Tattoos are increasing in popularity, and almost half of millennials have at least one on their body. But not everyone is happy with his or her decision about getting a tattoo. So it’s no surprise that laser tattoo removal has become more popular in recent years.
Lasers for Tattoo Removal
Laser technology is the most advanced technique to get rid of an unwanted tattoo with minimal pain. Tattoos consist of a vast number of ink particles, which are injected into the skin. You can see a complete structure when these particles suspend completely as a tattoo.
Most of the removal options target the outermost layer of ink particles, which usually leaves a still-visible residue. Laser technology sticks to an active & high-intensity pulsed beam of light to successfully pass through that outer layer, which causes breaking down of the existing pigment particles into smaller fragments. Later, your lymphatic system and skin flush them out. This is how you get rid of it naturally.
Laser tattoo removal requires a few treatment sessions, as a tattoo will not go away in just one sitting. As the procedure proceeds, you see how progressively lighter the tattoo looks.
This technique shows some amazing results on all inks. But, it’s always good to see and consult with an experienced cosmetic physician for laser tattoo removal. Follow his or her guidance, which may include diagnosing your skin condition, age, size and color of your tattoo.
Before your treatment starts you will be asked to put on a pair of protective eye shields. A skin test will happen to check what intensity of the laser beam is best for your personalized treatment.
Removing a tattoo with high-intensity beams can be slightly uncomfortable, but you shouldn’t need any anesthesia. The intensity of the beam’s sensation can depend on the location of your tattoo. If you are more sensitive to pain, a topical anesthesia can numb that area so that you won’t feel it.
Post Treatment Care
Your skin will likely swell slightly after each treatment, but this soreness is momentary. Some tips to soothe your skin and shorten downtime:
- Use an ice pack or ice cube to soothe the treated area.
- Apply an antibiotic cream or ointment and bandage to shield it.
- Apply sunscreen if you are going outside in the sun.
As mentioned above, soreness should only last about a day after each treatment. The darkness of the ink and tattoo dimensions help in determining how much time it will take to vanish completely. Generally, it starts fading in 2 or 3 weeks, but more prominent tattoos will take more days and sessions.
Risks of Side Effects
Most of the time, it’s safer to undergo advanced laser treatment than that of other tattoo removal techniques like excision or dermabrasion. This is because the high-intensity beams target pigment or ink with very little impact on the top layers of skin. But keep a couple things in mind:
- If your skin is particularly sensitive to infection, it’s important to tell your doctor. Laser treatments could leave a permanent scar on your skin’s surface.
- Tanned inks may be effectively removed using other treatments than laser tattoo removal. But, a laser can still completely erase it.
- The treated area can end up with hypopigmentation, which causes the skin to look paler than that of its surrounding skin. Hyperpigmentation can also strike, which turns the treated area darker than the surrounding skin.
It’s always good to consult with an expert cosmetic physician first to ensure if you have any risk or not.
Dr. Sanjay Mohindra is a cosmetic physician who runs Cosmetic Clinic Coolangatta in Gold Coast. He delivers excellent results using 100% cruelty free cosmeceuticals, upgraded laser techniques and injectables like dermal fillers that are safe and extremely beneficial for reversing signs of aging, removing tattoos and scars, and rejuvenating skin.