Tattoos once applied used to be there forever. Covering it up with clothing or learning to coexist with it were the only options once the tattoo was permanently applied. The early demand for tattoo removal was met with treatments such as dermabrasion, salabrasion or acid which were all used to remove both the skin and the tattoo ink with it. Once introduced the early forms of laser tattoo removal weren’t much better and often resulted in discolouration and scarring, leaving the area looking more unsightly than the tattoo they wanted to remove in the first place.
In recent times there have been new lasers developed. A form of photoacoustic energy is transmitted from the tattoo removal laser via nanosecond pulses. The laser travels through the skin and targets only the tattoo ink contained in the deeper layers. The lymphatic system filters out the small particles of ink which have been shattered into small particles by a nanosecond pulse of laser energy.
Laser treatments may be done over old tattoos as long as there isn’t large amounts of scarring present. Due to the amateur methods of applying tattoos and the lesser quality inks, older tattoos may require less treatments. By having a spectrum of new colours, a longer lasting formulation and layering the inks all make it harder to remove newer tattoos.
The number of treatments required to remove a tattoo depend on several factors including the colours and amount of ink used, how deep the ink was deposited in the skin, the patients natural skin colour, the size and location of the tattoo.
The tattoo commonly will fade or lighten after each tattoo removal session, however the darker colours will frequently fade first eg black, red or navy. Patchiness is a common effect but will resolve after more treatments.
By closely following aftercare instructions laser tattoo removal is a quick and mostly painless procedure. Minor discomfort is normal in the initial healing period which is only usually a few days and doesn’t interfere with day to day activities.
Ensure the tattoo removal laser is the correct technology that will not damage the skin yet will remove the tattoo effectively, leaving you with a good end result.