Laser Tattoo Removal: Myths and Facts
Laser Tattoo Removal: Myths and Facts
Think you have all the facts about laser tattoo removal? While information on this method to remove tattoos is available, myths surrounding laser tattoo removal continue to affect customer decisions of whether or not to get their unwanted tattoo lightened or erased through this procedure. These myths include believing the procedure is extremely painful or invasive while others say it has severe side effects. Here are five myths about laser tattoo removal and the facts about this removal procedure:
Myth 1: Laser Tattoo Removal Is An Invasive Procedure
Laser tattoo removal is considered by many to be an invasive procedure because it involves a laser. However, the procedure for tattoo removal uses pulses of light that medical professionals say are harmless to the skin. Laser tattoo removal works by sending short pulses of light that pass through the top layers of skin where the tattoo is inked and is absorbed by the tattoo pigment. The light energy from the laser process helps the tattoo ink break down to be lightened or removed. The skin surrounding the tattoo is not damaged during laser tattoo removal because the laser selectively targets only the tattoo pigment.
Myth 2: Laser Tattoo Removal is Extremely Painful
The pain of removing a tattoo depends on the type and method of removal procedure but laser tattoo removal is considered to be safe and less painful than many of these procedures. The level of pain felt by patients during each pulse of light from the laser are described as the equivalent of a rubber band snapping against your skin or grease splattering out of a pan and landing on your skin. Even these low levels of pain felt during the sessions themselves can possibly be prevented. The laser tattoo removal technician may be required to apply some form of anesthesia on the location of the tattoo removal in order to reduce the pain involved with the procedure. This anesthesia is in the form of a topical cream or painkiller injections. After the session, an ice pack is applied to the lasered area to help soothe your skin after the laser tattoo removal treatment.
Myth 3: It’s Better to Cover Up Than Get Laser Tattoo Removal
While you have the option of covering up an old and unwanted tattoo with a new one instead of laser tattoo removal, think about what it takes for another tattoo to have proper coverage over the old one and the potential consequences of this option. If you’re regretting a tattoo, such as inking an ex’s name, and are thinking about covering it up with a bigger, more elaborate design, evaluate the characteristics of your current tattoo. If your tattoo is brightly colored or in very dark tones, it may be difficult to give the old tattoo enough coverage so that the old one doesn’t show. Even if you choose to cover up your tattoo, many patients will still feel the impact of the old tattoo emotionally after coverage. It may even be necessary to have sessions of laser tattoo removal to lighten the old tattoo enough to cover it up.
Myth 4: Laser Tattoo Removal Removes All Color Equally
When using laser tattoo removal, some tattoo colors are easier to come off from your skin more than others. The potential for tattoo ink to be removed completely is determined by the specific light absorption spectra of tattoo pigments. Colors that are known to be effective to remove include black and blue. Colors that are difficult for laser tattoo removal include yellow and green because those colors lie outside the absorption spectra for tattoo pigments.
Myth 5: Laser Tattoo Removal Has Severe Side Effects
With the advancement of the technology used for laser tattoo removal, there are few side effects associated with this removal process. There is little risk involved with the laser procedure, with only a slight chance of permanent scarring after the sessions. Before undergoing the procedure to remove your tattoo by laser, consider the potential consequences. There is a chance that laser removal may alter or discolor your skin’s own natural pigments, causing the treated skin to become lighter or darker than the surrounding area. The tattoo removal site is at risk for infection but you will be instructed to apply a topical antibiotic cream or ointment to prevent infection after laser tattoo removal treatment.