No one knows when the practice of tattooing the skin began. Decorative tattoos have a history dating back at least 5000 years. While some people keep their tattoos for life, many regret their decision to decorate their body and eventually want them removed. With the help of laser surgery, you can now change your mind and remove reminders of the the past.
Early methods to remove tattoos have had less than desirable results. The use of dermabrasion, and CO2 lasers have left behind undesirable scars.
The Q-Switched laser has permitted the removal of most tattoo inks with a low risk of scarring. The laser can lighten or remove many tattoo inks, and is use in the removal of blue, black and red inks.
Questions you may have concerning the Medlite tattoo removal process:
How does the Laser Remove the Tattoo?
The laser removes tattoo ink with the energy of light. Just as natural sunlight is made up of light wavelengths of many colors, a laser is a device which is designed to produce one or more specific wavelengths of light. Tattoo ink is removed by using a specific wavelength which passes through the skin but is absorbed by the ink. The rapid absorption of light energy causes the tattoo ink to destruct, where it is then removed by the body’s natural filtering systems.
Is the process painful?
The laser emits light in very short flashes of light called pulses. The impact of the energy from the powerful pulse of light is similar to the snap of a thin rubber band or specks of hot bacon grease on the skin. The majority of patients do not require anesthesia during the treatment of tattoo removal. Anesthesia creams are available if needed. The laser provides tattoo removal while leaving the surrounding skin unharmed.
How many treatment sessions will it take to remove the tattoo?
The number of treatments depends on the size, location, and age of the tattoo, amount and type of ink used and the depth of the ink in the skin. On average, a total of 3-7 treatments, all spaced approximately 6-8 weeks apart will be necessary. On rare occasions, more than ten treatments may be needed.
Do all colors of ink disappear equally as well?
No, dark (blue/black) inks and red inks fade the best. Oranges and purples usually respond well. Green and yellow inks are the most difficult to remove, although additional treatments can produce significant fading.
Will the tattoo completely disappear?
In many cases, yes. Greater than 95% fading of the tattoo may be accomplished. However, it is very important to know that over 100 tattoo inks are used worldwide today, none of which are regulated by the FDA. Not knowing which tattoo ink, how deep or how much was used, makes it impossible for the physician to predict the degree of removal on any given tattoo.
What type of post-treatment care is necessary?
Occasionally there will be pinpoint bleeding associated with the treatment. An antibacterial ointment and a dressing will be applied to the area. The treated area should be kept clean with the continued application of any ointment given to you by your trained dermatologist. A shower can be taken the next day, although the treated area should not be scrubbed.