Rethinking that ink? If youre not as in love with your tattoo as you once were, laser tattoo removal is a generally safe (albeit expensive) way to get the job done.
Between our increased access to laser removal and the candidness with which celebrities showcase their use of it on social media (Khlo Kardashian, Im talking to you), a permanent tattoo feels like less of a commitment. But theyre not like magic erasers, as dermatologist Amy Wechsler, M.D., previously told SELFtheres more to it than you may think.
Though lasers are helpful, efficient, and effective when it comes to tattoo removal, there are a bunch of misconceptions about what they can (and cant) do. Before you willingly get that questionable song lyric etched into your forearmor take the plunge to have something old removedheres what you should know about the laser process first.
Myth #1: Its safe to get laser removal done anywhere its offered.
Though laser centers and spas are popping up everywhere, its important to make sure laser removal is done by a dermatologist. [Dermatologists] know what to recognize, how to look for a complication, and who not to treat, Robert Anolik, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist, tells SELF. With laser tattoo removal, theres a risk of bleeding, infection, and scarring, all of which can be successfully treated, but only under the proper care of a dermatologist. Its up to you to check the qualifications of your practitioner. New Jersey is the only state that requires licensed physicians to operate a laser, meaning that in most places, the path to offering laser removal has fewer roadblocks than it should.
Myth #2: Laser removal is a simple, quick, reliable, and easy solution to a bad tattoo.
The big misconception with tattoo removal is that its an eraser, Sherrif F. Ibrahim, M.D.,, an associate professor in the department of dermatology at the University of Rochester, tells SELF. But its not that simple. Its a process, he says. Sometimes, complete removal of a tattoo can take one or two years, with treatments occurring every 6, 8, or 12 weeks. Plus, its not like getting your eyebrows waxedits an invasive procedure that costs hundreds of dollars a session. Lasers remove tattoos by blowing up pigment molecules into tiny pieces, which are then cleared away by an immune system response. Healing from laser treatment isnt always a walk in the park, either. The laser breaks the skins surface, so you have bleeding, you have swelling, and you have pain after the treatment, says Dr. Ibrahim.
Myth #3: It isnt painful to have a tattoo removed.
Laser tattoo removal can be painless, but thats usually because practitioners can give you a numbing agent first. For larger tattoos where the removal process takes longer, a doctor can give you a lidocaine injection to numb the area, whereas a non-medical professional might not. Smaller tattoos are technically just as painful to remove, as the laser settings reflect the color of the tattoo rather than its size. However, the pain youd endure removing a small tattoo is less ongoing than that which youd feel while removing a large tattoo, making it more bearable for some.
Myth #4: Laser removal is safe for everyone.
Not everyone is an ideal candidate for laser removal. Removal is always going to be more difficult in patients who have a darker skin tone based on laser physics and the way the laser works, says Susan Bard, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and a fellow of the American College of Mohs Surgery. The laser targets pigment thats in the dye, but at the same time, it can also target melanin in your skin. So, the darker your skin, the more complicated it will be to utilize a laser to remove the tattoo. Laser removal can cause burns and hyperpigmentation in darker skin tones.
Myth #5: All tattoos are equally easy to remove.
Not all tattoos are created equal. Black tattoos are easier to remove than brightly colored tattoos. Green and blue tend to be a little more challenging, and things like yellow, white, and purple are almost impossible to remove completely, says Dr. Ibrahim. Different wavelengths of laser target different colors in the skin, says Dr. Bard. This is why multiple lasers are required for the successful removal of a multicolor tattooanother reason to see a well-versed doctor for treatment. If you have laser removal done properly, you should see about 90 percent clearance on a tattoo, says Dr. Anolik. You cant be sure that youre going to get 100 percent clearance on a tattoo, and thats for a variety of reasons, including the type of ink and if [the tattoo] was done by a professional tattoo parlor," he says. "Professional tattoos tend to incorporate more colors and deposit more deeply into the dermis, making them more challenging." Amateur tattoos tend to be easier to remove, as they are often carbon-based, single-color, and placed more superficially. Dr. Ibrahim says the same goes for older tattoos, where the ink diffuses upward over time, making it easier to break up with a laser.
Myth #6: If you had no reaction to getting a tattoo, youll have no reaction to getting it removed.
Its possible to have a smooth healing process after getting your tattoo, but still a poor reaction to laser removal. For one, lasers can cause scarring and permanent skin discoloration that tattoos might not (aside from doing so in the obvious ways, of course).
Alternatively, you may have had a bad reaction to the tattoo and want it taken off. In this case, says Dr. Bard, "the worst thing you can do is laser tattoo removal. [Laser removal will] to break up the pigment and bring it into the lymph nodes, which will cause a systemic reaction everywhere. A systemic reaction puts a patient at risk for anaphylaxis, which is life threatening. Alternative removal methods for people with allergies include surgically cutting the tattoo out or removing it with an abrasive laser, which removes the top layer of skin.
