We get tattoos for a variety of reasons. Some are personal preferences and others veer in the direction of peer influence. Regardless of the reason, there are times when we may regret the decision of getting a permanent tattoo on our skins. Luckily, with laser tattoo removal, it is easy than ever to modify the current state of your tattoo or get it completely removed. While people are often advised to schedule personalized consultation before erasing a tattoo, there are a few common questions that beginners ask regarding laser tattoo removal.
- How does laser tattoo removal work?
This tattoo removal procedure involves targeting a laser on the skin’s darker pigment, breaking it into smaller particles that the body’s immune system can dispose of later on. Only areas with tattoo ink absorb the targeted light and heat from the laser, minimizing tissue damage in the surrounding areas. This flexibility allows for the removal of any type of ink on your skin with very little thermal skin damage. So, it remains the best way to remove tattoos with the least side effects.
- Is laser tattoo removal safe?
The Food and Drug Administration states the most effective and safest way of removing tattoos is via laser surgery. So, when done by a dermatologist or a trained tattoo removal expert, removal of tattoo via laser can be safe and effective. What’s more, good laser clinics complete service maintenance of their equipment a few times in a year to ensure safe and efficient energy levels and that the devices are performing optimally.
- What types of tattoos can be removed by laser?
The nature of your tattoo will determine whether laser will be effective in helping you get rid of your tattoos permanently.
- Location: When a laser is used to remove your tattoos, the laser light targets and remove ink particles, which are then removed by blood circulation and other natural processes in your body. It can be a bit daunting to remove tattoos from areas with low circulation such as hands, feet, and face compared to your chest and arms.
- Ink density and age: The ink densities of older tattoos tend to decrease over time. Removing them is, therefore, easier.
- Coloring: Although laser technology can get rid of any type of tattoo, some colors bring a lot of problems. For instance, laser cannot get rid of white ink tattoos because they can’t be detected at all. Other colors that are hard to remove include light green, yellows, and turquoise.
- Does skin color matter?
Yes. There are skin shades that are a bit troublesome to work with. If your skin is dark and contains a lot of the above-mentioned colors in it, for instance, it may prove difficult to get rid of your tattoos.
- How long does it take to remove tattoo via laser?
Since most tattoos have thick ink concentration, it is sometimes difficult to break down the pigment particles in a single session. The age and color of your tattoo as well as the type and size of your body dictates the number of appointments that may be needed to completely remove your tattoos. In most cases, 3-7 sessions are required to completely get rid of a tattoo. Each session might last for 30 minutes and sessions should be separated by at least 6 weeks. Your tattoo professional will advise you on the exact number of sessions that will be required to remove your tattoo.
- Does laser tattoo removal cause scarring?
Before laser technology, scarring was one of the biggest challenges for people who were trying to ditch their unwanted inks using removal methods like excision and dermabrasion. Accordingly, one of the most common worries that first-time patients had before opting for any type of tattoo removal treatment was whether the procedure would leave their skins scarred. With laser technology, however, chances of developing scars are minimal.
Nonetheless, some factors can increase your chances of developing scarring, including immune system deficiencies, poor circulation, use of certain prescription medications, the expertise of the dermatologist, and not following proper aftercare practices.
- How long does recovery take?
Recovery time for laser tattoo removal is around 6-8 weeks. However, it all depends on the laser technology that your dermatologist uses to remove the tattoos. After the procedure, your skin will be protected with a thin dressing while it is healing. But you can remove the dressing after a few hours. To get the most out of the procedure, it is advisable to avoid sun exposure for the first several days post-treatment.
Hopefully, the above answers have shed some light on what to expect from laser tattoo removal. Whether you decide that you are going to keep your tattoo until you get a better artist to tweak your current design a bit or feel that it is time to leave the past, laser tattoo removal remains a viable option that’s worth considering.