Tattoos are a wonderful form of self-expression, but not always the best idea when they’re borne from a haphazard decision. Perhaps you got a tattoo done by an inexperienced artist or it didn’t turn out the way you wanted — what do you do, then?
Fortunately, tattoos these days are now less permanent than we think. You’ve probably already heard of having the lasered off! With advances in aesthetic technology, it’s much easier to undo some of these regrets.
Just as having the tattoo in the first place was a big decision, having it removed would be, too. Half the process of having it removed comes from taking that first step, so here are some things to consider.
Unfortunately, tattoos aren’t like moles and don’t disappear immediately after one laser session. How long it takes to completely remove your tattoo will depend on its size and colour, and how long your skin takes to heal.
This can take about 5 sessions or longer, which are at least 3 weeks apart to allow the body to break down the tattoo pigments and heal before your next session. As mentioned earlier, tattoos with green, pinks and blue hues take longer to remove.
The old belief that coloured ink is hard to remove is no longer true. In the past, it was believed that laser worked the same way as laser hair removal and would only be attracted towards darker colours and tones. With the use of pico laser technology, most colours can now be removed regardless of the colour.
Your tattoo needs protection from the sun too! Most of the time, a tattoo cannot be treated because it’s had sun exposure. As tattoo ink is a foreign substance in your body, regular light exposure changes the skin’s immune cells that can lead to destroying your tattoo pigments. This would lead to pigment and colour breakdown, making it harder to remove.
Just like when you did your tattoo, keeping it moisturised and covered can help with the healing process. Use moisturiser and avoid clothes that will make the spot hurt or itch. Try opting for clothes that do not rest on your tattoo and those made of materials that are gentler on the skin.
Post-laser, your tattoo will depuff, scab, peel and regenerate, so it’s important to set aside time to rest from the discomfort. Also, the area of the lasered skin might not be flawless and can lead to scarring if it was not done by a qualified specialist.
Yes. In fact, researchers found that picosecond lasers cleared tattoos faster than nanosecond lasers. Red, yellow and orange pigments seemed to respond best, with 75% to 100% clearance after a few treatments on average.
The Picocare 450 emits a photoacoustic shock wave that shatters pigments into minute fragments with expert precision, with less thermal effect on the skin. This means fewer side effects and better results for your tattoo removal.
Unlike nanolasers, picosecond lasers are faster and safer. Nanolasers or Q-switched lasers can generate heat on the skin for long periods as it takes a longer time to work, which can lead to side effects like scarring. The Picocare 450 generates shockwaves at a trillionth of a second with minimal heat generation. With its speed, it can target the area so quickly that the skin cannot absorb any of the heat that was generated.
Other advantages of the Picocare 450 are:
By penetrating the skin, these laser beams will activate the process of the body dissolving the pigment. With time, you will see your tattoo lightening. Post-treatment, you may experience swelling and peeling that will gradually subside as it heals.
Hopefully, this article has helped you in your decision to undergo tattoo removal. All tattoo removal procedures require patience and a little pain, however, you can opt for treatments that may speed up this process or are more comfortable.
If you have questions on side effects, the treatment and expectations of healing, feel free to approach any of the members in the consultation team who would be able to better advise you.