Tattoos are nowadays getting popular more than ever. From common people to famous celebrities, everyone seems to be running to tattoo parlors. This form of body art is gaining interest for the reason that people believe it to be a perfect way to express their heart out. While the number of people with tattoos is on the rise, it is worth noticing that the number of people who regret their decision is also increasing.
Do you know that nearly a third of people with tattoos regret having it later? There can be different reasons for different people regretting their decision. And this makes people find for methods for tattoo removals, and then they go for laser tattoo removal.
Some Of The Most Common Reasons Why People Seek Tattoo Removal:
- Tattoo is an ex’s name
- Artist did poor quality work
- Tattoo has faded over time
- Tired of having limited clothing options
- Don’t want children to see it
- Tattoo is limiting acceptance to jobs
- Or just your attitude toward the tattoo’s meaning has changed
No matter what reason is, the fact is living with a tattoo regret is not easy. Hence, if you are dealing with any similar situation and looking forward to laser removal, here are all your questions answered regarding the same. Read on:
Most Common Questions People Asked About Laser Tattoo Removal
1. Can Tattoo Be Removed Completely?
This is the first question which arises. Usually, people get tattooed with black ink and thankfully these are among the easiest to remove. However, with technology advancements today, a wide range of other colors can also be removed. If you have got inked with yellow, darker green, red, orange, blue, brown, purple, or any other color in between, these can be handled with ease. But for colors such as light green, light blue or teal or turquoise, the process can be quite challenging.
2. Is the laser treatment painful?
It would be unfair to say that laser removal is not painful. In fact, many patients compare the discomfort similar to getting a tattoo in the first place. Generally, a session can take between 5-30 minutes, and it can be traumatic for those with lower pain threshold. But you don’t need to fret too much for this reason. As now you can get rid of undesirable tattoos without pain. How? All with the help of Dr. Numb, a lidocaine based numbing cream. When applied to your skin, it desensitizes the area for three to four hours. Basically, the pain signals are blocked at the nerve endings which turn the process pain-free.
3. Is Laser Tattoo Removal Safe?
If the process is carried out using the medical lasers which are meant for removal specifically, it will be safe. Strictly avoid clinics which are not using certified laser machines or those who make use of one laser for number of procedures. Also the laser clinic should be well equipped with proper safety devices such as goggles to protect the eyes. As the manufacturers of such tools have to pass through a rigorous FDA approval process, it ensures safety in terms of overall result.
4. Are There Different Types Of Lasers Used In The Process?
Yes, there are several kind of lasers used. Generally, clinics prefer using Q-switched ruby laser (694 nm), Q-switched Nd:YAG laser (532 nm, 1064 nm), and Q-switched alexandrite laser (755 nm). These are effective and safe for removal of tattoos.
5. How Does The Laser Break Up The Tattoo Ink?
There are two key processes which help breaking the ink. Firstly, the pigment in the tattoo absorbs the energy from the laser leading it to shatter into smaller pieces later. The second one involves fast pulse of energy from the laser which offers a shockwave-like effect which leads to ink shattering. So it is similar to the process of breaking a sugar cube into smaller granules.
6. How Will Be The Ink Removed From Your Body?
Now when the laser has done it works by breaking the ink into smaller fragments, it is your body which will respond by moving the fluid to the area and flush away the ink. It is your immune system which plays a vital role in doing so. With the passage of time, the small shattered ink particles are drained away from the body naturally. You need to understand that the tattoo removal effects doesn’t appear overnight and one require multiple treatments.
7. Is It A One-Time Process?
Not usually. There are pretty good chances for the laser professional calling you several times for complete removal. The total number of sessions required will vary from person to person, depending on number of factors like tattoo size, ink quality, and much more. For how long you need to wait between tattoo removal sessions, it can be around 4 weeks in most of the cases. But for people with very bright, colorful tattoos, this can extend up to 6 weeks.
8. Why There Is Need Of Multiple Treatments?
For this you need to understand the process of tattooing. Basically, tattoos are layers of ink which are stacked on top of each other within your skin. It is done in thick concentration of pigment particles which makes it difficult for laser beam to break the same into smaller particles in one session. However, a professional laser expert will go over your entire tattoo with help of lasers and try to break up as much ink as possible. The consequence of this produces some level of fading for sure.
9. How Many Laser Removal Sessions Are Required?
There is no fix number. Most of the patients will need somewhere between 3 and 10 sessions. But this can vary according to the age of the tattoo, the amount of ink, and the coloration. And according to the number of sessions required, the price will vary. Of course, smaller the tattoo, less number of sessions needed, and less expensive it will be to remove.
10. Is There Any Risk Of Scarring?
As such there are no major risks for scars left behind. However, you need to ensure that the laser in being used by an experienced professional. When used by a competent nurse practitioner or physician, it doesn’t create any scarring response.
11. Are There Any Other Possible Side Effects?
Just like any other process, there are some side effects which cannot be overlooked. While some of them are important part of the immune response, others can be due to the lack of proper aftercare. This list of side effects includes:
The good thing is that if all of the protocols are used ideally, these side effects will be temporary. As far as redness, tenderness, and swelling are concerned, these typically subside within a day or two after treatment. Coming to the blisters, which usually appear within 24 hours, can be large and completely normal. Bruising, scabs, and blistering can take up to a week or longer. Lastly, hyperpigmentation and hypopigmentation are rare and happens when the body’s production of melanin is skewed. In former case, your body overproduces melanin as a reaction to the laser treatment which make your appear darker than the natural tone. For the latter case, melanin is depleted and your skin appears bleached.
With these questions answered, you can now take a clear decision on what to do next with your tattoo design.