There are a lot of tattoos out there, some are intricate tapestries, while others are simple and straightforward. One thing roughly 25% of these tattoos have in common is that they’re no longer wanted, but what can one do about that?
Tattoo removal has existed for about as long as tattoos. Many people get tattoos when they’re younger, and as many of us can attest, we can change a lot in just a few years. So while tattoos are marketed and sold as permanent, lasting images that can’t be undone easily, millions of people get tattoos each year. Whether it was meaningful or just for fun, a tattoo can suddenly feel like the last thing you want. There are creams out there that promise to lighten tattoos. These over-the-counter solutions are not proven to work effectively on removing tattoos, and since many contain abrasive chemicals, there is a risk of side effects. Permanent scarring, irritation or blisters have all been reported in people using these risky products.
Don’t let that discourage you. There is hope for safely and effectively removing your tattoos. Laser tattoo removal is, in the opinion of most dermatologists, the best and only way to remove tattoos in 2020. Surgical options were once the only choice for people with unwanted tattoos, but surgeries are inherently risky, and scarring was very common. Thankfully, laser tattoo removal has proven incredibly effective, and it’s so much safer than the alternatives. Not every laser tattoo removal provider is equal, though. Many spas and tattoo parlors may offer laser removal, but only your dermatologist will have the best equipment, and your health in mind first. So, you’re ready to pursue laser tattoo removal with your dermatologist. What should you expect?
Immediately before your laser tattoo removal session (and you’ll need several to fully remove the ink from your skin), your dermatologist may apply a topical anesthetic. Getting laser tattoo removal isn’t a painless experience, but the discomfort is similar to if not less than getting the actual tattoo was. Next, your dermatologist will assess your skin and determine the correct laser to use. Black ink will absorb all light, and is therefore the easiest to treat. When you add colors, things get trickier, and the bigger the tattoo the longer you’ll be there. When laser light is administered to tattooed skin, the ink absorbs the light and heat, and is actually damaged. The ink will fade incrementally with each treatment until it’s gone. The number and duration of your laser tattoo sessions will vary, but expect to be heading back at least a few times before the ink’s gone completely. After each session, your dermatologist will apply an antibiotic ointment and a bandage to the treatment area. You’ll want to ice your skin after this to help deal with any discomfort you may experience. Make sure your treated skin is well-protected from sunlight, use sunscreen and wear clothing that covers the area. Laser treated skin is especially susceptible to sun damage in the days following a session.
Tired of looking at your tattoo every day? Your dermatologist has just what you need—so reach out to the tattoo removal pros at Northeast Dermatology Associates today.
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