For the past 3 decades, tattoo removal was done using unsophisticated surgery techniques, all of which left individuals with a lot of scarring. However, with the recent advances in medical technology, laser therapy has become the gold standard for removal of tattoos. If you have a tattoo that you wish to have partially or completely removed, you should first consider your options and decide which method might be best for you.
In laser tattoo removal, lasers work by directing energy toward ink in the skin with highly concentrated colored light beams. These laser beams break up ink particles into tiny fragments which are later cleared up by the body’s scavenging cells. This process of fragmenting the ink particles requires numerous sessions depending on the depth of the ink level. The procedure is bloodless and no incisions are made. The laser selectively targets the pigment of the tattoo without damaging the surrounding skin. With deeper penetration of the skin and multiple sessions however, the heat generated by the lasers may cause pain and blister formation. Even though laser technology is refined, the chance of scarring is always present with multiple treatments.
Individuals with fair skin and superficially placed tattoos on the arms, chest, buttocks or legs are the best candidates. Tattoos on dark skinned individuals, or tattoos on the ankles or fingers, areas where there is less body fat, are the most difficult to treat and results are more variable.