Getting a tattoo is a personal choice for many men and women around the country. The problem is that sometimes individuals will no longer like the look of a tattoo for a wide range of reasons, such as stretching out or simply outgrowing the design. Those who no longer want a tattoo often opt for laser tattoo removal as a solution to the problem. Understanding the risks and benefits of the laser removal system is an important part of determining if it is right for the personal situation.
How Laser Treatments Work:
Laser removal of tattoos is a popular method of eliminating the tattoo because the risks are much less than other systems available to individuals. Before going into the treatment, it is important to understand why it works.
Laser treatments usually require between two and four sessions to remove most tattoos. In some situations, more treatments are needed because of the size or type of tattoo. A doctor will determine the number of laser treatments required based on the size, pigmentation and location of the tattoo.
The treatment uses light pulses from a laser to break up the pigmentation below the skin. As the color pigmentation is reduced, the tattoo begins to fade and ultimately is no longer visible.
Doctors use different lasers for different pigmentation colors and individuals. Dark colors like black and brown respond best to the treatments while lighter colors might take a little longer time before the pigment is completely removed.
Key Benefits of Removal:
Laser removal is a relatively new method of eliminating unwanted tattoos. The benefits of the system have grown as technology gradually improves and the lasers become less dangerous.
A major benefit of laser removal systems is that the tattoo is removed without invasive procedures. The laser is considered non-invasive and does not cause any bleeding at the site of the tattoo. As a non-invasive procedure, many of the risks that were once common with laser removal options are tattoos are eliminated or greatly reduced.
Those who have a laser removal also have the benefit of a high success rate. Most individuals will see that by the end of treatments, the tattoo is no longer on the skin. While some individuals will have trace pigments, this is rare and usually dramatically faded.
The reduced recovery time is another key benefit of the laser system. Instead of spending weeks or even a month in recovery, laser treatments have a dramatically lower recovery time. In many cases, the swelling from laser treatments is gone within a few days and the tenderness is usually gone within one week. Depending on the location of the tattoo, it is usually possible to get up and go about normal business within a day or two of the treatment.
Risks of Treatment:
A laser treatment does has some potential risks that consumers need to consider and discuss with a doctor before starting the procedure. In general, the risk of the treatment are mild.
In some situations, allergic reactions might occur. The allergy is not to the laser, but rather the large amount of ink broken up under the skin. When the ink breaks up, it causes an immune response to contain and eliminate the ink. In most cases, allergies are mild and require nothing more than a basic antihistamine.
Infection risks are mild, but sometimes occur during laser treatments. Doctors will usually provide an antibiotic to prevent infections and will give specific after-care instructions.
Scarring is a potential risk of the treatment. While the amount of scarring depends on the depth of the tattoo, laser removal does have a lower scar risk than other treatment options.
Pigmentation changes to the skin are also noted in many situations. The changes are either a slight darkening of the skin in the area or a slight lightening of the skin, depending on the particular reaction.
Removing a tattoo with a laser treatment is one of the best ways to eliminate an unwanted design. The tattoo removal is non-invasive and the risks are relatively low when compared to other treatments.