Approximately 10 percent of all American adults reportedly have at least one tattoo, and a recent survey of 580 people with tattoos showed that almost one-third regret one or more of their tattoos. In particular, men, people with upper body tattoos, people who got the tattoo at a young age and people who had the tattoo done by an amateur were found to more often regret their choice.
What Is Laser Tattoo Removal?
Laser tattoo removal is the only effective way of removing a tattoo without creating excessive scarring, and is a highly safe procedure. Tattoo removal is performed in a series of treatments approximately ten weeks apart and works by destroying the pigment in the tattoo, which is located in the dermis, the deep layer of the skin. The ink is broken up into progressively smaller pieces and is eventually removed naturally by the body’s own immune system.
The number of treatment sessions needed varies from patient to patient and depends largely on the skin color and overall health of the patient, as well as the age, color, size and quality of the tattoo (i.e. whether it was done by a professional tattoo artist or by an amateur). Larger, older tattoos made with high-quality blue, green or yellow ink are the toughest to remove.
Before Laser Tattoo Removal
To improve your chances of a complete and successful tattoo removal, there are a number of things worth keeping in mind.
First, if you are a smoker, quit smoking. Smokers are reportedly up to 70 percent less likely to achieve a successful result after 10 sessions of laser tattoo removal than non-smokers, likely owing to the fact that smoking impairs your body’s wound healing capacity.
Second, ensure that your immune system is as healthy as possible as an active and healthy immune system is essential for the ink to be fully removed from the dermis. Eat a balanced diet and if you know that you are not getting enough of certain vitamins or minerals, take supplements. Moreover, make sure that you get at least eight hours of sleep every night as your body recovers and heals during rest.
Third, minimize your sun exposure and do not use any tanning products. Laser tattoo removal cannot be performed on sunburned skin and being tan reduces the likelihood of success. If you can’t avoid being outside in the direct sun for prolonged periods, try to at least cover up the area to be treated.
After Laser Removal
The success of laser tattoo removal depends not only on how you treat your body beforehand, but also how you treat it between sessions and afterward. In the first day after the treatment, try to rest and to apply ice to the treated area periodically. Avoid any excessive physical activity, and avoid using saunas or steam rooms.
Until you are fully healed, apply the ointment provided by your tattoo removal expert at least twice a day, keep avoiding the sun and tanning beds and do not pick on the scabs or pop any potential blisters as this increases the risk of infection and scarring. In terms of physical activities, until the skin is completely healed, all sports, with the exception of swimming, can be resumed.
Tattoo Removal treatments are most effective on people with healthy immune systems. If you have a tattoo you regret and want to have removed, make sure to take care of your body first. The healthier your body and immune system are, the fewer treatments will be needed.