Tattoo Removal

Tattoo removal is a procedure done to remove an unwanted tattoo. A laser for tattoo removal emits adequate amount of energy to provide effective treatment. Lasers break down the ink particles of tattoos into smaller particles. Dermal macrophage is a type of white blood cell present in the immune system that traps and digests cellular debris, foreign substances, cancer cells. These macrophages collect the ink pigments but cannot efficiently break them down. So, the pigment is stored instead. In case of any damage caused to the macrophage, the stored ink is released and collected by other macrophages. Thus, it is difficult to remove tattoos. The laser treatments break down the ink particles into smaller pieces, and so the macrophages are able to get rid of the ink more easily.

The Procedure

1. The area on the skin is shaved and cleaned.
2. Numbing cream is applied and allowed to rest for a while on the skin.
3. A high-intensity laser is focused to the area and it starts breaking down the colors of the pigment.
4. The laser passes intense pulsated beams of light through the top layers of the skin that is absorbed only by the tattoo pigment, thus breaking it down.
5. With every session, the tattoo pigment becomes lighter.

Type of Laser Used

Q-switched lasers are generally the choice of laser for tattoo removal.

Important points to consider

• The treatment requires a number of sessions depending on the size and colors of the tattoo, and the location of the tattoo on the body.
• Complete removal of a permanent tattoo is difficult. Some tattoos may only partially fade after several treatments and may lead to ghost image at the tattoo removal site.
• While there might be a few side effects such as hypo or hyperpigmentation, and a risk for infections. Laser treatments are considered safer than most other options for tattoo removal.

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