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Removing Tattoo from Skin - Laser Treatment Method

Regretting getting that tattoo on your skin? The good news is, laser tattoo removal techniques can help you to get rid of it with least side effects Here's everything you need to know about it!
Tattooing is considered as a very trendy and common practice these days. Almost 30% of the people in the United States have at least one tattoo. A variety of social, cultural and physical life changes influence the decision to remove the tattoo like allergic reactions, regrets about the decision, seeking or joining a new job and for replacing one tattoo with another. Various techniques are used for removing a tattoo. Dermabrasion and tattoo removal creams can fail to remove the tattoo completely, where as other techniques involving incisions or burning can result in pain or scarring. Laser tattoo removal methods are regarded as one of the simplest and safest method which helps to get rid of an unwanted tattoo with minimal side effects.
Tattoo Removal: Laser Treatment
Factors depending on removal:

1. Location of the tattoo

Fading is usually slower for tattoos located far from the arms or legs as they are away from the heart. The nearer the tattoo is to the heart, the better circulation. This results in fast removal of the tattoo.

2. Professional or Amateur Tattoos

Professionally applied tattoos penetrate deeper into the skin at similar levels which can make it easier to treat, but not always, as the ink is usually denser. Amateur tattoos are mostly applied with an uneven method which can make the removal difficult but in general they are easier to remove.

3. Color of the pigments used

When the contrast between the tattoo pigment and skin increases, the process removal becomes easier. Thus black or blue pigment tattoos are easier to remove as compared to other colored tattoos.

There are also other factors, such as patient health, that influences of the speed of removal. If a patient is young, physically fit, and has a healthy immune system, they will tend to see results faster and better than an older, obese patient with health issues. The patients planning to undergo the treatment could start exercising and drinking enough fluids to maintain overall health.


Laser technique works by splitting up the pigment colors in the tattoo with a high intensity light beam. Black tattoo pigment absorbs all wavelengths of laser effectively. Thus black is the easiest color to treat with this method. Other colors can only be removed by selected lasers based upon the pigment color of the tattoo.

The best way to remove a tattoo is with quality-switched, or Q-switched, lasers, which have become commonly used in the last ten years. The beam of light searches for contrast between skin tone and tattoo pigment and pulses intensely on the skin to break the ink down into particles small enough for the body to absorb.

The initial consultation with the trained professional includes examining the tattoo and deciding up on the suitable laser methods to be used. The number of sessions required will rely on the age, size, and color of the tattoo. The color of the skin and also how deep the tattoo pigment goes, will also affect the laser removal technique.

This technique may feel little uncomfortable, but most individuals do not require an anesthesia. Depending on the location of the tattoo, the doctor may want to apply a topical anesthesia cream before the treatment.

Protective eye shields are used during the procedure. The technician will test the skin’s reaction to the laser to find out the most suitable energy for the treatment. Then laser is used to pass pulses of intense light through the superficial layers of the skin that will be absorbed by the tattoo pigment only. Tattoos that are smaller in size will need fewer numbers of pulses while larger ones will need more to remove them. Multiple sessions (mostly six to ten) are needed to completely remove a tattoo. After subsequent sittings, the tattoo would become lighter.

Pain Management:

The laser removal technique can be uncomfortable or painful to most of the patients. A burning sensation might be felt after the procedure. Patients can use ice packs after the treatment to soothe the treated area. Antibiotic creams or ointments help in preventing any infections. It is important to consult with the doctor before application of any topical antibiotics as it may cause allergic reaction to some patients.

Post Treatment Care:

After the treatment a slightly increased, white discoloration with or without the presence of pinpoint bleeding is often noticed. The white colour change is due to the result of fast, heat-formed steam or gas, resulting dermal and epidermal vacuolization. Punctuate bleeding is an effect of the vascular injury from intensity of waves created by the laser's interaction with tattoo pigment. Minimal swelling and redness of surrounding normal skin usually resolve within 24 hours. Following the treatment, a hardened layer appears over the whole tattoo, which sloughs off at approximately two weeks after the treatment. Post operative wound care comprises of common wound care and a non occlusive dressing. The treated area has to be protected with a bandage or patch. It is necessary to use a sun block when the patient is outside. Fading of the tattoo will be obvious over the next eight weeks and energy levels consumed in further sessions can be adjusted depending on the clinical response noticed. Once the area is healed, massaging that area helps in better circulation.

Side effects:

The hyper or hypo pigmentation of the skin may result which is generally cleared within six to twelve months from the treatment. There are slight chances for scars, infection, burns, and textural changes of the skin. To avoid the side effects the patients should make sure to get efficient treatment and care by finding a reputable dermatologist or cosmetic surgery clinic.

Cost of Laser Tattoo removal in India:

Cost of Laser Tattoo removal in India depends upon the size of the tattoo and colour of the pigments to be removed. In most of the cases, the cost of laser tattoo removal can be approximated to range between INR 1000 to INR 30,000 per session. Laser treatment method is mostly safer than many traditional methods because of its unique ability to selectively treat pigment involved in the tattoo and thus makes it the most widely used method of tattoo removal.

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Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on 8th February 2017.
pousali is a contributing writer at Inspiration Unlimited eMagazine.

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