Applying tattoos to the body is common in the younger generation. They are a form of decorative body modification and are more popular than ever. Tattoos are applied with needles using a special ink or other pigments into the dermis layer of the skin. Tattoos were once considered permanent; however, it is now possible to remove them with certain treatments. There are many reasons for wanting a tattoo removed. Whatever the reasons, the most effective and safest method of removing tattoos is laser treatment. Laser treatment allows for the removal of tattoos of various sizes, colours and shapes. Laser treatment is often safer than many traditional methods because of its unique ability to selectively treat pigment involved in the tattoo. Blue and black tattoos respond especially well to laser treatment.
This procedure is done under anaesthesia. General or local anaesthesia is used depending on laser treatment chosen and the area to be treated. The laser light is absorbed by water present in the skin cells and immediately causes vaporization of the top layers of the skin. When the laser light passes over the skin, a mere 30 millionth of an inch of tissue is removed at a time. This allows the physician to treat only as deeply as needed, from removing wrinkles to merely refreshing overall skin appearance. After removing the damaged skin, new skin quickly regrows in its place. The procedure takes a few seconds to over several hours depending on the area to be treated.
Most of the time a tattoo can be removed — but with certain inks, it may not be possible to entirely remove your design. “A true black-ink tattoo is by far the easiest to treat. In some cases, red ink can resolve easily as well.
For a medium tattoo of 10 sq cm, expect the session to last 10 to 15 minutes. Larger tattoos can take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour or slightly longer. Large tattoos sometimes need to be removed over multiple treatments. The removal process can be uncomfortable, and swelling is very common.
Depending on skin type and inks, temporary crusting and blistering may occur after laser tattoo removal treatment. Frosting subsides within an hour max. The tattoo will begin to fade within the first 2-3 weeks post treatment.