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Five Things to Know Before Laser Tattoo Removal

laser tattoo removal patient

It’s pretty safe to say that there is not one adult in the world who doesn’t regret at least one decision from their youth. Luckily for most of us, we left those “it seemed like a good idea at the time” moments in the past, and only need to revisit them to use as cautionary tales for our children. However, some decisions are more permanent – like tattoos.

Tattoo removal is a growing industry, as the nearly 45 million Americans who have tattoos begin to rethink their decision. The reason given most often for “tattoo remorse” is that the person was just too immature when they got it, and weren’t thinking about the future. Even though tattoos are gaining more mainstream approval, there are still many employers who view tattoos as unprofessional, or perhaps your tattoo isn’t something you’d want the PTA noticing at school events.

If you are part of the rising number of people seeking tattoo removal, Dr. Aggarwal at The Vein Care Center can help. Before you choose to undergo tattoo removal, there are a few things you need to consider.

Research is Key

The first thing you need to remember is that tattoo removal is not guaranteed. There are a lot of factors that play into the removal process, so the more you know about the devices and methods available, the better off you are. Research tattoo removal experts, and talk to more than one. Ask questions about their experience and qualifications, and request to see before and after pictures of their results. Make sure you trust that they know what they’re doing and are honest with you about the results they are promising.

Know the Technology

The technology behind laser tattoo removal has improved significantly, utilizing lasers that are equipped to emit more than one wavelength to dissolve the ink pigment. Different laser wavelengths treat different colors, and so depending on the colors used in your tattoo, you may need treatments with more than one laser wavelength.

Understand the Limitations

Again, there is no guarantee that your tattoo will completely disappear after treatment. Some tattoos only fade partially, leaving a “ghost” or “shadow” image behind. Depending on the location of the tattoo and how your body responds to dermal injury, the art may be replaced with permanent scarring.

Tattoos located at a greater distance from the heart (like further down your arms or legs) may fade more slowly, because the circulation is not as good. For this reason, areas with less circulation typically heal poorly, especially ankle tattoos.

It Takes Multiple Treatments – and Time

This might seem like a pretty obvious concept, but it’s important to know that it’s going to take multiple treatments to remove your tattoo. Again, it’s all going to depend on the ink color, depth of the ink, location of the tattoo, and your body’s response to the laser. Because these are all things that you’ll find out during the process, there is no “standard” number of treatments, and the cost can’t be predetermined either.

Another key factor in a successful tattoo removal is the downtime between sessions. The minimum time between treatments should be a minimum of four weeks, and even as long as eight. This reduces your risk of complications like skin irritation or wounds from blistering.

Post-Treatment Symptoms

There are a few symptoms you might see post-treatment – swelling, blistering, redness, and even the tattoo appearing darker. These are normal, and will subside within a couple weeks, but if you’re concerned, check with your doctor.

If tattoo removal is in your future, call us today at 419-227-4472 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Aggarwal at The Vein Care Center.

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