Read more here:
- Tarnished Provides Advanced Laser Tattoo Removal and Tattoo Modification Using the Astanza Duality in Oakville, Connecticut - Yahoo Finance - June 9th, 2021
- This Is What Its Like To Get A Tattoo Removed, If You Once Had No Ragrets But Now Have Some - Pedestrian TV - June 9th, 2021
- Warren woman whose mugshots went viral shares her story of recovery - News 5 Cleveland - May 16th, 2021
- Meet ArrDee: The Brighton rapper behind TikTok's biggest song right now - The Tab - May 16th, 2021
- Laser All Brings Full-Spectrum Laser Tattoo Removal and Painless Laser Hair Removal to Westminster, CO with the Astanza Trinity and Astanza ReSmooth... - April 19th, 2021
- Regretting a tattoo? These are your options when it comes to getting rid of it - Fashion Journal - February 19th, 2021
- My Experience Lightening and ... - Tattoos & Piercings - February 14th, 2021
- 'Britain's most tattooed woman' shows what she looks like with ink covered up - Daily Star - February 6th, 2021
- Tattoo Removal Market Trends, Comprehensive Research Study, Development Status, Opportunities, Future Demand, Competitive Landscape and Growth by... - January 22nd, 2021
- Free tattoo removal event helps give people a clean break with past - Stockton Record - January 20th, 2021
- WJFW Newswatch 12 - News From Where You Live - Rhinelander Wisconsin WJFW TV-12 - WJFW-TV - January 20th, 2021
- Kat Von D tattoo cover- up revealed: Tattoo artist shows off new ink! - HITC - Football, Gaming, Movies, TV, Music - December 18th, 2020
- Ribbon Cutting in Boca Raton: LifeGaines Medical and Aesthetics Center Will Receive the Lumenis Excellence Award at Their Ribbon Cutting Event Today... - December 17th, 2020
- Laser Tattoo Removal Procedure, Benefits, and Risks - December 12th, 2020
- How Does Laser Tattoo Removal Work? 7 Facts You Need to Know - December 12th, 2020
- Tattoo Removal | American Society of Plastic Surgeons - December 12th, 2020
- The Best Tattoo Removalists in Canberra - The RiotACT - December 6th, 2020
- Laser tattoo removal offers hope for future - December 5th, 2020
- Laser tattoo removal offers hope for future | fox43.com - December 5th, 2020
- 7 Stars Who Had to Remove Tattoos of Their Exes, From Johnny Depp to Pete Davidson (Photos) - msnNOW - December 2nd, 2020
- The Best Laser Tattoo Removalists in Canberra - The RiotACT - November 30th, 2020
- How Much Does Tattoo Removal Cost? [2020 Price Guide] - November 12th, 2020
- 7 FAQs About Laser Tattoo Removal | Blog | Balshi Dermatology - November 12th, 2020
- The MedSpa on 5th Removes Unwanted Tattoos and Skin Blemishes with the Astanza Duality in Mount Dora, Florida - PRNewswire - November 9th, 2020
- E-dermis Magnetic Tattoo Removal An Alternative Way of Tattoo Elimination - WhaTech Technology and Markets News - November 3rd, 2020
- Understanding Laser Tattoo Removal | University of Utah Health - October 29th, 2020
- Tattoo Removal: How Much Lasering a Tattoo Costs and Hurts ... - October 29th, 2020
- Panacea Tattoo Removal Offers a Second Chance with Laser Tattoo Removal Featuring the Astanza Duality in Grand Junction, CO - PRNewswire - October 27th, 2020
- Laser Tattoo Removal: From Prep to Aftercare, Heres What to Expect - HYPEBAE - October 27th, 2020
- What To Expect When You Get a Tattoo - Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic - October 2nd, 2020
- 9 Tips for Tattoo Removal Health Essentials from ... - September 28th, 2020
- Tattoo Removal Lasers: Types & Differences - September 28th, 2020
- What You Need to Know Before Tattoo Removal - - RushPRnews.com - September 26th, 2020
- These innovative regimes and therapies are worth booking well in advance - Connecticut Magazine - September 22nd, 2020
- Chinese Taxi Drivers Ordered To Remove Tattoos - INKED - September 22nd, 2020
- Tattoo Removal: How to, Costs, Before and After Pictures ... - September 9th, 2020
- Tattoo removal - Mayo Clinic - September 9th, 2020
- Laser Tattoo Removal - Swinyer-Woseth Dermatology - September 9th, 2020
- How to Remove Your Unwanted Tattoo Permanently and Safely - Chiang Rai Times - August 25th, 2020
- 10 Things No One Tells You About Tattoo Removal | Glamour - August 22nd, 2020
- How To Remove A Permanent Tattoo: DIY Methods and Surgical ... - August 22nd, 2020
- Laser surgery - Wikipedia - August 22nd, 2020
- 'Erase The Mistake' effort addresses unwanted tattoos - Huntington Herald Dispatch - August 18th, 2020
- Removery's INK-nitiative Will Remove Racist and Hate Tattoos For Free - Tyler Morning Telegraph - August 12th, 2020
- Interest In Tattoo Removal High As Removery Safely Opens Its Doors - PRNewswire - July 15th, 2020
- How to Remove a Tattoo without Laser at Home - September 13th, 2019
- Tattoo removal - Wikipedia - September 13th, 2019