Although tattoos are becoming increasingly popular, some patients would like theirs removed. It could be because of a new job, a bad reminder from the past, or simply a change in taste, but there are ways to remove your tattoo.
Several options exist for tattoo removal, such as laser removal, physical removal using dermabrasion, or surgical removal and closure of the wound with skin graft coverage.
A professionally applied tattoo is done by a machine, and the tattoo ink is embedded in the skin at a consistent level. If you have an inconsistent tattoo artist, an inconsistent machine, or an amateur tattoo, then the tattoo ink is not being placed at the same level, and you may not be a good candidate for laser tattoo removal.
Laser tattoo removal is very popular. You will need a laser of a different wavelength for different colors of tattoo ink. Basically, the laser zaps the tattoo ink within your skin, and the ink is obliterated and absorbed by your body.
You will require several different treatment sessions, since all of the ink cannot be removed in one session. A drawback of laser is that not everyone can achieve an excellent result. There will always be a better appearance, but sometimes the tattoo will only appear to be faded, and not completely gone.
Physical removal is removing the skin using dermabrasion, which allows new skin to grow underneath. This procedure can be done in a medial office or in an operating room setting, depending on your pain tolerance and how large the tattoo is. Dermabrasion is like applying sand paper to your tattoo, removing the tattoo and skin, and causing new skin to grow underneath. This is usually more consistently successful in removing any trace of the tattoo, but may result in different skin texture and colour in the area of your original tattoo.
Tattoo excision with wound closure or skin grafting is also an option. The tattoo is completely removed, and the skin is discarded. If you have a small tattoo and the skin around it is relatively loose, then the open wound can usually be closed. If the tattoo is large, and if the skin around it is tight, then you may need a skin graft to completely cover the open wound. Skin grafts will almost always leave a slightly color and texture discrepancy compared to surrounding skin.
Dr. Roy Kim is a Plastic Surgeon in San Francisco, CA, who specializes in tattoo removal.
If you’d like to read the original article, please go to http://drkim.com/blog/2010/10/06/how-to-get-rid-of-tattoos/ or www.drkim.com for further information or answers to other questions.
This article has been written by a guest contributor and does not reflect the views of LaserYou. LaserYou specialises in professional laser tattoo removal using the PicoSure Laser. Book your free consultation by calling us on 01628 663075