Laser tattoo removal is a popular and safe cosmetic procedure that is safe, effective, and only takes only minutes to perform. Have you ever seen an old tattoo that is partially faded? Tattoos naturally fade over time because the body’s immune system recognizes that tattoo ink is a foreign substance and tries to remove ink particles.
Laser tattoo removal speeds up the natural process by shattering tattoo ink into smaller pieces that flush away more easily. Tattoo ink is trapped in the deepest layer of the skin. When tattoos are applied, ink particles are inserted with a needle into varying depths of this bottom layer. When tattoo removal laser light is applied to the skin, it heats up and shatters the ink that it reaches first within the skin. In other words, the shallowest layers of ink are removed before the deepest layers.
It takes multiple treatments to penetrate through all of the varying depths of ink in a tattoo. If a tattoo is particularly dark or bold, it will require more treatments to remove the ink compared to shaded tattoos with a lower density of ink.
Is laser tattoo removal safe? Are there any side effects or risks of tattoo removal scars?
New, safe technology and lasers are reducing the side effects of tattoo removal. That said, the risks haven’t been eliminated completely. The biggest danger is a risk of infection and tattoo removal scars. This risk can be reduced by keeping the area dry, clean and covered. There is also a risk for changes in pigment to the skin, making it appear noticeably lighter or darker than the surrounding areas. Your laser removal technician should go over your medical history before beginning the procedure, as there can be increased risks if you have certain auto immune diseases, acne, diabetes or other skin conditions.
The best way to reduce the risk of your removal is by doing your due diligence before picking a clinic, and having the safe procedure done by a trained, experienced specialist.
Does laser tattoo removal really work?
Laser removal is a safe and effective way to remove tattoos, although some will react to the treatment better than others. Black and dark blue inks respond best to lasers as they absorb all the wavelengths, compared to other colours that absorb only selected light from the laser. Factors such as how long you’ve had the tattoo can also make a difference in the healing process. The tattoo application can have an impact too; if the tattoo was applied correctly, an even amount of ink will be distributed in the same level of skin, making it easier to remove evenly. If not, the removal can appear blotchy and uneven, taking the ink out the same way it went in. The FDA classifies tattoo inks as ‘colour additives’, listing over 100 that are available for use. As a removal technician is unlikely to be able to discern which of these inks were used, this can also have an impact on the level of removal.
How much does laser tattoo removal cost?
Just as pricing a tattoo is a bespoke process, so is quoting the price for removal. Some tattoo removal technicians charge by inch, while others charge by session. The removal process will be different depending on the tattoo itself, some may require several shorter sessions, while others may need fewer longer sessions.
Another important thing to remember when it comes to paying for your safe tattoo removal is that you’re unlikely to get any help doing so. Tattoo removal is no longer covered by regular health cover, meaning you’ll have to go through a private practitioner to have to have process done, which can be pricey. Many insurance carriers will not cover the removal, as it is considered an elective cosmetic procedure. Removing a tattoo for any reason can be a big decision. Do your due diligence and research to discern which form of removal makes the most financial sense to fit your situation.