Have you got a tattoo that you want to cover up or get rid of completely? As technology is advancing, you don’t have to worry about old tattoos that you’re not so fond of as you’ve grown older. There are treatments that are perfect for removing tattoos and offer the chance for you to be free of your past decisions in just a few appointments.
Before you decide if laser tattoo removal is for you, there are a few things to think about, for example, how long you should expect the treatment to take, what to expect during and after, and how you can help your body expel your unwanted ink! Read on to find out more.
1. How long does it take?
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to have a tattoo removed with just one appointment. When you attend your consultation for the removal of your tattoo, the technician should be able to give you an idea of the approximate number of sessions that they think it will take to fade or remove your tattoo, however, there are a few factors that will affect how long your tattoo takes to fade, such as the age, size, and type of ink used on your piece. Because of this, your technician may not be able to tell you just by looking at your tattoo how long it will take or how many sessions you will need.
During your consultation, ask your clinician to show you photos of tattoo removal before and after photos. This is a great way of helping you to determine what to expect after treatment, especially if there is artwork of a similar size or style to yours.
Tattoo removal is something that is different for everyone, and because you need to leave 8-12 weeks between treatments, it could take up to two years for the treatment to be complete.
2. Style and location of your tattoo
The location of your tattoo on your body is important to consider when thinking about removal. Fading takes longer the further away from your heart the tattoo is, this is because of circulation and the impact that has on fading. For example, if you have a tattoo on your chest or neck, it is much more likely to fade quicker than a tattoo removed on your hand or leg, due to the fact they have increased circulation being closer to your heart.
The success of the removal depends on the tattoo itself – how deeply it is embedded into the skin and the colours of ink that have been used. If your unwanted tattoo has been done by an amateur, this will be removed more easily as the ink application will be uneven. Professional tattoos tend to be more difficult as they are more saturated with ink.
3. Type of laser
When you’re deciding on a form of tattoo removal, it is always best to know a little bit about the laser that will be used to do so. There are several types of lasers for tattoo removal, with different wavelengths generally treating different colours. Newer lasers have advanced to help with the removal of colours like black, red, green, and blue – with pink and orange lasers being the most problematic when it comes to removal, these lasers can also be adjusted to remove tattoos with these colours as well. Here are a few of the most advanced lasers that may be used during your removal appointments:
- PicoWay Lasers – This is one of the most popular lasers in the tattoo removal industry. It releases almost 1000 times more energy than lasers used in the past, which results in faster and more efficient removal, as well as faster appointment times and speeding up overall results.
- Cryogenic Devices – One of the main issues that people tend to have when it comes to having tattoos removed is that they think it will hurt. Whilst the pain during removal should feel no more than a little annoying, some people will opt for numbing cream before they begin. These lasers provide a solution – cold air to numb the skin is used during the treatment to alleviate pain and reduce irritation. They can help towards making your removal experience more pleasant and mostly pain-free.
4. Health and well-being
When it comes to successful tattoo removal, it’s not just the laser that makes a difference. There are ways in which you can help your body flush away the ink particles from your removed tattoo, for example staying hydrated will ensure your blood is in the best condition to aid removal. Making sure you maintain a healthy lifestyle and eat correctly so that your body is getting vital vitamins and minerals is important, as well as giving up the cigarettes if you’re a smoker, this can help your body to heal faster. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be helpful to speed up your removal process and keep your body happy and healthy.
5. What to expect after your treatment
Tattoo removal is a unique experience and the results, as well as side effects, can be different for everyone. There are a few symptoms that you may see after you’ve experienced a tattoo removal session, such as blistering and swelling, bleeding, and redness. These side effects are common and usually aren’t a cause for concern. Your doctor should let you know what to expect and will be there to consult with you throughout the removal process.
During your consultation, you should ask to see photos so you get an idea of the work they have done previously – it is also a good idea to ask if they think there are any specific side effects that you will suffer from depending on your individual skin type.
If you’re thinking about choosing to have a tattoo removed that no longer suits you, the advancements in removal technology means that you can become more confident in your skin and not have to be reminded of the mistakes or bad decisions you might’ve made in the past.