Lately, the decision to obtain a tattoo has become increasingly popular, and so has the decision to remove them!
Millions of people have tattoos, many of them now feeling that having a tattoo does not fit their new image. Those remorseful about their tattoos are consulting with cosmetic laser physicians to determine if the removal of their tattoo is possible. Today's advanced laser technology provides the means for your tattoo to be removed safely and quickly and, in most cases, without leaving a scar.
How does the treatment work?
Today, cosmetic medical lasers designed to eradicate tattoos range from a single wavelength of light to a broad spectrum of light. These technologies are intended to obliterate the ink in the tattoo without damaging the skin. Certain colours of light are absorbed by specific corresponding colours of the tattoo ink. The light energy vaporises or fragments the ink particles. Your body then absorbs these ink fragments naturally and the colour fades over the next couple of weeks. This treatment is very similar to methods used for years to treat birthmarks.
What are treatments like?
First, the area to be treated is cleansed. Emitting laser or pulsed light, the laser hand device glides over the surface of the tattoo. The size and colour of the tattoo determine the length of treatment time. A tattoo roughly the size of a Euro coin may take approximately 3-5 minutes to treat. Some patients request a topical anesthetic cream to be applied prior to treatment, minimising the stinging effects of the laser or intense light. Many patients tolerate treatment without topical anesthetic and report the treatment as feeling no more than numerous rubber band snaps. Finally, an ointment and protective dressing are applied to keep the area moist.
What are the other removal options?
Laser tattoo removal is the safest, quickest and most likely to leave your skin intact following treatment. Other treatment options are surgical excision, chemical peel and traditional dermabrasion. These various options are invasive treatment methods and often result in scarring.
How many treatments are required?
Size, colour, location and the age of the tattoo determine the number of treatments necessary to effectively complete removal. During your consultation, the tattoo to be treated will be examined and any questions you have will be answered.
What results can I expect?
The results and appearance of the tattoo vary from patient to patient. After each treatment session you will see the tattoo become lighter. Due to the various levels of professionalism and types of inks used in tattooing, the results vary. Typically, multiple treatments are required and are scheduled 4 to 8 weeks apart.
Are there any possible side effects?
Some patients experience redness, swelling, tenderness, crusting, sunburn sensation or itching immediately following treatment. Your treatment program will be discussed with you at the time of consultation. If you experience anything different than what is discussed following your treatment, report back to The Laser Centre for a follow-up visit.
Are there any tattoos that can not be treated?
Yes, certain types of tattoos are extremely difficult to remove. Typically:
- Home made tattoos
- Tattoos where the ink has gone too deep
- Tattoos which utilise certain colour including: white, yellow, orange, some reds and green tattoos containing fluorescent or acrylic dyes.
This will all be discussed during your consultation.