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Laser Tattoo Removal – Procedure, Benefits, and Risks

Almost 30% of humans inside the U.S. have at the least one tattoo. Nearly half of Half of all twenty to thirty year olds have one. But not all of them are satisfied about their decision. As many as 25% of those with a tattoo say they regret getting it.

There is good news for those who have an unwanted body design or tattoo. Newer laser tattoo removal techniques can eliminate your unwanted tattoo design with minimal side effects.

Laser Tattoo Removal: How It Works

Lasers remove tattoos by breaking up the pigment colors with a high-intensity light beam. Black tattoo pigment absorbs all laser wavelengths, making it the easiest color to treat. Other colors can only be treated by selected lasers based upon the pigment color.

How Do I Find a Reputable Doctor to Do Laser Tattoo Removal?

To have a tattoo removed, your first step should be schedule a consultation with a trained professional who can evaluate your tattoo and advise you on the Laser tattoo removal process. For this you have to find a reputable dermatologist or cosmetic surgery center to ensure proper treatment and care.

You should also get a suggestion from your family doctor or primary care physician for a dermatologist or skin surgery center that specializes in laser tattoo removal and has practical experience in this process.

What Can I Expect During Laser Tattoo Removal?

The number of treatments you will need will depend on the age, size, and color(s) of your tattoo. The color of your skin, as well as how deep the tattoo pigment goes, will also affect the removal technique.

In general, this is what you should expect during a laser tattoo removalsession:

  1. You’ll be given a pair of protective eye shields.
  2. The technician will test your skin’s reaction to the laser to determine the most effective energy for treatment.
  3. The technician uses the laser to pass pulses of intense light through the top layers of your skin that will be absorbed by the tattoo pigment only.

Smaller tattoos will require fewer pulses while larger ones will need more to remove them. In either case, to completely get rid of a tattoo, it will take several treatments. After each visit, your tattoo should become progressively lighter.

Laser tattoo removal is uncomfortable, but most patients don’t need anesthesia. Depending on the location of your tattoo, you may want to apply a topical anesthesia cream beforehand.

Immediately following the treatment, use an ice pack to soothe the treated area. And apply an antibiotic cream or ointment and bandage to protect it. You should also be sure it’s covered with sunblock when you’re outside.

Side Effects

Laser treatment is often safer than many other tattoo removal methods, such as excision, dermabrasion, or salabrasion because laser treatment selectively treats the pigment in the tattoo. And there are very few side effects. However, you should consider these factors in your decision:

  • Your tattoo removal site is at risk for infection. And there is a slight chance that you will have a permanent scar.
  • It’s unlikely that your tattoo will be completely removed. In many cases, certain colors may be more effectively removed than others. Blue and black tattoos, for example, respond well to laser treatment.
  • You may end up with hypopigmentation, which means the skin that is treated is paler than the skin surrounding it. You could also have hyperpigmentation, which leaves the affected skin darker than the rest of your skin.
  • Cosmetic tattoos like lip liner, eyeliner, and eyebrows may actually get darker after treatment. They do tend to fade with additional sessions.

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