Almost 30 percent of people in the US have at least one tattoo, and nearly 25 percent of them are looking for ways to get rid of it! Laser tattoo removal techniques can help fade the appearance of unwanted tattoos with minimal side effects.

How effective is laser tattoo removal?

Laser tattoo removal works by breaking up the color pigment using a high intensity light beam. Black tattoo pigment will absorb all the laser wavelengths, making it the easiest color to treatment. Based on the pigment color, the other colors used in your tattoo can be treated using selected lasers. The success of your treatment depends on the kind of tattoo.

The major factors your physician will consider include the colors that are used in your tattoo and the depth of the ink. When you get professional tattoos, it could be easier to remove since they penetrate deep into the skin at a uniform level. However, these are also saturated with more ink which could be challenging during the removal process. An amateur tattoo is applied with an uneven hand which is a challenge while removing, however, overall, they are easier to remove because less ink is often used. The effectiveness of laser tattoo removal will be determined by a professional.

Once your tattoo has been evaluated, the professional will advise you about the process and the number of sessions required depending on the size, color, and age of the tattoo. The technique used for removal also depends on your skin color and how deep the pigment of the tattoo goes. Your laser tattoo removal session involves the technician testing your skin’s reaction to the laser in order to determine which energy will be the most effective for your treatment.

What happens during treatment?

During laser tattoo removal, the laser passes pulses of intense light through the top layer of your skin and this gets absorbed by the pigment of the tattoo. When you have a smaller tattoo, it will require fewer pulses while the larger tattoos will need more for removal. It takes several sessions to get rid of the entire tattoo. With each session, your tattoo will get progressively lighter.

Several options with different laser wavelengths are used for treating different colors. One of the latest is the PicoSure which operates on three different wavelengths dependent on the colors that are to be removed. Even though your tattoo removal treatment still requires several sessions, the results you achieve with the modern laser treatments are much improved.

Although the laser tattoo removal process can be uncomfortable, most patients do not require anesthesia. Depending on the location of your tattoo and your pain tolerance, you can get a topical numbing cream beforehand. Immediately after your treatment, an ice pack will make it easier to soothe the area. Your physician will advise you to apply an antibiotic ointment and put a bandage on the area to protect it. You must also ensure that you protect the area with a sunblock when you are out.

How safe is laser tattoo removal?

Your laser removal treatment is safer than other removal methods like dermabrasion or excision since the laser selectively treats the pigment of your tattoo. Although there are few side effects of the procedure, here are some factors you must consider:

• The site of the tattoo removal is susceptible to the risks of infection. There is a slight chance that you might be left with a permanent scar.

• It is possible that your tattoo does not get completely removed. This happens because some of the colors are more effectively removed than others. For instance, black and blue tattoos respond best to laser treatments.

• Your laser tattoo removal treatment could also leave you with either hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation. Hyperpigmentation leaves the affected skin darker than the surrounding skin, while hypopigmentation is when the treated skin becomes paler than the surrounding skin.

• Just like an eyeliner or lip liners, your cosmetic tattoos could also get darker after the treatment. This happens because of the titanium dioxide in some of the ink used in tattoos that oxidizes or darkens immediately after the treatment. However, with continued treatment sessions, this will fade.

To make sure that you get proper treatment and care, it is important that you find a reputable cosmetic surgery center or medical spa. It helps to get a recommendation from your primary care doctor for a skin surgery center which specializes in laser tattoo removal.

Author's Bio: 

Author, Freelance writer