Laser tattoo removal is very effective in removing unwanted tattoos, but there are potential side effects, including blistering, scarring, infection, changes in skin color and texture, etc. This is why it is vital that you seek a professional to carry out the procedure, as it will lessen the chances of adverse reactions.
So, which professional do you need? The answer is a dermatologic surgeon or physician trained in laser removal. And you can find him or her at a clinic that specializes in tattoo removal. Upon contacting the facility or consulting with a specialist, make sure you ask questions about the procedure or anything you don't understand. You should be fully aware of the risks of the procedure before making a final decision.
What to look for in a specialist
Selecting a dermatologist or physician to remove a tattoo is an important decision. You should find a specialist who is board-certified and with experience and equipment specific for tattoo removal. Find out their background, experience, and how many tattoo removal procedures they have done.
Board-certification is an indication that the specialist has completed an approved medical education program and an evaluation, including an examination designed to assess the knowledge, experience and skills necessary to provide high-quality care in that specialty at the time the certificate is awarded.
What you should get out of your consultation
You should assess your specialist to find out which lasers he or she has experience with using. There are multiple types of lasers available, including the Ruby, YAG, and Alexandrite. There is also the evolutionary picosecond laser. Each laser works on different colors, compounds, as well as skin color and pigmentation.
Also, consider asking the following questions:
- Where did you receive your training?
- How long have you been performing laser tattoo removal?
- Which laser(s) will work best for my tattoo?
- Can I see before and after photos?
- What are the potential side effects? How can they be avoided?
- Will my skin color or the color of my tattoo affect the success of my treatment?
- Are there any other risk factors I should consider?
- How many treatments will it take?
- What will be the overall cost? (This is especially important if you have a complex tattoo with multiple colors, because you may need different kinds of lasers. A combination of lasers may also be used during the tattoo removal process, and this can result in treatment being more costly.)