Tattoos are one of humanity’s oldest traditions, but that doesn’t mean that everyone who heads to their local parlor is satisfied with their ink. Over 35% of Americans report having at least one tattoo, and the majority of people are happy with their tattoos, some may opt to have them removed for personal or professional reasons.
Luckily, today tattoo removal is a simple and effective process that can safely and permanently remove unwanted pigments from the skin. If you’re interested in pursuing color tattoo removal but are unsure of where to start, Skin MD is here to help. Keep reading for seven things that will help you decide if treatment is right for you.
1. Tattoos Are Removed With Laser Pulses
Color tattoo removal is a process that uses short bursts of light energy to break up pigmentation under the skin. Once these particles are shattered, the immune system gradually takes them away over the following days and weeks.
This progressively lightens the appearance of the tattoo until it is no longer visible or no ink remains below the skin.
The quality of a laser color tattoo removal session depends greatly on the equipment used. That’s why at Skin MD, we only use the enlighten® laser tattoo removal system, which penetrates and removes even the toughest ink particles.
2. Multiple Sessions Are Required
While the exact number of sessions varies by tattoo, most patients will need between 3 and 10 to remove the presence of their ink completely. How many sessions are required will depend on the size, color, placement, and depth of your tattoo.
Patients who are looking just to fade the appearance of their tattoo in preparation for a cover-up tattoo will likely require fewer sessions than those who are looking for total removal.
Your provider can estimate how many sessions you’ll need during your initial consultation.
3. Aftercare Is Simple
Proper aftercare is crucial to preventing infection and obtaining optimum results from your treatment session. The basics of aftercare are simple, and your provider will go over them with you after your session.
It’s important to keep the treatment site well moisturized and safe from direct sunlight. Application of both lotion and sunscreen are advised, and the use of a cold compress will help minimize any swelling blistering that may occur.
You may experience redness, swelling, or itchiness for a few hours following your session, but your daily habits can be just as they always are. Even better, you shouldn’t need to miss any work!
4. Age and Placement Matter
Because the aging process naturally breaks down ink under the skin, tattoos that are older and faded are easier to remove than more recent ones.
Placement on the body also impacts the color tattoo removal process as well. This is because some spots, like the palms of hands, feet, and elbow, tend to hold ink less well than others.
Tattoos whose ink is deeper in the skin will require more effort to remove as well.
5. Some Colors Are More Difficult to Remove Than Others
Because different colors absorb wavelengths better than others, some colors require more treatment to remove. Black inks are the easiest to remove, as the color readily absorbs the light waves that work to break up the pigment.
Other colors such as yellow or purple may need more attention from your aesthetician.
In order to ensure all colors are equally removed, we at Skin MD only use the enlighten® system. This cutting-edge technology features both nanosecond and picosecond pulses and is capable of removing any color with ease.
6. Your Skin May Look Different Afterwards
For a small number of patients, removing pigment from their tattoos reveals minor scarring that was left as a result of the tattooing process.
Once the ink is removed, it’s possible you may have a ‘ghost’ of your previous tattoo–faint scarring that was present before the treatment session. While laser tattoo removal may reveal scarring that was already present, it is uncommon for the process to introduce any new scar tissue.
To ensure that you don’t add any new marks, it’s important to follow all aftercare instructions. You should also refrain from picking or itching any irritation after your session.
7. Anesthetic Is Used For Patient Comfort
Laser color tattoo removal is not as painful as you may have heard, but it does come with moderate pain. Many patients compare it to bacon grease or even the sensation of receiving a tattoo.
While this may make some patients nervous, rest assured that if you were able to receive your tattoo, you’ll have no problem having it removed. To keep your experience as comfortable and stress-free as possible, we offer both topical and local anesthetics.
Some patients experience pain for a few hours after their session, but this can be easily moderated with over-the-counter medication and by following all aftercare instructions.
Ready For Color Tattoo Removal?
Today, color tattoo removal is a safe, effective, and increasingly comfortable process that allows you to remove unwanted ink without undue stress. Now that you know more about the process and what to expect, you’re one step closer to achieving all the goals you have for your skin!
For those who are considering having their tattoos removed, the time has never been better, and we at Skin MD look forward to assisting you every step of the way.