Did you know that nearly 25% of those who got tattooed regret and want to clean it off. People get tattooed for various reasons, removing a tattoo permanently is lengthy and not as easy as getting one done.
There are different methods of permanently removing a tattoo.
- Laser tattoo removal
- Chemical peel to remove tattoo
- Surgical excision of skin (a painful and scar leaving process).
Thanks to the medical advancements, new laser technology has come into use to clean away tattoos more effectively with relatively less pain and lowered risk of infection. The effectiveness of removing a permanent tattoo using laser depends on:
- The colours used in making the tattoo. (More black, easier it is to remove with laser)
- The depth where the ink is present in the layers of the skin.
- The expertise of your plastic surgeon.
How laser helps in removing the tattoo
Making a tattoo on your skin means the artist (or the tattoo maker) is depositing ink (of different colours) with very tiny needles in your skin. At first, your body tries to break down the ink particles and remove them from your body. That’s the reason the tattoo lightens a little bit after a few weeks/months. The ink particles are usually large enough for the body to remove, so the tattoo remains permanently under the skin.
When the laser beam with right intensity (that’s why you need an experienced tattoo removing surgeon) is focused on the ink, it breaks down the ink particles into smaller particles. Smaller the ink particles, easier for the body to remove them. Black colour absorbs most of the laser energy and breaks up easily. Other colours take little time and more energy to break up and get cleared. That’s the reason why you will need to sit for multiple sessions to get a permanent tattoo removed.
Laser tattoo removal is painful but you may not really need anaesthesia. Application of numbing cream should be good in most cases. Once the procedure is done, you will be advised to apply creams / ointment and avoid sunlight. Bandages may be put over the area.
Side effects of erasing a permanent tattoo
- Just like every surgery, laser tattoo removal also involves risk of infection.
- Hypo or hyper pigmentation may happen that may make the tattoo area lighter or darker (respectively) than the skin surrounding it, after the tattoo is gone.
- In some cases, remnants of the tattoo may still linger. It may not get erased 100%.