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Tattoo Removal

What is Laser Tattoo Removal?
The last decade has seen a rise in popularity for tattoos. Coloured pigment is injected into small, deep holes in the skin to make a tattoo, which usually is permanent. However, after the initial enthusiasm fades, most people want their tattoos removed either due to regret or to make space for more.


Most physicians opt for Laser to remove the tattoo that the patient wants to be removed from his/her body. This will ensure the removal of a wide range of colours and inks safely and effectively.

A Laser can also be used to remove the following types of tattoos:

  • Cosmetic Tattoo: found in eyebrows, eyeliners, and lip-liners
  • Traumatic Tattoo: found after injuries, like gravel and tar staining.

Advantages of Laser Tattoo Removal
Laser Tattoo Removal has a couple of advantages when compared to the other tattoo removal procedures like,

  • Surgical excision
  • Bleaching and sanding
  • Infrared Coagulation
  • Acid-detattooing

The advantages are:

  • It has a minimal risk of side effects
  • It is also effective in removing dark tattoo inks, including, black, blue and green.
  • It requires shorter treatment periods, normally 15-30 minutes.
  • It has a faster result
  • It does not leave behind scars
  • The results can be seen after 4-6 treatment sessions
  • It has minimal pain during treatment

How does Laser remove the Tattoos?
The Laser basically removes the tattoo by fading the tattoo ink using light energy. A doctor usually directs pulses of light, usually of a specific colour, onto the tattoo.  The tattoo ink and the skin’s natural pigmentation, melanin, will absorb this light, but the surrounding cells and tissues are not damaged.

This rapid absorption of light will break up the tattoo pigment into smaller particles, which can now be removed easily by the body’s natural filtering system.

What happens during the Procedure?
The doctor will start off by numbing the tattooed area with a topical or local anaesthesia. Then the laser treatment is performed where the patient usually experiences a small pain that has been described as a snapping rubber band.

After the procedure is complete, the patient would have to take care of the post-procedure recommendations:

  • Wash the treated area with water and mild soap. Then pat it dry gently.
  • Apply Vaseline or similar ointments twice a day until the treated area heals completely.
  • Apply ice and any non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications that the doctor might have prescribed, to ease the discomfort.

Important Points
There are some points that the patient has to keep in mind:

  • Normally, this procedure removes most of the tattoo. But, there might be cases where multiple treatments or a different Laser might be required, to remove the stubborn pigment.
  • The tattoo pigment’s characteristics and the patient’s goals decide on the number of multiple treatments required.
  • In rare cases, some of the following conditions have been observed:
    • Some cosmetic tattoos like eyeliners, lip-liners etc. might darken.
    • The texture of skin, like indentation, scars or depressions, might change

Authored By: Dr. Priya J Talageri

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