Nowadays, people do tattooing as a fashion statement, sentimental reasons, religious, and emotional decision, no doubt that the popularity of tattoo is now growing rapidly. Tattoos are done by inserting colored ink into the skin. Tattoos are fashionable at teenagers but the same tattoo is inappropriate at the time of searching for jobs. So with the changing emotions and situations, people regret their tattoos and want to be removed permanently; because of relationship failures, college mistakes or religious communities do not allow in their places.
Tattoos are created by inserting permanent colored materials into the skin or accidental entry of pigmented material.
Types of tattoos
1. Amateur tattoos: are decorative tattoos done by tribal people, usually consists of black Indian color. As these tattoos are placed unevenly and superficially in the dermis, they respond well to laser treatment, with fewer treatments and more complete clearance.
2. Professional tattoos: are also decorative tattoos, were previously seen in military men and bikers. As with today’s changing trends people of all ages and socioeconomic strata are obtaining professional tattoos; placed more deeply in the dermis with a greater density of pigment and colors are very vibrant and diverse in shade. Unfortunately, these tattoos are difficult to remove and require more sessions for laser removal.
3. Cosmetic Tattoos: are done as eye and lip liners, broadening lips, covering pigmentation around the oral cavity, or disguising scars. Most of these colors are made of iron pigments and the most frequently are reddish-brown, red, off-white, skin-colored, or dull orange.
4. Medical Tattoos: are often placed to designate a radiation port during cancer therapy or scalp micro-pigmentation done to hide alopecia and these India ink blue-black tattoos are often easily removed in 1 to 3 sessions.
5. Traumatic Tattoos: can occur following different types of injury to the skin (abrasion or explosion); gunpowder and particulate matter following motorcycle and bicycle accidents.
Tattoo inks consist of pigments combined with a carrier and are used in tattooing.
Tattoo Ink consists of pigments combined with a carrier, and are used in tattooing.
Tattoo inks are available in a range of colors that can be thinned or mixed together to produce other colors and shades.
In older days amateur tattoo inks consist of simple, carbon particles originating from burnt wood, cotton, plastic, or paper, or from a variety of inks, including Indian ink, pen ink, and vegetable matter. Along with Indian ink, the classic tattoo dye, formerly used substances include heavy metals such as mercury(red), lead(yellow, green, white) cadmium (yellow), chromium (green), cobalt (blue) and iron (brown, red, black). Moreover recently, instead of these metal salts, high-quality industrially manufactured organic chemical pigments are used such as azo-chemicals, Naptha-derived chemical, polycyclic pigments of the phthalocyanine and even pigments of automobile paints are also used.
Tattoo ink is generally permanent. Tattoo removal is difficult, painful, and the degree of success depends on the materials used.
Tattoo Removal Treatment:
In previous days few traditional methods are used to remove unwanted tattoo:
Salabrasion: It is done by the abrasion of the epidermis and dermis (skin outer layers) with a salt-based solution. This is a very painful method that can and cause visible damage to the skin. This is the oldest method of tattoo removal, still in use today
Dermabrasion: It is a mechanical method for the abrasion of the skin outer layers and also a very painful method that can and cause visible long term damage to the skin.
Skin excision: this is the surgical removal of the tattooed skin with primary closure or skin grafting; leaves a scar depending upon size removed.
Cryosurgery: the tattooed area is frozen using liquid nitrogen and then sanded through dermabrasion to remove top layers of skin and leave behind a scar.
Chemical destruction with caustic phenol to remove the superficial layer of skin
Subcutaneous Injections of Solutions: involves injecting liquid solutions such as glycolic acid or trichloroacetic acid under the skin; leave long-term scars or burn-like marks.
Tattoo Removal Creams: It is extremely difficult to remove ink with a cream regardless of type, as they may lightly fade inks located in the very superficial layers of skin and off no use.
Though not proven to be effective, if you wish to go natural, you can try using lemon and honey, apricot scrubs, salt scrubs, chemical peels, etc to remove tattoos, and then it is unlikely to respond.
These methods have their own limitations, side effects and may leave a scar (hypertrophic or keloid) that is more difficult to treat than the tattoo itself.
Modern technique to remove tattoo involves laser tattoo removal
Laser Tattoo Removal: Laser treatment is often safer than many other tattoo removal methods, as laser treatment selectively treats the pigment in the tattoo with very minimal side effects. Especially Nd: YAG Laser is the tool of choice for most tattoo removal practitioners.
Q-switch lasers are considered as gold standard laser technology for tattoo removal
Types of Q-Switch lasers:
Passive Laser Treatment
This is most commonly used in parlors and beauty salons. Though cheaper, these passive lasers can only partially remove the tattoo, and cannot guarantee complete removal.
Active Laser Treatment
This is expensive, but the most effective and efficient way of completely removing tattoos of almost every color. The active Q-switched laser is the gold standard in removing tattoos, they are of three types:
Q-switch Nd: YAG (1064&532),
Q-switch Ruby (694),
Q-switch Alexandrite (755)
Among these laser Q-switched Nd: YAG laser is the most commonly used lasers in the world; producing a very short laser pulse in the nanosecond or the recent picoseconds lasers.
Each of them target a different range of color spectrum: Nd: YAG helps remove grey, black, dark blue inks as well as red, yellow, and orange; Ruby removes black and blue pigments successfully; and green color, which is often left behind, can be removed by Alexandrite laser, in addition to black and blue.
How Q switched Nd: YAG laser work for Tattoo Removal?
