For many people, one of the most appealing things about a tattoo is the fact that it’s permanent. However, others find themselves regretting making such a permanent decision. Thankfully, modern technology available through Northern Colorado cosmetic dermatology has made it possible for the latter to remove a tattoo they no longer want.
Reasons to Have A Tattoo Removed
The decision to have a tattoo removed can come from a variety of different reasons such as:
- Feeling unhappy with a choice made in younger years
- Simply wanting to be rid of a bad (or even a good) tattoo
- Removing visible tattoos for a more professional appearance
- Wanting to remove a faded tattoo rather than touching it up
- A change in personal viewpoints about tattoos
- Removing a tattoo that no longer represents who you are
- Realizing it was a bad idea to have your boyfriend or girlfriends name tattooed on your body
There are many reasons for removing a tattoo, but regardless of the reason, removing a tattoo is a big decision, so before you make an appointment be sure that you are fully informed and fully committed.
How Does Laser Tattoo Removal Work?
Laser tattoo removal uses a specially designed laser to break up tattoo ink particles in the skin. Using a combination of heat and frequency, the laser works to pull apart ink particles by causing them to expand and then quickly zapping it to rip it apart. The process is repeated until ink particles are broken down small enough that they are no longer visible. This process is called photothermolysis and is the same process used in laser hair removal.
After the laser has broken up ink particles, the body will naturally send white blood cells to absorb the ink and deliver it to the kidneys to filter out of the body. For more information about how laser tattoo removal works, click here.
How Long Will It Take for A Tattoo to Be Fully Removed?
Getting a tattoo removed sounds easy in theory, but it is a multi-step process. One time under the laser will not be enough to decrease visibility. The number of treatments it will take to fully remove a tattoo will vary depending on the size of the tattoo, how long ago you got it, how it was done, where on the body it is, and the color of the ink. Your own skin condition and genetics could also affect the process. On average, complete tattoo removal can take anywhere from 6 to 20 sessions.
Does Tattoo Removal Hurt?
Unfortunately removing a tattoo can be just as uncomfortable as getting one. The amount of discomfort you experience will depend on your own personal pain tolerance, the size of the tattoo, and the location of the tattoo on your body. Certain areas of the body are more sensitive than others, which could make tattoo removal hurt more. Treatments should not be extremely painful, but the majority of people report discomfort while others feel measurable pain. Some patients have reported that the treatment itself is not painful, but there is discomfort afterwards as the skin heals.
What Should I Expect to See After A Treatment?
After each treatment session, the skin may be red, swollen or even bruised. You may also experience some blistering. Using ointments recommended by your dermatologist and keeping the area bandaged until it heals will help reduce negative side effects.
Are There Risks to Tattoo Removal?
As with any medical procedure, there are risks associated with tattoo removal including scarring or a permanent change in the color of the skin. The best way to ensure a safe, effective and successful tattoo removal is to seek out treatment from a board-certified dermatologist with specialized training in laser tattoo removal.
Is Tattoo Removal Right for Me?
The best way to decide if laser tattoo removal is the right choice for you is to first consider the reasons you want a tattoo removed and then consult with an experienced dermatologist. During a consultation, your dermatologist will review your current physical condition along with your medical history to ensure that you are cleared for a safe treatment. Other factors to consider before scheduling an appointment is the cost and time it takes to see full results. For more information, click here, or contact us at Front Range Dermatology Associates to schedule a consultation.