Wednesday, July 15, 2009

How to Remove Tattoos

Q-switched lasers are currently the state of the art for laser tattoo removal. Q-switching means that a very short, high energy burst of laser light is directed at the tattoo. It works on the principle of selective photothermolysis. The ink preferentially absorbs the laser light and has to expand, as would any substance does when heated. However, the q-switched burst of light is so rapid that it fractures the tattoo ink instead, much as very cold ice cubes crack when put in a glass of warm water.

As the tattoo ink is broken down into finer particles that are small enough for the body's immune cells to absorb, the tattoo is gradually lightened with each treatment. Some colors, such as yellow, that do not absorb the laser light well may not be able to be removed. Also, if the ink is too deep in the skin, the light may not penetrate far enough to affect it. Finally, this process depends on a functioning immune system and good lymphatic flow, so impairment of these would probably impair effectiveness.

This method involves sanding of the skin with a rotating wire brush. The surgeon uses this tool to rub of several layers of the skin. The procedure is slightly painful and is performed under local anesthetic. It generally takes several weeks to heal and may require several treatments. This procedure may leave a scar or pale area. It also may not completely remove your old tattoo if the ink has penetrated very deep into your skin. The deeper the ink, the less likely that dermabrasion will have good results. It is very painful and can cause reddening and bleeding.

This method involves using a chemical peel called TCA (trichloroacetic acids) for tattoo removal. This chemical will cause the skin to blister and eventually peel off and renew itself. In this way several layers of skin can be peeled away in one treatment. Most people feel a burning sensation during the procedure, which can be followed by a feeling of numbness or stinging. This procedure is can best be done in the doctor's office or in a surgery center.

There is normally a low risk of complications.

  • scarring
  • infection
  • hyper pigmentation (the skin becomes darker)
  • Hypo pigmentation (the skin becomes lighter)
There are plenty of options open to you when it comes to this regard, so make sure that you consider which one is going to be best for you!