While tattoos are indeed all the rage today, there are times when you really regret getting one. Either the person or incident associated with a symbolic tattoo is no longer of significance, or the tattoo has faded and aged and is not longer as beautiful as it once way; there can be several reasons for not wanting a tattoo anymore. But you know what they say right? ‘Tattoos are permanent’. So, is it really possible to remove one’s tattoos? Is it feasible? Is it very expensive? Will it get rid of my tattoo completely? There are so many questions, so let’s just find out, shall we?
One of the ways to achieve tattoo removal is by using a tattoo removal laser treatment. Although there are many tattoo removal treatments, such as physical surgical removal, tattoo removal laser treatments are indeed the gold standard when it comes to results. Tattoo removal laser treatments are currently the most widely chosen treatments all over the world. So what do tattoo removal laser treatments actually entail? Let’s find out.
Tattoo Removal Laser Treatments and How They Work?
Laser tattoo removal involves targeting the tattoo with highly concentrated rays of colored laser lights. These light rays penetrate the skin’s surface and work directly on the tattoo pigments. The pulses of laser energy at specific wavelengths break down the pigment particles into smaller fragments, which can then be flushed out by the body. There are unfortunately many parameters that can decide on how successful the tattoo removal laser treatments will be and some of them are:
- Size of tattoo
- Location of tattoo
- Color of tattoo
- Depth of the tattoo
- Immune system’s capacity to absorb the colors
- Color of skin or skin tone
- Type of pigments used, etc.
To remove a tattoo satisfactorily, you may need anywhere between 5 and 15 treatments. Each treatment session must be spaced out at 6 to 8 week intervals so as to give the body enough time to flush out the remnants of ink, which was broken down in the last session. A tattoo removal session can last anywhere between 10 to 30 minutes.
Lasers Tattoo Removal
There are many types of laser configurations that can help get rid of tattoos. These lasers have different pulse durations, laser wavelengths and even energy levels. Some of these lasers have the ability to vary wavelengths as well as can increase or decrease spot sizes. As different types of tattoos require different wavelengths and indeed different lasers, the one that will be used on your tattoo will depends on your laser surgeon. Different colors of tattoos absorb different wavelengths but lasers that have shorter pulses always tend to be a lot more safe and effective.
There are three main kinds of tattoo removal lasers and several parameters come into play when deciding on the type of laser that will be used to remove your tattoo. The following are the main three types of tattoo removal lasers and if you have a large, colorful tattoo, go to center that has all three:
This laser is mostly utilized on tattoos that are sky blue or green in color. Unfortunately, darker skin tones do not find this laser useful as its effectiveness is greatly reduced.
This laser is more commonly used to remove tattoos that are predominantly black or have shades of blue or green in them.
Q-switched Nd YAG:
This is a somewhat advanced laser that can be used on most tattoos, even the red, black and blue ones. This laser is the one that is more suitable for use on darker skin tones as it does not affect any natural pigments or melanin cells and only targets the tattoo ink.
Pointers for Tattoo Removal by Lasers:
It pays to be aware of certain thing so that you go into a tattoo removal treatment with realistic expectations.
While a tattoo can be removed satisfactorily, it cannot be removed absolutely perfectly to the point. It can definitely be removed to the extent that it is no longer visible to the naked eye.
Newer tattoos are harder to get rid of than older one as the older tattoos already contain lesser amounts of ink.
Some tattoos are especially hard to remove, such as the ones that are turquoise in color as no laser rays can effectively break down pigments of this color. Skin colored tattoos are also hard to get rid of
There is indeed some discomfort when you go for a tattoo removal laser treatment and don’t let anyone tell you that its is completely painless.
All the precautions that you take after getting a tattoo, such as keeping it moisturized, keeping it out of the sun, etc. also apply after a tattoo removal procedure.
There are possibilities of side effects such as scarring and hyperpigmentation, and though incidents of these are rare, it pays to remember that it is indeed possible.
Tattoo removal laser treatments are not cheap and you have to pay for them on a per session basis. The more sessions your tattoo requires the more cash you have to fish out.