With the overwhelming popularity of tattoos over the last ten years, the market for effective removal has exploded. Tattoos are created by injecting colored pigment into small deep holes made in the skin. Regardless of whether a tattoo artist or an untrained individual injects the pigment, the marks or designs are relatively permanent. While most people who get tattoos are happy with their decision, there are some who change their minds. Life, age, and circumstances change for all of us, and the picture you once thought you wanted on your skin forever may now be something you prefer to have removed. In fact, it is estimated that up to 25 percent of Americans have tattoos, and around 50 percent of those often end up wanting to have that same tattoo removed. With laser techniques, here at Innovative Medical Therapies, this can be accomplished.
We use lasers to remove tattoos by breaking up the pigments in your skin with high-intensity light beams. The broken-up pigmentation can then be absorbed by your body with minimal side effects. The length of time it will take to remove your tattoo will vary for many reasons – size of the tattoo, where on your body it is, how long you have had the tattoo, and whether it was professionally done or not. The shade and pigmentation of your actual skin can also affect removal.
When people subsequently want their tattoos removed, most physicians today consider laser surgery one of the best methods. The Q-switched Nd:YAG is the most frequently used laser for tattoo removal. During treatment, pulses of light from the laser are directed onto the tattoo, breaking up the tattoo pigment. Over the next several weeks the body’s macrophages remove the treated pigmented areas. With the Q-switched Nd:YAG laser available on the Harmony®XL laser system, you can effectively treat dark tattoo inks, specifically black (which accounts for more than half of all tattoos), blue and green. Patients should expect to come back for up to 12 treatments to achieve expected and sometimes dramatic results.
What you need to know
Professionally applied tattoos tend to penetrate the deeper layers of the skin at uniform levels. This uniformity allows a physician to use techniques that remove broader areas of inked skin at the same depth.
Professional tattoos made with some of the newer inks and pastel colors may be difficult to remove entirely.
Removal of homemade tattoos – often applied with an uneven hand – may be more difficult to remove.
Deeper blue and black ink colors are particularly challenging. The good news is our laser treats these the best!
Complete tattoo removal is not always possible.
Some level of scarring or skin color variation is a strong possibility.
Tattoo Removal Tattoo Removal Do’s and Don’ts
Choose someone qualified to perform tattoo removal procedures, such as Dr. Fisher.
Communicate. Discuss with Dr. Fisher the reasons why you want your tattoo removed, and manage expectations.
Remain aware of costs. Tattoo removal is considered an aesthetic or cosmetic procedure in nature and generally not covered by medical insurance.
Take care of yourself. Follow all pre-and-post operative treatment procedures carefully; ask Dr. Fisher questions if anything is unclear.
Consider tattoo removal if you have certain autoimmune system disorders, pigmentation problems, active acne, warts, unstable diabetes, active rosacea or other undiagnosed lesions.
Ignore an infection. Contact Dr. Fisher immediately if you suspect any problems or experience considerable redness or soreness.
Upon a touch of the laser, the skin crusts immediately. If it doesn’t, you know the ink isn’t absorbing the light. Exactly how much discomfort is there, if it goes well? It is supposed to lead to blistering. We offer numbing cream and lidocaine shots, which means that by the time the laser makes contact, the tough part is over.
Treating a tattoo properly includes understanding the biology of the skin around it. There is no uniformity among tattoo ink.
You can teach a monkey to push a button, It’s judgment. That’s why you want Dr. Fisher to perform a service like this.
Tattoos need to be at least six months old to be removed, because the inflammatory response must stop, or removal treatment may make it worse.