Tattoo Removal Options and Potential Side Effects

When making choices on a daily basis, it’s hard to determine whether or not they will eventually come back to haunt us. When choosing to get a tattoo, sometimes we ultimately come to regret the decision. Fortunately, now we can do something about it. If you have a tattoo that you regret, tattoo removal may be an option for you. There are several methods of tattoo removal currently available, so it’s up to you to decide which works best.

Tattoo removal options

Tattoo removal has been accessible for years; however, up until recently, the only tattoo removal methods on the market were invasive procedures that left patients with unattractive scarring. A new approach has been developed that is completely non-invasive and can visibly reduce the appearance of tattoos without going to patients with scars.

tattoo removal before and after
tattoo removal before and after

The original methods associated with tattoo removal (which are still available today in some areas) are Excision, Dermabrasion, and salabrasion. All three are invasive procedures that can remove tattoos, but leave individuals with unsightly scars in the treatment area. Excision is the only surgical method offered for tattoo removal. Extraction involves surgically removing both the epidermis and the dermis where the tattoo resides.

Surgeons will cut out the area where the tattoo ink is and then suture the remaining edges.

This method is excellent for those with tiny tattoos because it completely removes the symbol and only leaves a small scar. Those with larger tattoos, this method may not be the best choice.

Dermabrasion and Salabrasion are two tattoo removal procedures that are basically the same but differ slightly. Both involve the use of a rotary device that, when passed over the treatment area, abrades the skin thus removing it layer by layer.

Dermabrasion consists in spraying the tattoo with a freezing agent before abrasion whereas Salabrasion involves spraying the tattoo with a solution made of water and salt. Both of these methods eventually remove the tattoo, but patients can be left with large unsightly scars in the treatment area.

Laser Tattoo Removal, the revolutionary way

While these three tattoo removal methods can be successful, the newest tattoo removal method available, Laser Tattoo Removal, is truly revolutionary because it leaves no scarring and requires no downtime. Laser Tattoo Removal works to break apart the tattoo ink so that it may be naturally removed by the body’s immune system. Noninvasive lasers are passed over the treatment area and target the tattoo ink beneath the outer layers of skin without affecting the skin itself.

tattoo removal before and after laser
tattoo removal before and after laser

Laser Tattoo Removal is a straightforward procedure.

The laser light utilized in the treatment is attracted to the pigment (color) within the tattoo. The laser penetrates to the deeper layers of skin to heat the tattoo pigment which causes is to break into smaller particles. As these particles shrink and tear apart, they are naturally absorbed by the body’s immune system. Patients will need to undergo several procedures to effectively remove a tattoo; the number of procedures required will differ based on the depth of the tattoo as well as the tattoo colors. After each treatment, you will see the tattoo fade more and more until it is gone.

While the laser is attracted to the pigment in the tattoo, it can also be drawn to the pigment in your skin.

Therefore, those with lighter skin tones and darker tattoos will often see better results. Tattoos consisting of ink colors like black, blue, purple, brown and some darker greens will see the best results while those who have tattoos with colors like white, yellow, orange and red might not see as good results.

The more differentiation between skin color and tattoo color the better your results will be. (those with darker skin tones and lighter tattoos can see positive results; however, it may require more treatments because the laser energy will have to be reduced to prevent potential side effects)

Like with any cosmetic procedure, there are possible side effects associated with tattoo removal, but when precaution is taken, patients shouldn’t see any side effects at all. Potential side effects include burning, hyperpigmentation, and hypopigmentation.

None are life-threatening, and all will correct themselves over time. The laser energy produces heat, and when not used correctly it can cause damage to the skin. Reputable tattoo removal specialists are experienced in this procedure, and they know the correct ways to set the laser so that patients don’t experience any side effects.

There are many mistakes in life that we can’t fix, we must live with them, but an unwanted tattoo doesn’t have to be one of them.

Unfortunately, it costs more to have a tattoo taken off than it did to have it put on (up to a few thousand dollars depending on the size, depth, and color of your tattoo), so it is up to you to determine if it is worth it.

While all four of these tattoo removal methods can effectively remove an unwanted tattoo, Laser Tattoo Removal is the most effective method for those who don’t want unsightly scarring. Learn more by contacting your local physician or finding a tattoo removal specialist in your area.


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