It may have seemed like a good idea at the time, professing your love for your better half with a heart tattoo on your shoulder or getting an infinity symbol or a dove tattooed on your navel, but now you’re a little older and you feel a bit different. Now you wish it could be magically erased.
Studies indicate tattoo regret
Well, you’re not alone. A survey completed in the United Kingdom several years ago revealed nearly one-third of people reportedly regret opting for permanent body art. Unfortunately, tattoo removal is not simple. After all, your tattoo was created by inserting indelible ink into the dermis layer of your skin to alter the pigment. It was meant to be permanent.
A poll conducted in 2012 by pollster Harris Interactive revealed 1 in 8 (14 percent) of the 21 percent of American adults with tattoos regret getting inked. And according to the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, doctors performed close to 100,000 tattoo removal procedures in 2011.
Are all ink removal processes safe?
While there are a number of skin ointments and creams on the market that promise to help fade or remove body art, many of these products can cause severe allergic reactions and can leave scarring and/or changes in skin pigmentation. It’s important to note the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved do-it-yourself tattoo removal products.
One of the safest and effective ways to remove tattoos is through laser surgery performed by a professional who specializes in tattoo removal. Since the inks used in tattoos are considered cosmetics, the FDA is involved in both ink regulations as well as the laser devices used to remove the tattoo ink. Lasers have been cleared to be used by or under the supervision of a health care provider.
Improved tattoo removal techniques developed
Over the years, new techniques have been developed to help you eliminate your unwanted tattoo with minimal side effects. Over the past decade, for example, the most efficient and safest way to remove a tattoo has been with quality-switched, or Q-switched, lasers. These lasers remove the tattoo by breaking up the pigment colors with a high-intensity light beam. This beam of light searches for the contrast between the ink and your skin tone and breaks down the ink into particles small enough for your body to absorb over several weeks.
The Nd:YAG laser, which operates in both pulsed and continuous mode, is particularly effective in treating dark tattoo inks, specifically black, blue, and green. For best results, patients should plan to return for several treatments.
Remember tattoo removal takes time
Don’t forget it takes time to remove an unwanted tattoo, even with laser treatment, as the ink has been injected into the second, deeper layer of your skin using a needle. Typically, multiple treatments are needed, depending on the size of the tattoo and the colors used in the design. Black tattoos are said to be the easiest to treat with reds, blues and greens creating a bit of a challenge depending on whether the tattoo was done by a professional or an amateur. Typically, amateur tattoos require additional treatment sessions. When planning for tattoo removal, don’t forget to allow for a few weeks in between procedures to allow for adequate healing.
Do you have a tattoo you would like to remove?
Contact us to schedule an appointment with Innovative Vein, one of the most trusted providers of this cutting-edge treatment.
Call our office today to learn more about our services or to schedule a consultation. We are here to help.
2350 N. Greenwich, Suite 800, Wichita, KS 67226