Did you get a tattoo on impulse, without thinking it through? Do you have an ex’s name tattooed on your body? Has an image that once represented you become not-so-representative in your current life?
These scenarios, and many others, lead to a common feeling — that of tattoo regret. As life goes on, people change, and the permanent body art that once seemed like a good idea may become something you really wish you hadn’t done. Luckily, there are now effective tattoo removal procedures so you don’t have to live with unwanted ink.
At SINY® Dermatology, we offer laser tattoo removal. Our highly qualified providers specialize in medical and cosmetic dermatology, so you know that your treatment is safe. The efficacy of laser tattoo removal depends on numerous factors, but you can be sure that we have the knowledge and tools to safely fade the tattoo you no longer want.
Understanding laser tattoo removal
So how can a laser remove your permanent tattoo? The pigment in the ink absorbs the energy from the laser, and that energy causes the molecules of pigment to essentially explode. Your body then naturally removes those cells just as it would any waste.
It takes a little time after your treatment to be able to see the full results as your body clears away the shattered molecules of ink. Most everyone needs a few treatments to get optimal results.
The tattoo matters
Some tattoos are easier to remove through laser treatment than others. Older tattoos are usually easier to remove, and black pigment absorbs the energy from the laser better than other colors, though brown, dark blue, and green are also easier to remove. So-called stick-and-poke tattoos usually respond better to laser removal than some others.
Generally, the smaller and less colorful the tattoo, the easier and faster the removal. If you have a large, complex, colorful tattoo, it may take many sessions to fully remove.
Your skin matters, too
Just as the color of the ink makes a difference, so does your tone of skin. A greater difference between your skin color and the color of the ink makes the ink easier to target. In other words, pale skin tattooed with very dark ink requires fewer treatments than dark ink on dark skin.
Additionally, if you have a skin condition like eczema, laser treatments might not be right for you. If you have a health issue such as herpes (cold sores) that can affect your skin, you may not be a good candidate.
What to expect when you come in for laser tattoo removal
We won’t tell you that laser tattoo removal is completely painless or that you won’t feel a thing. We will tell you that we use anesthetic — but even without it, most people describe removal as somewhat uncomfortable rather than painful.
During your consultation, our experts evaluate your skin and ink. We consider the size, color, and age of the tattoo, along with your skin condition and overall medical history. We discuss your goals and work with you to determine a treatment plan that is most likely to give you the results you want.
Until we conduct that evaluation, we can’t even hazard a guess as to how many sessions you might need. Another variable is how much your tattoo is likely to fade with the procedure. We can’t always promise your tattoo will be 100% gone, but we will certainly tell you what we think we can do before you begin treatment.
After your treatments, we provide specific care instructions, which may vary depending on your circumstances. However, our general recommendations include keeping the treated area clean and dry, avoiding tight clothes around the treatment area, and preventing direct sunlight from reaching the treated area as it heals.
There are some rare but possible risks involved — such as your skin changing color in the treatment area or scarring — but we make sure you thoroughly understand potential complications prior to providing laser tattoo removal. If you’re not a good candidate for laser removal, we can discuss other options with you.
If you have tattoo regret, schedule an appointment at SINY Dermatology today. We’re happy to discuss your specific situation and answer your questions. We have five locations for your convenience, and you can book online or reach us by phone at the office that works best for you.