Home > Tattoo Removal > Laser Tattoo Removal Gets Rid of Unwanted Ink
Laser Tattoo Removal
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Detail Laser Tattoo Removal Gets Rid of Unwanted Ink

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Home > Tattoo Removal > Laser Tattoo Removal Gets Rid of Unwanted Ink

Description About Laser Tattoo Removal Gets Rid of Unwanted Ink

Laser Tattoo Removal

Laser Tattoo RemovalOver the last 15 years, the popularity of tattoos or permanent decorative body art has increased dramatically. It is estimated that today, more than 10 million US citizens have at least one tattoo or more. Many who thought a tattoo would be something they would love forever, are now having a change of heart. Maturity, marriage, careers, and growing families are all contributing factors for this waning enthusiasm about what was once considered cool. This is not a small group as it is estimated that 50% of people who get tattoos later regret them. As such, laser tattoo removal has become one of the more popular cosmetic laser procedures available today. This rapid growth can also be attributed to the growing number of physicians and laser clinics that are adding laser tattoo removal to their list of cosmetic laser services.

What Are The Benefits?

Laser equipment can now permanently remove tattoo ink from many parts of the body. However, the expense and discomfort of removal can be greater than the expense and discomfort incurred during the initial application. Before laser tattoo removal became commercially available in the early 1990’s, removal methods included, Sal-Abrasion or scrubbing the skin with salt, Cryosurgery, Dermabrasion, and even excision and skin grafting. Today, Q-switched lasers use short, high-energy pulses to effectively remove unwanted ink & have been specifically designed for permanent body art removal.

How Does It Work?

Q-Switched lasers work by targeting the dark pigment of the tattoo ink in the skin. An intense light pulse passes harmlessly through the upper layers of skin where it is then selectively absorbed by the darker pigment or ink. This concentrated energy pulse fragments the tattoo into small particles which are naturally removed by the body’s scavenger cells or immune system. Generally, this cosmetic laser procedure can be done with little or no damage to surrounding tissues.

Laser Tattoo Removal

Note: Due to the fact that dark colors absorb all laser wavelengths, they are easier to remove. Lighter colors selectively absorb laser light and are therefore more difficult to remove. However, there are specific lasers designed to target lighter color ink so make sure the facility you choose has lasers that can effectively target the specific colors of your tattoo ink.

Is it Safe?

There are risks involved with any medical procedure. That being said, relatively speaking, major complications are very rare. Some possible risks worth noting are; burning, scarring, skin discoloration (hyper-pigmentation or hypo-pigmentation), lack of complete ink removal, and possible infection. When laser removal is performed by a certified, experienced medical professional using the appropriate equipment, possible complications are minimized and results are enhanced.

Is it Painful?

Yes, but the good news is, that if you were able to endure the discomfort of getting the tattoo in the first place, you will certainly be able to tolerate any discomfort during the process of removal. Depending upon the sensitivity of the area being treated, discomfort can levels may vary. Anesthetic or numbing cream may be applied prior to treatment to make the procedure more comfortable. Some patients opt for an anesthetic injection at the site of treatment prior to the procedure. Ask your doctor what options are available prior to treatment so you can make an educated decision. After care generally includes the application of antibacterial ointments & bandaging of the area. It is important that the treated area remain clean and coated with liberal amounts of antibacterial ointment to fight infection and reduce scabbing.

How Long Does It Take To Heal?

Your skin may feel sunburned and sensitive for several days following treatment and may remain red in color for up to 20 days. The treated area may or may not scab. If a scab does form, it should not be disturbed as this can contribute to permanent scarring. During the healing process, the tattoo will slowly begin to fade as the ink is absorbed by the body’s immune system. Your doctor will advise you on the best ways to manage discomfort, prevent infection, scarring, and speed healing. Generally speaking, patients that adhere to all after care instructions & scheduled follow up visits experience the best results.

Laser Tattoo Removal

How Many Treatments Will I Need?

Multiple treatments are necessary to completely remove almost any tattoo. How many is dependent upon the size of the treatment area, the color and type of ink used, the laser(s) & it’s settings and the skill of your doctor or laser operator. The number of treatment sessions will also depend upon the depth of the ink. Generally speaking, you should wait about 3-4 weeks between treatments to allow for healing and absorption of the fragmented pigment by the body.

How Much Does It Cost?

You will be responsible for 100% of the cost of your laser tattoo removal procedure. This cosmetic laser procedure is categorized as elective cosmetic and is not covered by medical insurance. Additionally, inked body art is generally more expensive to remove than to get one in the first place. Depending upon the size and the number of colors used in a tattoo, laser tattoo removal costs will vary greatly. The longer the duration of each treatment & the number of treatments required will increase costs accordingly. Prices will range from several hundred dollars to thousands. If the cost exceeds your budget but you are determined to have your treatment anyways, ask about in office payment plans or 3rd party financing options.

Who Should Do My Procedure?

A certified dermatologic surgeon specializing in laser tattoo removal is your best bet. At the very least the person performing your procedure should be a laser certified physician. If the person doing your procedure is not a physician, proceed with caution. Make sure that a supervising physician is on site and that your laser operator is certified and has plenty of experience.

Laser Tattoo Removal

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