The Latest Technology for Tattoo Removal in San Diego, CA
Decorative tattoos have a history dating back at least 5000 years. The desire to remove them has probably existed for just as long. Early attempts to remove tattoos have had less than desirable results. The use of dermabrasion, saltabrasion and Argon or CO2 lasers have left behind scars in place of the tattoo. The advent of Q-Switched lasers has permitted the removal of most tattoo inks with a very low risk of scarring. The Q-Switched Nd:YAG laser is the laser of choice in this class of laser. The laser can significantly lighten or remove a wide variety of tattoo inks.
How does the laser remove the tattoo?
A laser is a device which is designed to produce one or more specific wavelengths of light. Tattoo ink is removed by using this specific wavelength of light which passes into the skin, but is absorbed by the ink. The rapid absorption of light energy causes the tattoo ink to break into tiny particles which can then be removed by the body’s natural filtering systems. The laser provides maximum tattoo removal while leaving the surrounding skin unharmed.
Laser treatment for tattoo removal has improved significantly over the years, making it easier and less painful to remove unwanted tattoos. However, it is important to note that complete tattoo removal can be difficult in some cases, especially for people who have dark skin or multicolored tattoos.
Lasers use a powerful burst of energy to shatter the pigments, or inks, within a tattoo into tiny particles which are then easily removed.
What type of tattoos can be removed?
The laser can remove professional, amateur (homemade), traumatic and surgical tattoos.
How many treatments will it take to remove a tattoo?
On the average, professional tattoos require 6-8 treatments, while amateur tattoos require 4-5 treatments, all spaced approximately four to six weeks apart. The number of treatments depends on the amount and type of ink used, and the depth of the ink in the skin.
Does the laser remove colored tattoos?
Dark (blue, black) and red inks will resolve the best. Oranges and purples usually fade as well. Green and yellow inks are the most difficult to remove, and additional treatments are needed to produce significant fading.
Will the tattoo completely disappear?
Greater than 80-90% fading of the tattoo may be accomplished. However, it is important to know that there are many, many types of tattoo inks in use worldwide today, none of which are regulated by the FDA. Not knowing which tattoo ink was used, or how deeply it was applied, makes it impossible for Dr. Ataii to predict the degree of removal on any given tattoo. You will need repeated sessions to lighten the tattoo, and it may not be possible to completely remove all the ink. Bright, multicolored tattoos are the most difficult to remove and frequently require the most sessions.
Is the Laser Tattoo Removal process painful?
The laser emits light in very short pulses. The impact of the energy from the powerful pulse of light is similar to the snap of a small rubber band on the skin. The majority of patients do not require anesthesia, depending on the size and location of the tattoo. Injectible anesthesia and anesthesia creams are available if needed for additional fee.
What type of post-treatment care is necessary?
A restorative ointment and a dressing can be applied to the area immediately after treatment for up to one week. Occasionally, there will be pinpoint bleeding and blistering associated with the treatment. The treated area should be kept clean. Follow your physician’s instructions exactly as to what to do during the days following the procedure. A shower can be taken the next day, although the treated area should never be scrubbed. If a scab forms it is vital that you do not pick it or scratch it.
Risks of Laser Tattoo Removal
As with any procedure, there are risks and benefits. The most common side effect is an incomplete removal of the tattoo ink, despite undergoing multiple treatments. It is impossible to predict which tattoos will respond completely and which will not.
Occasionally, the texture or pigment of the treated skin may change. Certain tattoo colors, such as white, bright colors, and flesh colors can have a reaction that makes them turn black immediately following treatment. These black reactions can be treated with laser, but this will increase the number of treatment sessions required.
How do I get started?
Dr. Ataii and his staff will be happy to discuss this procedure with you. Please feel free to make an appointment for a consultation to discuss your specific needs.