Tattoo Removal Before and After

Tattoo RemovalTattoo Removal

So you didn’t believe your Parents when she said you would regret getting that tattoo — the multicolored, double dragon that starts at the bottom of your back, reaches up to your shoulder blades and wraps its red flames around your biceps.

Now, seven years later, you have a shot at a terrific job in real-estate, still one of the more conservative businesses around, and you are concerned that your symbol of youthful self-expression could create problems in your new career.

Well, you’re not alone.

Tattoos have become part of American mainstream culture over the past couple of decades. Some estimate that more than 10 million Americans have at least one tattoo, and there are about 4,000 tattoo studios now in business in the United States One busy physician who specializes in tattoo removal — he’s removed tattoos from some of the most famous tattoo artists — estimates that about 50 percent of those who get tattoos later regret them.

For years, these people had little recourse, and existing removal techniques were invasive (requiring surgery) and painful. But that’s changing new laser tattoo removal techniques are helping people of all ages rid themselves of something that, for a variety of reasons, they no longer want on their bodies. (Falling out of love and wanting a no-longer-special person’s name removed is the most popular reason cited, experts say!)

What Methods Are Used for Tattoo Removal?

Before lasers became popular for tattoo removal starting in the late 1980s, removal involved the use of one or more of these often-painful, often scar-inducing surgeries: Dermabrasion, where skin is “sanded” to remove the surface and middle layers; ouch !;-(¬† Cryosurgery, where the area is frozen prior to its removal; burr!

Excision, where the dermatologic surgeon removes the tattoo with a scalpel and closes the wound with stitches (In some cases involving large tattoos, a skin graft from another part of the body may be necessary.).

Although the procedures above are still used in certain cases today, lasers (Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation) have become the standard treatment for tattoo removal because they offer a bloodless, low risk, effective alternative with minimal side effects. Each procedure is done on an outpatient basis in a single or series of visits. Patients may or may not require topical or local anesthesia.

How Do Lasers Remove Tattoos?

Lasers work by producing short pulses of intense light that pass harmlessly through the top layers of the skin to be selectively absorbed by the tattoo pigment. This laser energy causes the tattoo pigment to fragment into smaller particles that are then removed by the body's immune system.

Researchers have determined which wavelengths of light to use and how to deliver the laser's output to best remove tattoo ink. (If you're wondering if the laser might also remove normal skin pigment, don't worry. The laser selectively targets the pigment of the tattoo without damaging the surrounding skin.)

Tattoo Removal

Does Tattoo Removal Hurt and What Can I Expect?

The unfortunate thing about tattoos is that both getting them and having them taken off can be uncomfortable and painful. The impact of the energy from the laser's powerful pulse of light has been described as similar to getting hot specks of bacon grease on your skin or being snapped by a thin rubber band.

Black pigment absorbs all laser wavelengths, it's the easiest to remove. Other colors, such as green, selectively absorb laser light and can only be treated by selected lasers based on the pigment color.

In preparation for a laser procedure, doctors recommend that non-aspirin products, like Tylenol, be used for minor aches and pains prior to the procedure, because aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents such as Ibuprofen can produce pronounced bruising after treatment.

More than one treatment, which actually only takes minutes, is usually needed to remove an entire tattoo -- the number of sessions depends on the amount and type of ink used and how deeply it was injected. Three-week intervals between sessions are required to allow pigment residue to be absorbed by the body

Following treatment, the doctor will apply an antibacterial ointment and dressing to the area, which should be kept clean with continued application of ointment as directed by your doctor. A shower or bath the day after treatment is okay, but the treatment area should not be scrubbed.

Your skin might feel slightly sunburned for a couple of days and the treated area may remain red for a few weeks. The site might also form a scab, which should be handled gently. After healing, the site will gradually and continually fade.

Side effects of laser procedures are generally few but may include hyperpigmentation, or an a

bundance of color in the skin at the treatment site, and hypopigmentation, where the treated area lacks normal skin color.

Other possible side effects include infection of the site, lack of complete pigment removal and a 5 percent chance of permanent scarring. So you see if you are thinking of getting a tattoo make sure you have made your mind up and do some research and see if it is really what you want.

Tattoos are not for everybody, but I have to say in my Navy days their was some sailors that woke up the next day from partying all night to find a new additions to their body. And it was not always good if you know what I mean.;-(

Tattoo Removal Afterlotions for tattoos

You will want to be prepared for the color of the procedure to be darker or brighter on you skin. Other colors you may see are white or red right after the procedure is done. As this heals it should fade. This all depends how the tattoo was applied and your own natural healing.

For the first three days after the treatment you will want to change the dressing once a day and after a shower. When removing your dressing, don't forget to wash hands with soap and water, carefully remove your dressing, nice and easy clean the wound and pat dry with a clean towel.

You will want to apply petroleum or a quality cream and cover with one of those large Band-Aid non-stick gauze dressing don't forget to make sure the bandage is not too tight.

You may want to use an ice pack with a cloth to reduce soreness and swelling if your having this problem. Never put ice directly on the area worked on. Another thing to look for is bruising and bleeding is expected for the first two day after your procedure.

Try to keep the area from dirt, exposure, bumping and always wash you hands.

The itching and scabbing around the area of procedure is noting freak out on it is normal. The scabbing may last up to two weeks. Whatever you do, do not pick, peel or scratching in your area this could lead to different skin color later.

Do not pop your blister if they do occur. For face areas of removal do not apply no makeup for three days.

No sun, saunas, tanning beds, salt water, pools for 3 to 4 weeks after you procedure. Shower gently and treat area with soap and water and pat dry asap and do not rub.

If you find the treated area is very itchy and develops irritation you can apply Bendadryl cream after the first week of treatment. (Do not use cortisone cream)

Please don't forget that excessive scratching on your treated area can cause irritation and maybe even possible scarring.

Good Luck!

Tattoo Removal