Tattoos have become the part of the American culture over the past couple of decades. It is estimated that 50% of the people who get tattoos later regret them. People request removal of tattoo for a variety of reasons such as poor placement, career concern, color change of the tattoo, outdated artwork, fading or distortion of aging skin, a change in lifestyle or personal change, etc.
Few people may experience an allergic reaction from the tattoo ink several years after the initial application. The existing tattoo removal techniques were invasive and painful, so people are considering laser treatments to reduce their tattoo.
Tattoo removal differs from one person to another because of the ink used in the tattoo, placement of the tattoo or the skin color. Removal techniques must be tailored to suit each individual needs. For example, professionally placed tattoos penetrate deeper into the skin and at uniform levels. This makes the specialist to use techniques that remove broader areas of inked skin at the same depth. There are few tattoos that are difficult to remove, such as:
- Deeper black and blue ink color tattoos are difficult to remove.
• Generally homemade tattoos are applied by an uneven hand, so their removal is also more difficult.
• Professional tattoos that are prepared with newer inks and pastel colors may also be difficult to remove.
Tattoo removal can be performed by a dermatologic surgeon on an outpatient basis with local anesthesia. Most common techniques for removal of tattoos include:
Laser treatment: The surgeon removes your tattoo by selectively treating the pigment colors using high-intensity laser beams. Laser removal has become the most appropriate treatment as it is low-risk, bloodless, and most effective method with fewer side effects. Generally, the type of laser used depends upon the pigment colors. For many people, several treatment sessions are required.
Dermabrasion: During this technique, your surgeon sands the skin to remove the top and middle layers of the tattoo. The combination of surgical and dressing techniques may help to increase and absorb the ink.
Surgical excision: Surgery involves tattoo removal using a scalpel and closes the wound the stitches. This method proved highly effective with some tattoos and allows your surgeon to remove inked regions with greater control.
Also there are few side effects with these methods, such as skin discoloration at the treated area, infection at the site, some scarring, or lack of total pigment removal. Complete removal of tattoos is not always possible and you need to undergo multiple treatments to get the maximum benefits. It requires different laser wavelengths to remove a multicolored tattoo because of selective absorption characteristic of tattoo pigment.