Tattoos are embedded in the skin by either trauma, such as falling off a bike, or through artistic endeavors. Every day we see patients, from every walk of life, who have second thoughts about their artistic tattoo. Fortunately, advanced laser technology allows us to usually remove traumatic and artistic tattoos safely without leaving a scar. When the dirt or ink particles of the different types of tattoos absorb the light from the laser, the color is broken up into tiny fragments. These fragments are then removed through the body’s natural cleansing mechanism leaving behind normal skin.
**Actual patients. Individual results may vary.
Each pulse of the laser light leaves the targeted skin with a grey appearance. There may be some superficial bleeding. Subsequent blistering and crusting is resolved sa the top layer of skin turns over. The length of time it takes for the crust to be sloughed depends on the depth of the pigment in the skin and the location of the tattoo on the body. The pigment does not necessarily fade evenly and several sessions may be required before all the pigment disappears.
The number of treatment sessions depends on the size, location, depth and color of the tattoo. These factors also determine the cost. Professional tattoos usually require more sessions than amateur tattoos because of the complexity of the colours in the ink, and the depth at which the ink penetrates the skin.
Treatment sessions are spaced three to six weeks apart. This allows the garbage collecting cells of the immune system to gather up the maximum amount of left over pigment between each session.
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Yes, these lasers are safe. Safety goggles must be worn by both the patient and the laser surgeon during the procedure to protect the eyes from the bright light.
A potential complication with this procedure is hypo-pigmentation where the treated area ends up being lighter than the surrounding tissue. The risk of scarring is very low because the laser light is absorbed by the targeted pigment, leaving the surrounding tissue relatively untouched.
Do you have another question that wasn’t addressed here? Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns you may have!