Tattoos are a popular form of self-expression and people love getting them to express their love or commemorate special occasions etc. However, as circumstances change, some individuals might find themselves regretting their inks. This could be for professional reasons such as joining the army or police force, personal or social reasons, a bad tattoo-job, or simply changing preferences. Fortunately, advancements in laser technology have made this a safe and effective options for those seeking a fresh start. In this post, we will explain the process of tattoo removal, address common questions, debunk myths, and provide valuable insight so that you can make an informed decision.
THE SCIENCE BEHIND LASER TATTOO REMOVAL
Laser tattoo removal works by using high-intensity laser beams that penetrate the skin and break down the tattoo ink into smaller particles. The laser’s energy is specifically absorbed by the tattoo pigment, causing it to fragment. Over time, the body’s immune system removes these fragmented ink particles, leading to the fading and eventual elimination of the tattoo.
Several factors influence the success of laser tattoo removal, including the type of ink used, the depth of the tattoo, the colors involved, and the individual’s skin type. Professional tattoo removal clinics employ different lasers based on these factors to achieve the best results.
FACTORS AFFECTING LASER TATTOO REMOVAL
Before undergoing laser tattoo removal, it is essential to assess the characteristics of your tattoo to determine its suitability for removal. Some factors to consider include:
- Tattoo color: Dark-colored tattoos, such as black or blue, are generally easier to remove than lighter colors like yellow or green. White or flesh-colored tattoos may not respond well to laser treatment.
- Size: Larger tattoos require more sessions to remove completely compared to smaller ones.
- Age: Older tattoos are typically easier to remove because they have already started to fade naturally over time.
- Location: Tattoos located closer to the heart, with better blood circulation, tend to fade more quickly than those on extremities with limited circulation.
Understanding these factors will help you set realistic expectations and determine the approximate number of sessions required for your tattoo removal.
PRE PROCEDURE GUIDELINES
- Avoid sun exposure or tanning for atleast 1 week before your appointment
- Ensure that you don’t have any skin irritation or infection before the procedure. Inform your doctor about your medical history in detail
- Shave the treatment area 24 hours before the appointment
- Avoid any blood thinning medication as it can lead to bleeding or bruising during the treatment
- Wear lose fitting clothes to your appointment to avoid rubbing and irritation
LASER TATTOO REMOVAL PROCEDURE
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During the tattoo removal procedure, you will be given protective eyewear. A topical numbing cream will be applied to the treatment area.
A handheld device emitting the laser beam will be used to target the tattoo. The laser emits short pulses of light onto the tattooed area, causing the ink to absorb the laser energy and fragment into tiny particles.
You may experience a sensation similar to the snapping of a rubber band on your skin during the procedure. The duration of the treatment session depends on the size and complexity of the tattoo.
- Ensure that you protect the treatment area from sun exposure and apply Sunscreen as instructed by your doctor
- To reduce risk of infection, do not exercise and avoid getting the area moist or sweaty. Alternately, you can apply an antiseptic cream on the treatment area and bandage it during exercise. Incase of infection or inflammation, immediately contact your doctor.
- The skin in the treatment area may become dry and peel off. This is a desirable effect as it means your tattoo is healing
- Keep the treatment area moisturised with Vaseline or a similar thick moisturiser