The laser is the best, the easiest, and the most commonly used method for tattoo removal.
Tattoo ink or pigment absorbs the light without destroying the normal surrounding skin tissue. The tattoo ink or pigment breaks down into small particles and then removed by the body’s own immune system. After a series of treatment sessions, the tattoo particles are broken up enough to no longer be visible.
It works on the theory of ‘selective photothermolysis’, which states that when the appropriate wavelength of light and pulse width is equal to or shorter than the target’s thermal relaxation time, the heat generated will be confined to the target. While most of these lasers operate on a nanosecond, the newer picosecond pulse duration lasers remove tattoos by a photomechanical effect as well, that is by physically fracturing the tattoo particles
Factors affecting laser tattoo removal:
The ink color (black is the easiest color to treat because it absorbs all laser wavelengths while green, yellow, and fluorescent inks are notoriously difficult to remove)
Amateur or professional tattoos (overall, amateur ones are easier to remove)
The age of the tattoo (older days tattoos are easier)
The location on the body (on the extremities are difficult to treat since the circulation is relatively poor; closer it is to the heart, better are the results of removal)
The color tattoos respond well to KTP lasers such as ruby and alexandrite laser works better than Nd: YAG laser.
The energy should be sufficient enough to break the specific colored ink pigment into pieces
The time duration of laser energy must be very short, such that the tattoo is heated enough to fragment, but not so much that the particles dissipate into surrounding skin and the new pico lasers have the photomechanical effect to fragment the ink by physical means.
Is Laser Treatment Painful?
In fact, for most people, the sensation of removal is comparable to the procedure of insertion of ink during tattooing. It is commonly described as the sensation of being snapped by a rubber band.
Different people described and stated; they did feel a bit of pain or discomfort or pain is too low and can be described as an itching or a mild burning sensation.
The following methods are applied in more sensitive patients:
·Ice Packs: Ice packs are an easy and cost-efficient method to numb pain; they can be used for 5-10minutes only before the treatment.
·Topical Numbing Creams: such as lidocaine and others, applied about 30-40 minutes prior to treatment, help in numbing the pain.
·Cold Air Machines: These are used in almost all reputed laser centres. They provide fast and convenient numbing; packs and can be applied before, during, and after treatment. We at Clear Skin Centre use the latest Cryo Zimmer 6 cold air machine; works by blowing cold air (-30°C) on the skin for a few minutes.
·Pain killers: non-aspirin painkillers can be taken a few hours before treatment to minimize pain, and to avoid the risk of bleeding and bruising
·Lidocaine Injections: Intradermal injection w xylocaine 2% are given locally at the site to be treated; to numb the area.
Let us clear a few doubts regarding laser tattoo removal:
1. Is black Ink impossible to remove?
The darker the ink, the easier it is to remove because black color absorbs all wavelengths, the laser is able to break it up completely and efficiently.
2. Is the treatment duration is very long?
Not necessarily, the treatment duration depends entirely on the complexity of your tattoo and hardly a lunch-time procedure.
3. How many treatment sessions are required?
A series of sessions will be required, and the number can’t really be predetermined during your first consultation. The average number of treatments required for Indian skin is 4-7 sittings. To avoid the side effects, The average time between sessions is 4-6 weeks. It is a simple procedure needs to be done until the tattoo is completely removed.
4. Anyone can go for laser tattoo removal?
Yes, it can, provided treatment by expert and reputed skin professionals. Moreover, the laser can do significant damage to the skin in darken skin, hence parlors and salons to be avoided.
5. Is the laser treatment burns the skin?
Laser lights are extremely accurate and only target ink, without destroying the normal surrounding skin; because the laser wavelength is carefully determined, and hence burning is completely avoided 6. Is laser tattoo removal causes scarring?
6. Is laser treatment cause scarring?
Laser removal is advisable to avoid scarring and the laser wavelength is carefully determined as per standard, hence the chances of scarring are nil.
7. How much time does it require To Heal?
A few days after laser tattoo removal, the skin might feel a bit sensitive, sunburned, or red in color. In a few rare cases, there might be the occurrence of a scab on the treated area. However, it is recommended not to scratch or remove
8. Can an older tattoo be replaced with new?
Yes, if anyone wishes to get a new tattoo to replace the older, need to wait for about 1-2 months after your last laser session
· There are few risks associated with every cosmetic or medical treatment. Following the procedure, some redness, swelling, bleeding, and temporary darkening of tattoo are common but usually subside after a few weeks.
· The common side effect is pigmentary changes, darkening or lightening of the skin, and could be permanent.
· Other rare side effects such as textural changes of skin or blister formation, burn or scar and possible infection are potential effects to the laser.
Moreover, you need to visit the most reputed and reliable advanced laser center nearby which offers high standard services.
Follow your Aftercare Instructions:
To hasten the healing of the skin, avoid side effect, and to facilitate speedy tattoo removal process, follow aftercare instructions:
Avoid or protect from sunlight and use the sunscreen prescribed by the doctor to prevent pigmentary problems.
Apply mild steroids with antibiotics prescribed by a doctor twice a day for 5 days.
Keep covered the treated area for at least 3 days.
Avoid taking hot baths and the use of cosmetics; hence they can irritation to the skin.
Clear Skin Hair and Laser Centre equipped with the world’s most advanced US FDA approved laser technologies. We are committed to removing tattoo completely or up to 98% removal of all types of tattoos. At Clear Skin Hair and Laser Centre we use Gold standard laser for Unwanted Tattoo Removal, Nd: YAG, and Pico Laser.