Tattoo removal 2019 update: Laser coming for age
Prevalence of tattoo and body arts
Body tattoos are widely common in the world. People have tattoo put on parts of the body for many reason. Although tattoos are meant to be permanent, many do fade with time or lose the luster and crispiness of the colour. Skin at the tattooed areas also reduces in elasticity and sag with time. This will also affect the esthetic appearance of a tattoo.
Tattoo regret is not uncommon. Again there are numerous reasons for tattoo removal. Most people just “tired of” the tattoos or they do not believe their tattoos represent who they are anymore. The question is how to deal with these unwanted colors on the body.
Is laser the best way to remove a tattoo?
First of all, there is little question in the medical community as to the best way to remove tattoos. Laser is by the far the safest way to fade a tattoo. However, there are a few concerns that most people have:
Not all lasers are the same. There are a few physical properties of a laser that make tattoo removal safer and effective. The energy of the laser delivered, the proper parameters used, the property of the light when interacting with the skin are all crucial to achieve an optimal result for tattoo removal. For example, too much energy will cause non-specific tissue damage and too little energy will lead to ineffective result. A poor “beam profile’ causes an uneven energy distribution over the skin and can increase the chance of scarring.
You do need more than one laser with different light properties to remove different colours. For example, a green light laser will not be effective to remove a green colored tattoo. You need a laser which emits a complementary colour, like red, to do that. The new generation picosecond claims to overcome some of these limitation, but the result is not as good as it originally hope.
Pain is an issue in tattoo removal and is indeed a deterrent for people to come for treatment. There are different ways to mitigate the pain. If you do have a larger tattoo, the pain is significant. It is better to remove it with better anesthesia which can be provided in a medical facility.
The cost of treatment is always a factor. People have the wrong impression the cost is prohibitive. However, most people find the price is very reasonable after consultation at our clinic and they are surprised they pay even more in a non-medical facility.
The process of tattoo removal is a very slow and arduous process. Multiple treatments are needed. It does take some time to remove a tattoo. The new generation ultra-short-pulsed lasers can reduce the number of treatment but it still take an average of 4-6 treatments on the average with these new devices.
At Reviva, we do not have one, but 3 lasers, including a picosecond laser, dedicated for tattoo removal. We have performed thousands of tattoo removal and all procedures are performed by a physician who has more than 15 years of laser experience on different conditions.