A Guide To The Science Behind Tattoo Laser Removal


The number of people getting tattoos has increased in recent years and, according to statistics, approximately 3% of the US population now have some type of tattoo.  If you take a quick glance at professional basketball players, you will see that more than 50% of the players have body art.  This popularity of tattoos is not only due to the art element but also because acquiring a tattoo is much safer than in the past.  The use of disposable needles in the process of tattooing makes it more appealing, but people considering having tattoos should still consider the possibility of “tattoo regret” where they will no longer want the body art.

Experts in the tattoo industry state that approximately 50% of all people with tattoos consider having them removed.  The good news is that there are more options available now regarding removal of tattoos.  Advanced laser techniques show improved results with reduced risks; thus, broadening the number of patients who can benefit from this type of technology.  Of course, choosing a dermatologist to remove the tattoo is a serious decision.  This is essentially the same procedure that Dore Aesthetics use for pigment removal.

If you opt for tattoo removal, it is important that you locate a specialist dermatologist with the correct level of experience.  Furthermore, the specialist should present with the correct equipment needed for effective tattoo removal.  Dermatologists that own their equipment typically perform more removal procedures and have more practical experience.

Currently, there are three different types of lasers available for tattoo removal procedures:  Alexandrite, Ruby, and YAG.  Each of these lasers operates using different pigment colors and compounds; therefore, the dermatologist will utilize either one or a combination of lasers dependent on the type of tattoo to be removed.  A tattoo's pigment is inserted into the dermal layer of the skin via ruptures in the skin's top layer, also known as the epidermis.  To remove the tattoo, the laser light is absorbed by the color of the tattoo ink in short pulses.  This high energy results in the tattoo ink fragmenting into smaller pigment particles that are removed naturally by the body's immune system.  In the majority of cases, a laser treatment can remove approximately 90% of a tattoo; however, multiple sessions will be required to reach this result.

While the use of laser technology for tattoo removal has little risk, there are still risks involved.  It is possible that this removal treatment could trigger a latent herpes infection in the patient.  This is one of the reasons why a patient must inform the dermatologist if he or she has a herpes infection in the area of the tattoo.  In these cases, the doctor often prescribes a preventative antibiotic before performing any tattoo removal procedure.  Furthermore, the patient is advised to avoid any direct sunlight before having the tattoo removed as the burnt skin can react more strongly to laser treatment.

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