Tattoo removal

Get Rid Of Tattoo

Tattoo is a kind of skin drawing with inserting ink into the skin. The purpose of tattoo would be to mark status and rank, to show religious devotion, bravery, punishment etc.

Today people want to be tattooed for artistic, sentimental, religious or other reasons. Tattoos may also symbolize belongings to certain group or societies. Not all tattoos are made voluntarily. In history tattoos were forcibly employed to mark prisoners, slaves and as a punishment instrument.

A scientific study performed in 2006 revealed that 36% of Americans ages 18–29, 24% of those 30–40, and 15% of those 41–51 had a tattoo.

Although tattoo is made to stay permanently, later in life a person would like to get rid of it.

According to a poll conducted in January 2012 by pollster Harris Interactive, 1 in 8 (14%) of the 21% of American adults who have tattoos regret getting one.

The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS) reports that in 2011, its doctors performed nearly 100,000 tattoo removal procedures, up from the 86,000 performed in 2010.

The reasons for considering tattoo removal are:

  • The tattoo no longer reflects the personal lifestyle or desires.
  • Natural aging of the skin causes some undesirable changes in the tattoo
  • The tattoo causes embarrassment or limits to wear certain clothing
  • The tattoo holder no more wants to belong a certain community
  • Some jobs do not want employees with tattoo.

How to remove a tattoo?

Surgical removal

The skin hosting the tattoo is removed like to excise a tumor. The defect of the excision can be closed by suturing the wound edges primarily in small tattoos. In large tattoos the defect can be closed by skin graft or other reconstructive procedures. Total excision eliminates the tattoo but resulting scar is usually unacceptable cosmetically. Besides it requires operating room conditions, is expensive and invasive. There might be a considerable down time.

Abrasion of the tattooed skin

Tattoo ink stays beneath the outer layer of the skin. The most superficial layer is called as epidermis and if we damage it in can be regenerated completely. Dermis is the main layer of the skin and places under the epidermis. Tattoo ink is placed into the dermis. The outer part of the dermis can be removed by shaving or peeling and new epidermis can be created by the remaining part of the dermis (that means it heals).

If the tattoo ink is placed superficially in the dermis removing the outer layer will remove the pigments and erase the tattoo. But if the tattoo pigment is resting deep in the dermis, superficial abrasion will not be enough to remove them completely and tattoo persists.

What if we remove dermis deeply? Then the wound will not be heal or heals with ugly scars which are seen after deep burns.

Abrasion or peeling of the skin can be done by certain chemicals, mechanical abraders, or by evaporating with invasive laser lights.

To get more information about abrasion or peeling of the skin please click:

Laser tattoo removal

Pulsed lasers, which emit concentrated light energy in short bursts, or pulses, have been used to remove tattoos for more than 20 years.

Laser light pulses hit pigment particles without damaging the other structures of the skin and break them into smaller particles. The frequency of the pulses important. The well known Q-switched lasers can produce nanosecond duration pulses. One nanosecond is equal to one billionth of a second. More recent lasers can produce picosecond duration pulses. One picosecond is equal to one trillionth of a second. Picosecond laser can produce smaller particles than nanosecond lasers. These tiny particles are then cleared by protecting cells and the color so the tattoo disappears.

But every color of ink absorbs and broken by different wavelengths of light. So one kind of laser beam is not enough for removing multi colored tattoos. To find a center which contains all kind of specific lasers for colorful tattoos is not easy.

Although laser tattoo removal is widely used, in generally speaking one laser treatment would not be sufficient for complete removal. It requires multiple treatments (sometimes up to 10 or more) with some weeks of recovery time between them.

Laser tattoo removal is usually relatively painless and will be done as an office procedure. Generally it is safe and there is no downtime after treatment. Complications and side effects are low and not serious. However there is always a possibility of scar formation or unnatural white appearance of the skin after treatment and some tattoos could not be removed completely.


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