According to recent studies, approximately 30 percent of people have at least one tattoo and almost half of all millennials have one. However, there are people who are not happy with their decision to get a tattoo. Around 25 percent of people with a tattoo claim that they regret getting it. Therefore, they are facing a challenge to remove it. Due to technological advancements, people are now offered a chance to remove the unwanted tattoo with the use of laser tattoo removal, which involves minimum side effects. This article focuses on describing the procedure in detail as well as depicting all the side effects that come with this procedure.
● How Does The Procedure Work?
Laser tattoo removal works by breaking up the pigment colors with the use of a high-intensity light beam. All laser wavelengths are absorbed by black tattoo pigment, which makes it the easiest color to treat. It should not be forgotten that other colors can be only treated by specific lasers based on its pigment color.
The first step in laser tattoo removal is scheduling a consultation with a specialist for the purpose of evaluating the tattoo and advising on the process itself. Treatment highly depends on several factors such as age, color/colors, and size of the tattoo. Apart from that, your skin color has an impact on how deep the tattoo pigment goes, which, in turn, affects the removal process.
Laser removal sessions involve the following:
- A specialist will give you a pair of protective eye shields
- Your skin will be tested for the purpose of determining its reaction to the laser. It will help in identifying the most effective energy for treatment.
- A professional will use the laser to pass pulses of intense light through the top layers of the skin, which will be absorbed by the tattoo pigment only.
It should be also said that small tattoos require fewer pulses in comparison to larger ones. Tattoo removal is not done in one day and it requires several treatments. You should notice your tattoo becoming lighter after each visit. This is quite an uncomfortable process. However, this procedure is typically performed without the use of anesthesia. However, a specialist might apply a topical anesthesia cream beforehand depending on the location of the tattoo.
An ice pack is used immediately after the treatment in order to soothe the treated area. You should also make use of antibiotic cream and bandage to protect it. Make sure the treated area is also covered with sunblock when you are outside.
● Importance Of A Specialist
In order to be confident that you receive proper treatment and care, you should ensure that you find a reputable dermatologist or cosmetic surgery center. As an option, you can ask for a recommendation from your primary care physician for a dermatologist or skin surgery center that specializes in tattoo removal.
Because tattoo removal is a personal decision , the majority of insurance plans will not cover this process unless it is done for medical purposes. It might also be the case that skin surgery centers or physicians who practice tattoo removal will require you pay in full on the day of the procedure. It is highly important to discuss all the possible costs associated with tattoo removal and get all the charges before undergoing any kind of treatment.
● Side Effects Of Laser Tattoo Removal
Even though at the beginning of the article we stated that this process involves minimal side effects, they still have to be mentioned and taken into consideration. Laser tattoo removal is considered safer than any other options available, such as dermabrasion or excisions. This is mainly due to the fact that laser treatment treats the pigment in the tattoo selectively and there are very few side effects. Although, they still exist and they are as follows:
- The area where you get your tattoo removed is at risk of getting infected. Additionally, there is a chance of getting a permanent scar.
- Some tattoos cannot be completely removed. In the majority of cases, certain colors can be more effectively removed than others. Black and blue tattoos are believed to respond better to laser treatment.
- The skin that is being treated might become paler than the skin surrounding the tattoo. Or you might have hypopigmentation where the affected skin is darker than the rest of your skin.
- Liner, eyeliner, and eyebrows, which are considered cosmetic tattoos might get darker after the treatment and they tend to fade with additional treatment sessions.
● Duration Of The Whole Process
As mentioned above, it is not possible to remove the tattoo with one or two laser procedures. It might take months or even years for the tattoo to be removed. It takes a significant amount of time because each time you undergo the process, particles are broken down and digested by the body’s immune system. It might take up to eight weeks for the regeneration period and the next time you undergo the procedure the laser will break down the particles of pigment.
Before committing to the decision of tattoo removal, you should mentally prepare yourself for needles. The general duration of this procedure is 45 minutes during which a specialist takes photos, cleans the area, injects the area with lidocaine for numbing , lasers the area, ices it and puts a bandage on it. It might also be the case that you will taste metal during the procedure when the laser hits the skin. Specialists say that it normally happens when the lidocaine is hit by the laser and it is completely normal.
It should be also mentioned that the pain does not go away as soon as you leave the office. You should get ready to experience pain for about several weeks. Do not forget that aftercare is also crucial, which involves blistering the sites and covering in a salve and bandaging for several days. However, the more treatment you have, the less aftercare you will need. This is due to the fact that there is less ink reacting to the laser.
● The Cost Of Laser Tattoo Removal
It is not possible to state the exact price of laser tattoo removal because it depends on a number of factors and they are listed below:
- Tattoo size
- Clinic choice
- Technology used
- Specialist’s experience
- Color of tattoo
- Ink density
- Ink quality
- Skin type
All the aforementioned have a huge impact on the final cost. However, the approximate cost can vary between seven hundred to several thousand dollars per session. As you can see, this is much more expensive than the cost of getting a tattoo. Do not underestimate the importance of a specialist for this procedure. Get in-depth information about a technician in order to be sure that you will get the expected results. It will be great if you have friends that have already made use of laser tattoo removal. In this case, you will be able to see the final results and if you are satisfied with an outcome get in contact with this specialist. It is not recommended to make use of any DIY tattoo removal techniques as you might severely damage the skin.