It is not uncommon to have a tattoo or several. It is also not uncommon for a person to ultimately wish they had made a different choice. If you have a tattoo that no longer fits your personality or image, you may want to change it or restore your skin to an ink-free state. In this instance, laser tattoo removal may be an appropriate choice. Lasers are efficient and beneficial when it comes to tattoo removal, but that does not mean you can’t make a mistake as you go through this process. Here, we discuss a few things you need to know about laser tattoo removal.
Laser centers, med spas, and doctor’s offices are all places where laser tattoo removal may be offered. It is important to consult with a board-certified dermatologist for this treatment. Dermatologists have the advanced education to recognize signs of complications right away. A dermatologist also knows who is and who may not be a good candidate for laser treatment, and is aware of the potential complications that may occur. These include infection, scarring, and bleeding.
Tattoo removal is a term that may make a process sound simpler than it is. Laser tattoo removal is not a magic eraser. It may take several sessions to achieve the desired outcome. Appointments occur every 6, 8, or 12 weeks, which means that it can take a year or longer to complete the entire process. The treatment works by disintegrating pigment molecules into tiny pieces so the body’s immune system can eliminate them.
One of the reasons it is so important to have laser tattoo removal done by a board-certified dermatologist is that lasers are not kind to every skin type and tone. A dermatologist can determine if your skin may suffer complications from the laser. Generally speaking, laser treatments hold more risk for darker skin tones. Risks are associated with the way the laser works, by targeting pigment in the tattoo. Darker skin has more melanin, adding rich color, and the laser does not discern between the two. Thus, the treatment could result in hyperpigmentation or scarring.