Unwanted tattoos can cause discomfort, embarrassment, and regret. Sometimes they don’t fit their purpose anymore, or maybe you’ve just changed as a person. Our experts at Texas Laser and Aesthetics in Austin, TX recommend only the best and safest methods for tattoo removal, so you can rest assured that you’ll get a positive experience during and after the treatment.
The Most Common Methods to Remove Unwanted Tattoos
Tattoos have existed for centuries, and so have different methods for removing it. Due to advances in technology, you can now choose from a variety of tattoo removal methods.
The one where you’re the most comfortable, safe, and confident is the best method. But first, let’s talk about the common methods for removing tattoos so you can compare each and understand why a specific method works best.
Perhaps the oldest method for removing tattoos is salabrasion. Some removal professionals still perform this outdated practice because it’s considerably efficient and low cost. However, it is prone to causing skin damage and scarring.
What happens during salabrasion? A professional uses three things: salt, water, and an abrasive device. Additionally, a local anesthetic can be used for easing pain and providing comfort. After treating the skin with salt and water, an abrasive device is rubbed against the skin until the tattoo is removed.
One session can take about half an hour. Ointments are then used to prevent infection and promote healing. The area is wrapped with sterile gauze until it heals.
Slightly more advanced than salabrasion, dermabrasion is a surgical method that involves the use of a grinding instrument, such as a wire brush or a diamond fraise. A professional removes the outer layers of the skin in a controlled manner.
By removing the layers of the skin which have been exposed to ink particles, the tattoo is removed. It can take several days to recover from this method, which may also cause scarring and darkening.
Liquids, such as glycolic acid-based solutions, are known to affect the chemistry of tattoo inks. Professionals use these solutions by injecting them under the skin in the hopes that this will cause the fading of a tattoo. However, this method may leave unwanted marks or even long-term scars.
Applying chemical peeling creams for removing a tattoo seems like an attractive option. They appear to be expensive and relatively pain-free. There are also a variety of tattoo removal creams you can choose from, depending on your budget and location.
While they do tend to make the tattoo fade away, oftentimes they leave a discolored or distorted version of the tattoo. The chemicals that make up these creams may also not be compatible with your skin condition and can cause unwanted reactions.
Nowadays, the most effective, safe, and best method for removing unwanted tattoos is laser treatment. Due to advanced technology, this method doesn’t come with unwanted effects such as scarring, darkening, or partial fading.
This method works with the use of lasers that pinpoint the ink underneath the epidermis. This laser breaks down the pigments into micro-particles so that they can be eliminated by the immune system over time.
Why Laser Treatment Is the Best Method to Remove Unwanted Tattoos
The invasive and painful nature of traditional tattoo removal methods can make you think twice about erasing unwanted ink. Here are the top reasons why professionals and patients alike consider laser treatment as the best way to remove tattoos.
It Is Non-Invasive
By choosing advanced laser technology, patients no longer need to worry about the discomfort, unbearable pain, or damage traditionally associated with removing tattoos. Through laser technology, ink is broken down and absorbed by the body. This happens without permanently damaging or causing harm to the skin.
The equipment used during laser treatment delivers high energy in only a fraction of a second. The sensations you’ll feel are tolerable. Only targeted areas are affected by the laser. Thus you can ensure that your healthy skin stays the same and is untouched during the treatment.
It Is Cost-Effective
The improvement of laser technology has greatly reduced the number of sessions required to completely remove a tattoo. In previous decades, removing a tattoo was considered to be a long, exhausting process. This is not true for modern treatments anymore.
Since laser treatment doesn’t harm the skin, you can save costs and avoid follow up treatments in the future. You won’t need to seek additional treatments and pay for skin lightening or scar removal.
Factors That Affect the Quality of Laser Treatments When It Comes to Removing Tattoos
Generally, laser treatment is the most effective and best treatment for removing unwanted tattoos. It can take a few weeks before you start noticing significant fading. However, certain factors can make your laser treatment even more effective than you expected.
The Age of the Tattoo
Laser treatment can fully remove any kind of tattoo, regardless of its shape, size, and color. It is the most versatile and technologically-advanced method. But did you know that some tattoos are easier to remove than others through laser treatment?
Tattoos look faded as time goes by. The immune system is consistently attempting to flush it out of the body. Thus, it can take fewer sessions to remove an old tattoo compared to a fresh one.
