Second Thoughts About Your Tattoo?
Todd Minars, M.D.
Dermatology If so you are not alone. What once seemed like a good idea just doesn’t fit your image now and you wish it could just go away. Well, the good news is that for most tattoos, it is possible to achieve this by using a laser. The bad news is that it is a lot easier to put a tattoo on than to take it off. One challenge is that different tattoo artists use different inks and place them at different depths. Tattoo ink stays in the skin permanently because the particles of ink are too large for the body to absorb. The laser works by “exploding” these large ink particles into smaller “bite-size” particles that the body’s cells can gobble up and remove. It takes about eight weeks for these cells to do their job, therefore you should wait about eight weeks between each laser treatment for maximum clearing. How many treatments will you need to clear the tattoo? That depends on a few factors – but most importantly the color of the ink and the depth.
The easiest tattoos to remove are those that are “homemade”. These are usually black and the ink is not very deep and they can completely disappear with 1 to 3 treatments. The most difficult tattoos to remove are professional tattoos with multiple colors. This will require several treatments – in some cases 7 to 10 treatments over the course of a year. And certain colors will never completely disappear – green and yellow are especially difficult. The most common tattoos are “in-between” the extreme cases that we just mentioned. These are tattoos that were done by a professional, but have only one or two colors. In the past, all methods to remove tattoos left scars, including the earliest lasers. Today, the technology has advanced, and a tattoo can be removed with a laser and not leave a scar. So most tattoos can be removed by a laser, it just takes little technology and quite a bit of time.
For more information, call Dr. Todd Minars at 954-987-7512.