Do you have some regrettable ink on your body? You’re not alone. Many people get tattoos that seem to make sense at that stage of their lives. But later, after a few life and lifestyle changes, they may have some deep regrets about one or more pieces on their body.
The good news is that there are options for those looking to remove ink from their body or face. Tattoo removal can be done in a few different ways. Chemical peels, dermabrasion, laser treatments and surgical excision are just some of the options to consider.
How do laser treatments work?
Lasers, like the Cutera laser removal system, hold the distinction of being the most frequently used method of removing tattoos today. A tattoo is made up of thousands of tattoo ink particles that are suspended in the skin. Typically, the immune system response will remove foreign particles from the skin. The particles from tattoo ink prove to be too large for the immune system to effective remove, which is why tattoos are considered to be permanent additions to your body.
Using targeted lasers, the ink particles are broken up into much smaller particles that can then be removed by a healthy immune system.
The laser uses highly concentrated light waves that apply heat to the particles of tattoo ink. This heat is what causes them to fragment into smaller pieces.
How many laser treatments are needed?
One of the most often asked laser tattoo removal details relates to just how long it can typically take to remove a tattoo. While no two cases are alike, the complete removal of the tattoo is typically not accomplished in just one or two sessions.
Laser tattoo removal quite often requires several treatments in order to reduce the ink particle size so that they can then be dispersed by the immune system.
It also largely depends on the design, size and colour of the tattoo. It can take as many as 15 laser sessions to remove larger and more intricately designed and coloured pieces. There should also be a minimum of six weeks between each laser session in order to allow the skin to heal. This will also give the body ample time to absorb the ink.
Does laser treatment hurt?
The truth is the laser tattoo removal can be somewhat painful. The description that many patients provide is that it feels very much like having an elastic band snapped onto the skin, repeatedly. A topical numbing medication can be used, and over-the-counter pain relievers can also help significantly.
Most do find that they tolerate the laser tattoo removal procedure very well.
What happens after the treatment?
Following the procedure, patients will have an open wound that will need to be kept clean. Daily cleaning with a mild soap and warm water, along with an application of an antibiotic cream, is typically all that is needed to keep the wound healing.
Healing is typically seen around a week after the treatment has been completed.
There are several other methods to remove tattoos. They are, however, much more invasive options. They also tend to not be as effective as using lasers to remove the ink.