Laser tattoo removal offers hope for future

Laser Tattoo Removal Offers Hope for Future

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Emily Stoll got her first tattoo when she was just 16-years-old. Now, the college junior has 17 of them. She hasn't regretted any of them, until now.

"I wanted to join the military and I know some of my tattoos are not in regulation, so in order to enlist and join, I have to get them removed," Stoll said.

There are strict tattoo policies in place throughout all branches of military and they vary. Sergeant First Class Mike Schriefer is a recruiter for the Army National Guard and he says tattoos can definitely hinder the recruitment process. Luckily, thanks to technology, it's now possible to remove those once-considered permanent works of art. "For the army, it's nothing on your hands, face or neck, and the little wrist bone is the cutofff for the wrist, SFC Schriefer said. "The exceptions to policy are very few and far between, the only thing allowed on the hand is one wedding ring."

Stoll said she tried different procedures but nothing seemed to work, until she found laser tattoo removal at Lebo Skin Care Center in York County.

Tattoo Removal with the PicoSure laser is the most advanced laser treatment available for safe and effective tattoo removal. PicoSure targets unwanted ink more effectively than ever before, successfully removing difficult ink colors, such as blues and greens, as well as previously treated tattoos.

"Each time we do a removal treatment, you will see change with it, but it's definitely a treatment you have to be patient with," says Janice Bish who is a medical esthetician at Lebo. She says that procedures can take anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes. "If it's an older tattoo, it's been there 20-30 years, it might only take 3-6 treatments, while a newer tattoo can take up to 15," she said.

How it works:

"The laser goes very quickly into the ink of the tattoo and it dissolves that ink into a powder and it is easily absorbed into the body. The body then metabolizes it and lessens the color in that area," said Bish.

It can take about 6-8 weeks for that to happen, but she says the area is typically healed within 1-2 weeks with just minor tenderness and scabbing.

Does it Hurt?

"It is definitely a little painful, much more painful than getting the actual tattoo, but we are right in there with the patient to help them through it and everyone gets through it," said Bish. Stoll on the other hand, said it's really not that bad. So she's now encouraging others to consider laser tattoo removal if they too, want a different path forward. "It seems scary and it's a little uncomfortable at first, just like getting a tattoo, but the end result is worth it. I'm looking next year once I'm graduated to enlist full time and see where the military takes me," Stoll said excitedly.

For more information on laser tattoo removal at Lebo Skin Care Center, click here.

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