Laser Tattoo Removal: Benefits, Complications, and Risks for Your Health

Tattooing is the art of inking one’s body. Although tattoos are incredibly personal, some might be the cause of acute regret somewhere down the line. Maybe you tattooed the name of significant other on your arm, only to end the relationship years down the line. Or maybe a symbolic tattoo that once bore extreme significance for you is no longer a reflection of who you are on the inside. In fact, according to a 2015 poll from Harris Research, 23% of people regret getting a tattoo.

When tattoo regret hits modern society, we are lucky enough to have options to get them removed. While there are a lot of methods, laser tattoo removal is one of the most popular, promising complete removal with minimal side effects. Before undergoing any medical procedure, though, it is wise to have an understanding of the risks and the benefits one might incur. And that’s exactly what we’ll take a look at in this post.

The Laser Tattoo Removal Procedure

Before scheduling an appointment, it is important to understand that not every laser removal procedure is the same. This is because each tattoo is unique and the removal techniques have to be customized to match the case. The earlier removal techniques caused a lot of scarring which was more displeasing than the tattoos themselves.

Laser tattoo removal employs high powered lasers that can penetrate deep into the layers of the skin and can permanently destroy the ink pigments or particles within the cells that provide color to the tattoo.

As stated earlier, the procedure adopted for the removal will depend on the characteristics of the tattoo and the condition of the patient. Some might require short sessions in the space of one to two months. On average, 8 to 10 sessions might be required. The change in the number of sessions depends on the type of ink, the size of the tattoo, and the age of the tattoo.

The technician passes the laser over the skin, and as it pulses, the heat is absorbed by the tattoo pigment alone. Smaller tattoos require smaller, brief pulses.  After each session, the tattoo should become visibly lighter. The modern laser tattoo removal techniques have been proved incredibly effective with vastly reduced side effects compared to older methods.

The procedure might be a little uncomfortable, but patients don’t generally require anesthesia. It is advised that following the treatment, an ice pack can be used to soothe the area. It is also wise to apply antibiotic cream and a bandage to conceal and protect the treated area.

Benefits Of Laser Tattoo Removal

The obvious benefit of laser tattoo removal is that you don’t have to look at that old, embarrassing, or irrelevant tattoo anymore. For some, the removal of an undesirable tattoo is is like wiping away a bad memory or coming to terms with a long standing feud. But let’s look as some of the benefits that laser removal has over other methods.

With major advancements in the fields of technology and medicine, laser tattoo removal Sydney has become much more effective while reducing in bothersome or harmful side effects. Laser treatment is less prone to infection and scarring than the other traditional methods like excision, abrasion, and all manner of home remedies.

The major benefits of laser tattoo removal includes the non-surgical nature. There is no need to go under the knife or be subjected to any heavy medication. Minimal recovery period combined with the inherent safety of the procedure means that laser removal is by far the most ideal method available today.

Risks of Laser Tattoo Removal

Laser tattoo removal comes with a few risks. Complete removal might be quite difficult in some cases, especially for people who are dark skinned, or when the tattoos have a lot of colors. In some cases, certain colors can be more effectively removed than others. Black and blue pigments react better and faster to the laser. Black tattoo pigments can absorb all wavelengths making it the easiest to treat. Other colors require selective laser wavelengths.

Some people have noticed changes in their skin texture and color following the procedure. Also, the removal procedures often require many long sessions for complete removal. This increased and frequent exposure to laser light can bring in a few complications of its own. Laser removal can get pricey too. At $200 – $500 per session on average, most tattoos end up costing a total of one to ten thousand dollars.

The treatments can sometimes be uncomfortable and depending on the location of the tattoo, can even cause a little pain. Sometimes local anesthesia is applied to relieve this pain. The procedure might cause soreness, redness, and irritation upon being subjected to sunlight for a few days after the sessions.

Additionally, risk of side effects increases significantly if you neglect to employ proper aftercare, which brings us to the next topic…

Importance Of Aftercare

The aftercare procedures following laser treatment are essential in avoiding complications. It is advised that the treated skin be cleaned carefully in the days following the procedure. The usage of petroleum ointment can help reduce the soreness and redness. It is wise to use sunblock while venturing outside, and the area should remain effectively covered with a bandage for about a week after each session.

If you’ve caught a bit of tattoo regret and think that laser tattoo removal might be right for you, start by finding a reputed dermatologist or a cosmetic surgeon to ensure proper treatment. To determine which procedure is ideal for your skin, set up an appointment with the dermatologist to find the procedures that are best suited for your situation. Like all procedures, tattoo removal with the use of laser comes with its fair share of pros and cons. Understand them well before making the decision to have your tattoo removed.