It’s estimated that one in every five Americans have at least one tattoo. Roughly 25% of people with at least one tattoo have regrets about getting permanently inked up. In 2013, it’s reported that over 45,000 people in the country went through some type of tattoo removal process. The number of people undergoing laser tattoo removal has been consistently rising over the past few year, especially among women. The most popular method for ditching your once -loved ink is laser tattoo removal. In this process, lasers send highly concentrated light beams into your tattoo, breaking up the ink. Many people experience great success with laser tattoo removal treatments. But before you go blast your skin with laser beams, there are some things you should consider.
Amount of Treatments Varies
For the most part, laser tattoo removal isn’t a one-time deal. The amount of laser treatments you need depends greatly on the size, color, location, and age of your tattoo. It also depends on your skin tone and the type of laser being used. The next two points discuss which colors and locations are easier to treat.
Dark inks, especially black, are generally easier to remove. These colors respond better the light waves sent out by lasers. Bright colors like pinks, reds, and greens are usually more difficult to remove and require a higher number of laser treatments.
Location is Important
Remember when we said the lasers break up ink into tiny particles? Well, those particles get sent into your bloodstream and exit the body through urine or sweat. Therefore, the closer your tattoo is to your heart, the quicker the ink can be absorbed into the blood stream and flushed out. Tattoos further down on your arms and legs usually take longer to remove, as they are closer to the end of the vascular system.
Amateur vs. Professional
Did you get an amateur or professional tattoo? This plays a factor into how easy or hard a tattoo will be to remove. Amateur tattoos are usually easier, as they normally do not use as much ink and the ink doesn’t go as deep into your skin. Tattoos given by professionals usually use more ink that goes deeper into your skin, meaning the ink is denser and harder to remove.
The most common side effect of laser tattoo removal is hypo- (lightening) or hyper-(darkening) pigmentation of the treated area of skin. This normally goes away after 6 to 12 months, but patients with darker skin face an increased risk of hypo-pigmentation. Other side effects include scarring, slight burning, irritation, swelling, redness, blisters, and raising of the tattoo. These side effects are normally more mild and go away quickly.
The Darkening Effect
If you are getting a cosmetic tattoo removed, such as eyeliner or lip liner, this ink can actually become darker immediately following laser treatment. This can be corrected by further laser treatments. If you are seeking treatment on cosmetic tattoos, a small area should be tested first to see how your skin reacts.
Types of Lasers
There are different types of lasers out there that work differently depending on what kind of light waves they propel. It’s important to make sure you are being treated with a laser that is best equipped for your type of tattoo. Laser technology has progressed greatly in the past few years, and there are now lasers available that greatly reduce side effects involved with treatment and shorten the amount of treatments needed. As with any medical procedure, do you research before signing up! Anu Medical Spa uses the most advanced laser technology currently available, called the Enlighten laser. This laser is virtually painless and eliminates ink at a significantly faster rate than any other laser out there. If you are interested in learning more about how the Enlighten laser tattoo removal at Anu Medical Spa, please give us a call at 856-809-0909 and check out our Q&A here.