Is Laser Tattoo Removal Safe?
What horror story have you heard about laser tattoo removal? Is it really as bad as some say? Is there any safe way to remove your unwanted tattoos?
Let’s be honest; laser tattoo removal is uncomfortable. While most people don’t need anesthesia, a topical anesthetic is often applied before treatment. Where the tattoo is located plays a major role in any resulting discomfort, and the truth is a lot of tattoos are in sensitive areas. If the person performing a removal isn’t well trained and experienced, discomfort can be magnified, and unwanted complications can arise.
The Truth of Laser Tattoo Removal
Laser tattoo removal is safer than many other removal methods. There are minimal side effects to it; however, there are some factors to consider. For example, there is a small chance of treatment leaving a permanent scar. The treated skin can also become paler (hypopigmentation) or darker (hyperpigmentation) than the surrounding skin.
How a tattoo is removed varies. The color of your skin, the depth of the tattoo pigment, it’s age, and other factors can affect the removal technique. Small tattoos are usually faster to fade because they require fewer pulses with the laser while larger ones will need more to remove.
Effective laser tattoo removal requires two key things:
- A series of treatments to completely fade the pigments.
- A laser with the multiple wavelengths capable of treating colored tattoos.
If all factors are properly addressed, the tattoo should become progressively lighter after each visit until it is no longer visible.
Tattoo Removal Safety = Choosing a Competent Practice
The need for a competent practice staffed by laser tattoo removal experts cannot be undersold. It is critical for the laser to be used by a trained and licensed professional. Misuse can result in burns and permanent damage to the skin.
During a properly executed treatment, you can expect:
- The use of protective eye shields to safeguard your eyes.
- A skin test to determine how your skin reacts to the laser so the most effective settings for treatment can be used.
- Topical anesthesia should be discussed in case you need it.
- During the procedure, the technician will pass the laser over the tattoo without staying in one area for too long.
- After treatment, an ice pack may be used to help soothe the treated area.
- Finally, an antibiotic cream or ointment in combination with a bandage may be used to protect the treated area.
The practice should discuss how to care for the treated area in between sessions. You will be advised to cover the area with sunblock when outside to avoid damage while the skin heals.
Laser Tattoo Removal Safety
Laser treatment is widely regarded as the safer tattoo removal method versus excision, dermabrasion, and salabrasion. It has minimal side effects and downtime after treatments.
Perhaps the most important decision you will make is the provider you select. Ensure they are reputable and knowledgeable, licensed medical professionals that are experts in their field. With the right practice, laser tattoo removal is a safe and effective procedure capable of erasing any ink you no longer want.