It may look like a dragon today, but in 30 years, it could look more like a jellyfish.
Tattoos are popular, especially with Millennials, ages 18 to 29. But sometimes the wearer of a tattoo wants to remove the ink. Removing a tattoo used to be a formidable exercise that involved either serious dermabrasion (think sanding the skin with a diamond-tipped wheel) or even surgical excision. Those methods left a scar in place of the tattoo.
But lasers have changed everything for the better when it comes to tattoo removal. At Dr. Beaty’s we use our Spectrum laser to break down the pigment in the tattoo and remove the tattoo.
Since these treatments can be a little involved, let’s devote both March blogs to removing that tattoo at Dr. Beaty’s.
What is laser tattoo removal?
Lasers have been used for almost 30 years for hair removal, but they’ve more recently been tasked with tattoo removal. Lasers offer an effective option for removing tattoos. The light energy breaks down the tattoo ink that is set into the skin. The body then removes the ink particles over time. Laser energy works better on certain tattoo ink colors than others. Regardless of the color, it will take a series of removal appointments to completely remove the tattoo.
How does laser tattoo removal work?
When we direct the energy from our Spectrum laser down onto the tattoo ink, the pigment in the tattoo absorbs the laser energy. This energy breaks up the pigment into small particles. The laser energy creates an inflammatory response in the skin where white blood cells are sent to the area, in this case the tattooed skin. The white blood cells then remove the ink particles over the next few weeks.
Who is a candidate for laser tattoo removal?
Really anyone who has a tattoo is a good candidate for laser tattoo removal at Dr. Beaty’s. If you’re having real buyer’s remorse, unfortunately you do need to wait for at least one month after the tattoo is initially created so that the skin can settle down.
The real question of candidacy is to understand that these procedures involve a certain amount of pain. This can obviously be dictated by the location of your tattoo. We apply topical numbing cream prior to your laser session, but you’ll still feel some pain. Afterwards, you’ll need to apply ice to mitigate this.
You also need to think in multiple sessions. Different ink colors respond better to the laser energy than others. Complete removal can take from 3-12 sessions, so you wouldn’t want to partially remove a tattoo and then not finish the series.
Good candidates for these treatments cannot have open sores or skin infections.
In March’s second blog, we’ll get into more about the process of removing your tattoo with laser energy at Beaty Facial Plastic Surgery. If you have questions, or want to schedule an appointment, call us at (770) 753-0053.