove the epidermis – the layer of skin that covers the eyes,” says Dr. Meir. “Then you remove the cornea. The most important part is the skin around the eyes, so the procedure is quite safe.”
Removing a tattoo requires a professional to prepare a tattoo removal technique according to each individual patient’s needs. “They will have to make cuts in your skin, but it is very safe,” says Dr. Meir. “The procedure is similar to getting a liposuction. The doctor can see the surface of your skin, cut two or three places on the skin, and let blood flow from each area, then clean it,” he says.
One must also know the proper technique to use for the removal process, advises Dr. Meir.
In Israel, removing a tattoo is not against the law. However, it would require permission from the police, since the skin from the tattooed area must be removed before they can start drawing a scar.
As of September 2012, there are no regulations on the matter.
The full list of tattoo removal procedures in Israel, according to different institutions
“It is generally impossible to get a permanent or temporary tattoo from a tattooist” and it is usually a procedure that has to be done by a professional, explains Dr. Meir.
It should be noted that tattoo removal is often necessary to cover up or correct a bad tattoo before it goes into remission.
While tattoos on the face are not illegal in Israel, it is not considered a “veil of secrecy” and it is legal on the other parts of the body.
“Most doctors will not allow a stranger to see a tattoo on one’s body,” says Dr. HaRiach Shoshani, the co-director of the Institute of Tattoo and Body Piercing. “Tattoos are treated like the most common cosmetic procedures on the body. In general, their removal is done without anesthesia and using a general anesthetic is usually the most dangerous procedure.”
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