As many as 25 percent of Americans have tattoos, and about 50 percent of tattoo-owners regret at least one of their tattoos. While some tattoo artists can creatively cover them up with new designs, some tattoos are simply too large or awkward to be hidden in such a manner. Luckily, laser tattoo removal at Metro Dermatology is a safe and permanent solution for people who want to say goodbye to their unseemly tattoo and say hello to a new expanse of beautiful skin.
In the past, removing tattoos often caused moderate scarring. This was because lasers were not individually tailored to match the specific colors in a tattoo. Contemporary laser tattoo removal works by breaking up the tattoo’s colors with the use of light beams, which are calibrated for specific pigments. If an individual tried to remove a tattoo in the past with little luck, today’s modern treatments could be a solution.
Full tattoo removal occurs over the course of several appointments. Most tattoos take three to five appointments before they are fully removed, but designs such “sleeve” arm tattoos, and large back illustrations may take even longer. The number of removal sessions needed will depend on the size of the tattoo, how many colors were used, and the patient’s skin color in contrast to the tattoo.
While tattoo removal can be uncomfortable, it is nowhere near as painful as actually getting a tattoo. Local anesthesia may be administered, however, if the tattoo is on a very sensitive part of the body, or the patient has an extremely low pain tolerance. Once this is done, the patient’s non-tattooed skin is first tested to arbitrate the strength of each laser used in the removal process. Many patients describe the laser’s pulsing sensation as “tingly.” For safety, the patient is required to wear protective eyeglasses regardless of which part of their body the tattoo is on.
The tattoo will begin to appear lighter with every removal session until it is completely gone. Once the patient is at home, they need to follow a specialized after-care routine to protect their skin. This means covering the tattoo with an antibiotic ointment and a bandage. Just as with the tattoo’s original application, it will need to be shielded from sunlight.
Even though tattoo removal is much safer for skin now than it was in the past, there are still risks that patients need to know about. There are always chances of skin underneath that tattoo lightening, darkening, or becoming scarred. A trained tattoo removal professional should discuss all of the risks at the patient’s initial consultation. Contact Metro Dermatology today to find out if you are a candidate for laser tattoo removal.