Laser Tattoo Removal: 19 Things To Know

Laser tattoo removal

Laser tattoo removal has gained huge popularity in recent years as one of the safest methods of tattoo removal which does not involve cutting into the skin and involves the use of pulses of light at a high concentration to remove the tattoo.

Though laser treatment is more expensive than home remedies, it is definitely more safe and effective for your skin and thus is highly recommended by the experts around the world.

1.The laser tattoo removal treatment is the safest process.

In a laser tattoo removal treatment, a beam of light search for contrast between your skin tone, ink and pulses on the skin which leads to breaking of the ink, down into small particles small enough for your body to absorb. Smaller or older tattoos are easy to remove because the ink breaks down easily.

2. It is more painful than the pain you felt while getting the tattoo.

Tattoo removal causes a certain amount of physical pain and irritation to the area being treated which may differ from person to person.

3. Set your expectations on the laser tattoo removal.

You won’t get a complete removal of your tattoo. It is not a guaranteed removal. Some tattoos only fade partially while others can leave a ghost image of your tattoo or make the site of your tattoo look even worse because of some allergies or carelessness. And it depends on various factors starting from the size of your tattoo, colours used in the tattoo, your skin colour and other such factors.

4. There is a good news and a bad news for you.

The bad news is that tattoos are meant to be permanent and your chances of success depends on your skin colour and the tattoo’s size and pigments. And the good news is that you don’t need to go through the unsafe home remedies.

5. It won’t be done in a single treatment.

You probably have realized this by now. One thing you will be required to understand is that the number of sessions which you will be going through is not something predetermined during your initial consultation. And also you will need intervals of minimum 4 to 6 weeks on average between these sessions. So you can expect the process to last 6 months to a year.

6. The part of your body where the tattoo is located does make a huge difference.

The fading process will be slower if your tattoo is located further down the arms or legs, as they are further from your heart. The circulation will be better if your tattoo is closer to your heart, thus giving better results. Thus, tattoos on the feet, lower legs and hands require more treatments than tattoos on chest and back.

7. The greater the color contrast between your skin and the ink, easier will be the removal.

Black ink will be easily removed from a light-skinned person. But fluorescent colours like green and purple are nearly impossible to remove. Patients with such colours on their tattoo are suggested by many experts not to go for tattoo removal, instead cover it up with another tattoo.

8. You need to be more careful if you have a darker skin tone because there’s higher risk of hypo-pigmentation.

Thus most of the laser operators use lower energy settings on patients with darker skin types.

9. Amateur tattoo are easy to remove than Professionally applied ones.

Professional applied tattoos penetrate deeper into your skin at uniform levels making it tough to remove because the ink is usually dense. Amateur tattoos are applied by untrained hands who make the tattoo uneven, superficial and use dramatically less ink thus making it challenging to remove, but results will be easier and faster.

10. Research and gain knowledge about various types of lasers.

Multiple lasers are required to remove the pigments of your tattoo and different laser wavelengths deal with different colours. So you might need to do a little research and make yourself aware about it.

11. White ink can turn dark when exposed to laser energy.

Some of the ink used in cosmetic tattoos including colours containing white ink may darken immediately after the first treatment session because it contains titanium dioxide. Don’t worry it will be corrected after further treatments.

12.There are various temporary symptoms you may face post-treatment.

The temporary symptoms include blisters, raise of your tattoo, bleeding, swelling, redness and darkening of your skin. But you don’t need to worry much about these symptoms as they usually subside within the first two weeks.

13. Be aware of the side-effects you may face.

The most common side effect is the lightning (hypo-pigmentation) or darkening (hyperpigmentation) of your treated skin which usually takes 6 to 12 months to correct. But there is a possibility of permanent colour change. Other side effects include scars, infection, burns and textual changes. The treatment can cause scarring, blisters and scabbing or pain in the area.

14. Talk to a lot of laser treatment experts before you move in for the treatment.

Laser tattoo removal is safe when it is performed by a skilled and qualified technician or doctor. Don’t ever take risk with your skin. When you consult the doctor or technician, ask about the potential side effects and risk based on your individual situation. Ask him/her to show you multiple photos of their clients with similar skin tone and tattoos.

15. Make yourself aware about the gel.

You will be provided with a local anesthetic gel prior to the treatment.

16. It’s going to hurt you and it’s going to cost you.

As professional tattoo removal is a cosmetic procedure, it be won’t be covered by your medical insurance.

17. Preparation you need before the treatment.

  • Avoid sunbathing at least a month before the treatment.
  • Good diet, no smoking, low stress and exercise. 

18. You need to take care of the affected part after every treatment session to ensure that you don’t get unwanted side effects.

  • You should apply an icepack wrapped in a cloth.
  • The skin around the tattooed area can become discoloured and infected. So it is important to apply sunscreen to the vulnerable skin.
  • You must keep the tattoo area clean and dry. Avoid soaking in the first two weeks.
  • You should apply antiseptic powder regularly.
  • You should cover the area loosely with a dressing to avoid contact with the outside environment. Sunscreen alone is not enough protection. And don’t forget to change the dressing regularly.
  • You should avoid waxing, shaving, or direct contact with the sun during the initial healing period.

19. Remember to contact a doctor if you face fever or chills post-treatment session.

You must contact your doctor or seek medical treatment if you find an infection in the area or face fever after the session.

So the first thing you need to question yourself is: ‘Would you like to do a cover-up on your tattoo or you will like to leave yourself with a ghost image or a partial tattoo?’

About the Author

Sneha Lodha is a media student who loves to write and interact with people.


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