Tattoos once applied were a permanent fixture. Covering it up with clothing or learning to coexist with it were the only options once the tattoo was applied. The early demand for tattoo removal was met with treatments such as dermabrasion, salabrasion or acid which were all used to remove both the skin and the tattoo ink with it. Once introduced the early forms of laser tattoo removal weren’t much better and often resulted in discolouration and scarring, leaving the area looking more unsightly than the tattoo they wanted to remove in the first place.
In recent times there have been new lasers developed. A form of photoacoustic energy is transmitted from the tattoo removal laser via nanosecond pulses. The laser travels through the skin and targets only the tattoo ink contained in the deeper layers. The lymphatic system filters out the small particles of ink which have been shattered into small particles by a nanosecond pulse of laser energy.
Laser treatments may be done over old tattoos as long as there isn’t a large amount of scarring present. Due to the amateur methods of applying tattoos and the lesser quality inks, older tattoos may require less treatments. By having a wider spectrum of new colours, a longer lasting formulation and layering the inks all make it harder to remove newer tattoos.
Removing a tattoo depends on where the tattoo is on the body and the size, how many colours were used and the quality of ink, the patients natural skin colour and the depth of ink in the skin and will all vary the amount of treatments needed.
An overall fading or lightening usually occurs after each laser treatment and darker shades such as red, black or navy will commonly be the first to go. Some unevenness in colour can be seen but will even out after continued sessions.
Aftercare protocols ensure that the laser tattoo removal treatment is a fast and comfortable procedure. In the initial first few days healing period, some discomfort may be felt but rest assured that you can continue day to day activities as usual.
To be left with a good end result it is vital that the laser tattoo technology will effectively remove the tattoo without damaging the skin.