Laser tattoo removal is a popular cosmetic procedure that is safe, effective, and only takes only minutes to perform. In this part of our website you will learn how laser tattoo removal works.
Have you ever seen an old tattoo that is partially faded? Tattoos naturally fade over time because the body’s immune system recognizes that tattoo ink is a foreign substance and tries to remove ink particles.
Laser tattoo removal speeds up the natural process by shattering tattoo ink into smaller pieces that flush away more easily.
From the moment a needle deposits ink deep in the skin, the immune system recognizes the these particles as foreign intruders, dispatching armies of white blood cells to engulf them. The white blood cells then escort small ink particles to the liver, where they are processed and excreted.
Even over time, as the white blood cells eat away at the ink particles, most are still too large for the white blood cells to grab onto and remove from the skin.
A white blood cell trying to engulf an ink particle would be like a human “taking a bite out of an elephant.”
That’s why they’re permanent. To erase a tattoo, you need lasers to break up the ink particles.
What Methods Are Used for Tattoo Removal?
Before lasers became popular for tattoo removal starting in the late 1980s, removal involved the use of one or more of these often-painful, often scar-inducing surgeries:
- Dermabrasion, where skin is “sanded” to remove the surface and middle layers;
- Cryosurgery, where the area is frozen prior to its removal;
- Excision, where the dermatologic surgeon removes the tattoo with a scalpel and closes the wound with stitches (In some cases involving large tattoos, a skin graft from another part of the body may be necessary.).
Although the procedures above are still used in certain cases today, lasers (Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation) have become the standard treatment for tattoo removal because they offer a bloodless, low risk, effective alternative with minimal side effects. Each procedure is done on an outpatient basis in a single or series of visits. Patients may or may not require topical or local anesthesia.
SCHEDULE REQUEST: LASER TATTOO REMOVAL