Laser Tattoo Removal- Aesthetic Medicine/ Cosmetology, Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery

What is laser tattoo removal?

Laser tattoo removal is a technique which helps to get rid of tattoos with nominal side effects. While creating the tattoo, tattoo ink is placed underneath the top layer of the skin. Due to this, the tattoo removal processes are generally complicated.

A laser tattoo removal is generally performed by a dermatologist i.e. a doctor who has specialized in treating skin diseases.

The procedure:

The process of laser tattoo removal is done in multiple sessions. The number of sessions can vary depending on the size, age, and colors of the tattoo. Before beginning the procedure, the patient is asked to wear protective eye shields. Local anaesthesia or topical aesthetic cream may or may not be used during the procedure. A potent pulse of energy is applied to the tattoo to heat and smash the tattoo ink underneath the skin layer. When the laser is applied on the skin, its removes tattoos by smashing the pigment colors with a high-intensity light beam. Black tattoo pigment generally can absorb all laser wavelengths, and thus they are easier to treat. If the patient has multicolored tattoos, treatment with several lasers and various wavelengths are required. Thus, multicolored tattoos are difficult to treat and multiple sessions are required for the treatment. After each session, the tattoo becomes lighter and lighter. Black and blue colored tattoos generally respond well to the treatment. However, there is a possibility that the tattoo won’t disappear entirely from the skin.

What to expect after the procedure?

Instantly after the treatment, patient should use an ice pack on the treated area. An antibiotic cream and bandage is recommended to protect the area. Patient should use sunblock while he/she is outside.

Side effects such as swelling, infection, blistering or bleeding are common. Patient may apply antibacterial ointment to promote healing. As tattoos are meant to be everlasting, it is difficult to remove them entirely. After the treatment, some degree of skin color variation (hyperpigmentation and hypopigmentation) as well as scarring is possible.



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About the Author:

Dr. Anand Lakhkar is a physician scientist from India. He completed his basic medical education from India and his postgraduate training in pharmacology from the United States. He has a MS degree in pharmacology from New York Medical College, a MS degree in Cancer/Neuro Pharmacology from Georgetown University and a PhD in Pharmacology from New York Medical College where he was the recipient of the Graduate Faculty Council Award for academic and research excellence.  His research area of expertise is in pulmonary hypertension, traumatic brain injury and cardiovascular pharmacology.  He has multiple publications in international peer-reviewed journals and has presented his research at at prestigious conferences.