Each year, millions of individuals have tattoos placed on there body and thousands want their tattoo removed. There are many reasons why individuals want the tattoos erased but removing a tattoo is a lot more difficult that etching one on the skin. Of all the present day tattoo removal methods available, Laser is possibly the best but also the most expensive.
Laser removal of tattoos
The Laser beam acts directly on the ink in the tattoo causing the ink particles to fragment. These small ink particles are later cleared up by the tissues. The fragmentation of ink particles usually require multiple laser sessions depending on the type of ink and the depth of the tattoo pigmentation. The main advantage of laser is that there are no incisions and it does not damage the surrounding skin. However, laser does generate heat and this is a moderately painful procedure if done without any anesthesia.
Lasers can remove tattoos almost anywhere on the body except around the eye. Tattoos on the ankles or fingers are sometimes difficult to remove.
To minimize the pain during laser treatment, one may take a couple of over the counter pain medications a few hours prior to the procedure. Or one can ask the doctor to apply a local anesthetic to freeze the skin.
Depending on where and how complex the tattoo is, most laser procedures last anywhere from 5-30 minutes. Multiple sessions are generally required and each new session is spaced over a period of 4-8 weeks to allow the skin to heal.
During the laser procedure, your eyes are covered to protect against the harmful rays. The laser is a hand help device and aimed at the tattoo,
Once the procedure is completed, ice can be applied on the skin to decrease the swelling. Following this, a topical ointment is placed over the site and covered with a sterile dressing. The laser treated skin looks like a severe sun burn. This skin area should be left clean and dry for the next few days. Once the dressing is dry and there is no more bleeding, it is removed and the skin is treated normally.
The skin must be protected from sunlight otherwise a dark coloring will occur. If going out, sunscreen is a must.
Can lasers remove all colors?
In general lasers tend to work best for dark tattoos with blue, black and red inks, whereas green and yellow colors are hard to erase. Tattoos created in the last few years are much more difficult to remove than those done 10 years ago. The inks used today and the available technology etches deep permanent tattoos.
What is the cost for tattoo removal with laser?
Removing tattoo with laser is an expensive undertaking and not covered by medical insurance. Depending the size and complexity of the tattoo, the price may vary from $2000-4000 and even higher. Individual sessions may cost anywhere from $ 300 and above.