If you thought tattoos were permanent, it’s no more a truth. Gone are the days when a person was inked for life; with so many people opting for a tattoo these days, getting rid of an old one is very much a possibility. Tattoo removal has become so unconventional now, it happens round the clock and almost everywhere.
Let’s see how one gets rid of a tattoo partially or completely. A consensus in the United States churned out quite a number of people wanting to get rid of their prized tattoos, the poll rates 50 percent of tattooed adults wanting to get rid of their tattoos on counts of embarrassment.
Getting a tattoo off, however possible, is not very simple, when the pigment or ink-as it is commonly called is inserted into the dermal or outer layer of the skin through needles causing ruptures, the ink is fast absorbed into the skin.
Though complete tattoo removal is still difficult, advancements in laser technology have rendered a near possible elimination. A multitude of factors play in tattoo removal, for example, recent tattoos are by far the hardest to remove, while tattoos by experienced, well crafted hands are easy to remove, as the experienced tattoo artist injects the pigment in an even level as that of the skin.
From controversial tattoo removal mechanisms like ermabrasion, where the surface and middle layers of the tattooed skin are removed, to Cryosurgery, where the area is frozen prior to its removal. Excision, on the other hand removes the tattoo through a surgical removal of the top layer, however, this method involves sutures after the removal.
Lasers by far have emerged to be one of the safest and non-invasive tattoo removal mechanisms. With just an application of topical anesthesia, lasers interject short intense light pulses that pass easily through the top skin layer and subsequently break the pigments into small particles, which are then eliminated by one’s immune mechanism.
Tattoo removal though definitely not painless is believed to be tolerable in most instances, but as each person’s pain threshold is unique, most come out from the session not so pleased. Black inks are easiest to remove as they absorb all laser wavelengths but inks like green, exhibit selective absorption, calling for extended laser sessions. Three week intervals between each laser removal session is usually observed to facilitate the absorption of the tattoo pigment by the body.
Coming to the associated risks and side effects, from pinpoint bleeding-when the anesthesia is injected in the tattooed area, to hypo-pigmentation- loss of normal skin color in the affected tissue and even a mild infection of the site, tattoo removal is no child’s play. So, the next time you are really tempted into getting yourself inked, have this in mind, ‘No pain No gain’.