Laser Tattoo Removal: What Are Its Risks and Perks?

Laser tattoo removal is a procedure that is gaining popularity. Statistics reveal that 25 percent of tattooed individuals regret getting inked.

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If you’ve been considering having your tattoo erased, you’re in luck. Recent technology can remove all traces of your tattoo.

There are several methods you can choose from, but most people opt to go for laser removal.

Types of Lasers Used in Laser Tattoo Removal

The three types of lasers utilized in removing tattoos are the following:

1. Q-Switched Ruby Laser

The Q-switched ruby laser preceded the other types in laser tattoo removal. It is most powerful when used on black and blue dyes.  It works on all types of ink but is shown to be most effective when used on “amateur” inks, or on tattoos done in India ink. The Q-switched ruby laser remains the gold standard in laser tattoo removal.

2. Q-Switched Nd:YAG Laser

The Q-switched Nd:YAG laser has a wavelength that falls under the infrared category. This means it cannot be seen by the human eye. However, its response to skin tissue is similar with the other lasers. The Q-switched Nd:YAG laser targets best inks in red, orange, and yellow. This laser is ideal for multicolored tattoos.

3. Q-Switched Alexandrite Laser

The Q-switched alexandrite laser has a wavelength that falls between that of the ruby and Nd:YAG lasers. While capable of erasing black and blue pigments, this laser is best known for its ability to remove green pigments. Green ink is the toughest to remove, remaining on the skin even after most laser procedures.

The Inner Workings of Laser Tattoo Removal

Laser tattoo removal, as its name suggests, uses laser to shrink unwanted tattoos into oblivion. It was in 1960 when laser was first used for surgery. It was initially for eye surgery, and was later on adopted by dermatologists, also for surgical procedures.

In removing tattoos, the laser works by getting deep into the skin and shattering the ink particles present in the skin. The body, thanks to the immune system, flushes out these particles. Eventually, the pigments fade off and over time disappear.

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Here’s one thing that makes laser stand out: while it’s basically an intense beam of light, laser is safe and harmless. It concentrates only on the areas marked for treatment. Thus, in laser tattoo removal, the inkless sections of skin are excluded and left unharmed.

Clinical Steps in Laser Tattoo Removal

Clinics that offer laser tattoo removal may vary in their treatment methods here and there. For the most part, though, the process follows a basic procedure:

1. Wear the eye shields provided by the technician. These protect your peepers from laser light.

2. Sit back and wait as the technician examines your skin. This includes checking if your skin has any reaction to the laser. Also, this method helps the technician determine which type of laser fits you best.

3. Finally, relax. Your treatment session is now ready to start.

Sessions Required for a Successful Laser Tattoo Removal

The figures vary from individual to individual. Generally, though, most persons require five to ten sessions to have their tattoo pigments completely removed. For larger skin areas, the number of sessions needed may run as high as twenty. You’ll need to wait for six to eight weeks before you can have the next session.

Risks in Laser Tattoo Removal

Laser treatment is one of the gentlest, safest methods there is. However, as is often the case with any procedure, there are certain risks that come with the territory.

In laser tattoo removal, there is only one major risk involved: the complete removal of the tattoo pigment. Despite multiple treatment sessions, some traces of your tattoo can still remain.

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Experts know which type of laser fits your case. They know what to do before, during, and after sessions for optimum results. However, there is no way for them to predict the outcome of your tattoo-removal procedure. Tattoo pigments and skin type vary from person to person.

It’s important to consider those factors in the event your tattoo did not entirely come off. Of course, this is a minimal risk, considering the several success stories present regarding laser tattoo removal.

Other risks that come with laser tattoo removal are scarring and infection. There’s nothing to worry about, though. As long as you follow tattoo-removal aftercare tips, you’re good to go. Therefore, pay attention to what your technician tells you to do for aftercare.

Perks of Laser Tattoo Removal

The perks of laser tattoo removal run far and wide, and these may involve personal, aesthetic, and professional reasons. On a whole, here are some of the benefits you can get:

1. Your unwanted tattoo is out of your life. Forever.

Regardless of your reason for choosing to remove your body art, laser tattoo removal gets you there safely and surely. If you’re after long-lasting tattoo-free effects, this process is for you.

2. You get peace of mind (yes, really).

For several decades, doctors and surgeons have used laser for medical procedures. This proves that laser is a device that’s safe to use for tattoo removal. Hence, there’s no need to explore newer methods and wonder if they would work. Save yourself the hassle, and go for the tried and tested instead.

3. You can resume your daily activities immediately.

As with any other surgical procedures, there are aftercare tips you need to follow to ensure a solid recovery.

The thing with laser tattoo removal is that save for a few activities you need to put on hold (for a while, at least), you can get right on with your life. No need to lie in bed and mourn over what you’re missing out there.

Quick, painless, and safe, laser tattoo removal is truly the best option for the modern man and woman.