The Color of the Tattoo
Would you believe that darker tattoos are easier to remove? Light colors, such as yellow, turquoise, and pink may take more sessions before they completely fade. The reason behind this outcome is that laser attempts to detect contrasts in the pigmentation of the skin. Thus, more energy is absorbed by darker color tattoos, and they break down much more easily.
The Location of the Tattoo
The closer to your chest area, the easier it becomes to remove an unwanted tattoo. This is caused by the presence of lymph nodes that affect how your immune system works. The more lymph nodes in an area, the faster your body works to absorb or remove the tattoo. That’s why areas such as the legs, ankles, or feet can take more sessions to complete the fading process.
The Presence of Existing Scars
You may not notice it, but tattooing itself as a procedure can leave scars on your skin. Depending on the skill of the artist who gave you the tattoo, there’s a possibility that some scarring has occurred even before you get laser treatment.
Keep in mind that the laser treatment itself does not cause scarring. This symptom is highly unusual. However, it will not eliminate the scars caused by your tattoo artist.
Tattoo ink penetrates the dermis, which is the second layer of the skin. This is also the area through which the laser beams attempt to penetrate. If you have darker skin, it might take a much longer time before noticing the complete removal or fading of a tattoo.
The primary reason for this is safety. The darker the pigmentation, the higher the wavelength required to safely penetrate the dermis. This causes less damage to the skin. However, higher wavelengths are slightly less effective when it comes to removing a tattoo.
Additional Tips to Increase the Effectiveness of Laser Tattoo Removal
Did you know that your physical condition is a major contributor to the effectiveness of your tattoo removal treatment? The laser is only a catalyst; it is your body that will be responsible for the task of absorbing or eliminating the broken down pigments of the ink.
Boost Your Immune System
As a candidate for laser tattoo removal, you must ensure that your immune system is working as best as possible. The body removes your broken down, unwanted tattoo ink by flushing it through your liver and lymphatic channels. If you have an inefficient immune system, it might take more time before you can completely get rid of your tattoo.
Healthy living is a great way to boost the immune system, so you can make the best out of your treatments. You’ll be well-equipped to handle the actual treatment and the fading process. A greater benefit is that you’ll feel better about yourself and be motivated to live a healthier lifestyle.
Drink Plenty of Water
Another way to boost the immune system is by taking a steady amount of fluids. Drinking water is not only a healthy way to get rid of toxins, but it will also help you drain the ink in your body much faster. By making sure you are hydrated, you’ll rest assured that your treatment becomes more effective and that you’ll quickly see results.
A good amount of water to consume daily while undergoing treatment is around 2-4 liters. If you’re physically active, you would even need to consume more. This should keep you hydrated, energetic, and looking your best. It will also help you improve your skin condition.
Avoid Smoking and Caffeine
Caffeinated beverages can cause you to become dehydrated. This can affect the way your body flushes toxins or absorbs the broken down ink from your laser treatment. As much as possible, stick to healthier options.
Smoking, on the other hand, causes high blood pressure and constricts your blood vessels. The only way for ink to become flushed out of your body is through blood vessels. Therefore, if they cannot efficiently carry the ink particles out of your body, the process may take a little while longer.
Decrease Sun Exposure
Tanned or sunburnt skin can slow the progress of your laser removal. Keep in mind that the skin in its natural state works best for laser tattoo removal. The laser works by distinguishing the contrast between your skin and the unwanted pigment. Therefore, sun-exposed skin with lower contrast against the tattoo can take more sessions for successful removal.
Follow the Advice of Your Technician
Proper care is crucial for the success of the treatment. Pay careful attention to the instructions you’ll receive after visiting the clinic. By cooperating with your technician, you can expect positive results and boost the healing process.
Keep in mind that you’ll need to wait several weeks before attending the next session. By then, you should have observed significant fading, which means your treatment is successful. Make sure you get proper rest in between sessions so you can come fully prepared and ready for the next treatment.
Be Confident in Your Skin
There isn’t a quick, magic treatment that’ll remove any of your unwanted tattoos in a split second. However, if you’re looking for the best method for removing tattoos, we highly recommend that you choose what’s most comfortable and safe for you. Contact Texas Laser and Aesthetics in Austin, TX today so we can schedule your initial consultation for a laser treatment. Our expert staff will provide you with everything you need to achieve clear, healthy-looking skin.