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Whoops – I shouldn’t have gotten that tattoo – Now what?

Whoops – I shouldn’t have gotten that tattoo – Now what?

Posted on 09. Sep, 2009 by in Cosmetic Treatments, Esthetics, Fractional CO2 Treatment, Lasers, Photodynamic Therapy

These days more and more people are inquiring about removing their tattoos. The good news is the technology of tattoo removal has improved and the patient can consult their dermatologist to determine which method is best for them and what results to expect.

Tattoos have become so popular it’s estimated that 36% of U.S. citizens between the ages of 18 and 35 have at least one tattoo. That amounts to 2.5 million tattooed people in that age category alone and the number is rising.

It seems, however, not everyone is happy with their decision to get a tattoo. In fact of those with tattoos, some estimates show 17% want to get rid of them.

If you no longer want your tattoo you are in luck. There are a several tattoo removal techniques available and you and your doctor can discuss which one would be most successful.

Now that people have a palette of ink options it’s almost impossible to fully remove a tattoo with just one laser treatment or other technique. The different inks and colors offer different challenges for your dermatologist. Some types of lasers are great at removing blue or black tattoos but these same lasers fall short of removing yellow, red, and some other colors.

The newest lasers have multiple wave lengths in one machine that allow your doctor to effectively treat multiple colored tattoos with only one machine.  These more sophisticated machines can better remove a tattoo, but are expensive to own and operate which means the removal of a tattoo will likely cost more than the cost of the original tattoo.

Your dermatologist will use the laser beam to literally penetrate the ink and actually blast it into tiny particles. The body’s immune system then moves in to attack and absorb the blasted particles. The most important element with lasers is blasting the ink without damaging the skin.

Removal cannot be accomplished in one visit. The procedure usually takes 10 or more sessions for a complete removal. On average treatments cost from $150 to $300 per session and many dermatologists offer a flat rate of $1000 to $1200 for removal.

With the use of lasers, the patient might experience discomfort or minor pain, not nearly as severe as the pain of the original tattoo placement. Your doctor may use numbing creams to minimize the pain.

After completing laser treatments some removals leave virtually no indication there had ever been a tattoo in that area. Some patients are left with a white discoloration or scar at the tattoo site. The results of the removal are variable depending on which laser is used, the patient’s healing ability, skin type, and other factors your dermatologist will discuss with you. Bright color tattoos may not clear completely—colors such as aqua, yellow, and fluorescent colors are very resistant to laser removal.

Adding to your dermatologists’ tattoo treatment arsenal is the recent introduction of EliminInk. This treatment involves injecting small pin pricks of compounds into the tattoo. The tattoo then scabs over and the ink is absorbed by the injected product. EliminInk seems a promising addition to tattoo removal techniques.

If you’re on your way to get a tattoo it may be helpful to know there is a newly developed ink called “Freedon2 Ink.” This ink is much easier to remove with a laser if, down the road, you decide you no longer want the tattoo. So far the ink is not used by most tattoo artists, and in fact many have not heard of it. It may take many years before this product is fully intergraded into tattoo salons.

So, if you find your tattoo no longer fits your style the news is good— the methods for removal have improved. Talk to your dermatologist to determine the specific method and cost that best suits you.

2 Responses to “Whoops – I shouldn’t have gotten that tattoo – Now what?”

  1. migraine solution

    19. Sep, 2009

    Nice content indeed! i will visit as often as i can.

    cheers

  2. jtc

    06. Feb, 2011

    Vrey helpful, Thanks!

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