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Regret getting your last ink? You're not alone—according to WebMD, approximately 25% of people with tattoos experience regret after getting one. If you're looking for a way to remove your unwanted tattoo, talking to a board-certified dermatologist can help.
Laser tattoo removal to remove tattoos of various sizes and colors is a cosmetic procedure that's gaining popularity. Read on to find out whether laser tattoo removal is right for you.
What is Laser Tattoo Removal?
Laser tattoo removal makes use of laser treatments to break down the tattoo ink that's embedded into your skin's surface. Compared to older forms of unwanted tattoo removal—such as dermabrasion, which removed your skin's outer layer—these newer treatment methods are less prone to scarring and much more effective.
How does Laser Tattoo Removal Work?
Tattoos are made up of many particles of pigment, or color, that are suspended onto your skin when a tattoo artist uses a needle to tattoo you. The pigment is placed deeper into your skin's layers—these are parts of the skin that don't move or shed over time, letting the ink and your design stay on your skin permanently.
A laser tattoo removal treatment works by using a high-intensity beam of light to break up these color pigments into smaller pieces, allowing your body to then remove the particles naturally.
Is Laser Tattoo Removal Right For You?
If you're one of the 25% of people that regret getting a tattoo, then laser tattoo removal may be right for you. You may choose to get your unwanted tattoo removed for several different reasons, including:
- Inaccuracies in spelling
- No longer appreciate the design
- Job requirements
Treatment for Unwanted Tattoos is Safe When Performed by a Board-Certified Dermatologist
The number of treatments you require for your unwanted tattoo will depend on the following:
- Color of ink
- Amount of ink/size of the tattoo
- Skin type
A board-certified dermatologist can help determine the most effective form of laser treatment, along with the number of sessions before the desired outcome is reached. Some common forms of laser tattoo removal include:
- Q switched laser therapy
This form of treatment delivers light beams in ultrashort and high power bursts that cause the tattoo pigment on your skin to break and fragment. Q switched laser treatments are quick and require fewer sessions to achieve your desired results.
This form of laser tattoo removal uses short pulses of laser beams to break down the pigment in tattoos. In addition, the laser treatment only targets the part of your skin with tattoo ink, leaving your surrounding tissues unchanged. Patients who opt for this form of treatment report shorter recovery times and fewer treatment sessions.