Safely Removing Tattoos with Laser Treatment
According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), the number of people undergoing laser tattoo removal increased 43% from 2011 to 2012. At Dermatology Associates of Atlanta’s Laser Institute of Georgia, our physicians have been practicing tattoo removal since the 1990s and utilize some of the most advanced and effective lasers to remove tattoos, whether recent, old, blue, green or multi-colored.
While the chosen design of a tattoo is often enough to incite later regret, getting a tattoo in the first place comes with health risks: granulomas can form around tattoo ink, allergic reactions can cause itchy rashes, keloids can occur, and skin infections are not uncommon. Risks also occur when going an unsafe route to removing tattoos by using dermabrasion methods to “sand down” the skin, which can cause insurmountable pain and scarring.
A recent United Kingdom survey revealed that nearly one-third of people experience tattoo-regret. Rather than turning to home methods, it is recommended that you see a board-certified dermatologist or experienced laser physician to safely remove your ink. Currently, laser treatments are the most common and preferred tattoo removal method. Laser tattoo removal emits a focused beam of laser light which passes through the skin’s outer layer before being absorbed by the tattoo ink; breaking the pigment into smaller particles that are eventually removed by the body’s natural healing processes. With today’s technology, homemade blue-black tattoos respond most positively to lasers; however recent advancements make it possible to successfully treat professionally done tattoos with intricate designs and colors.
The newer, highly-advanced PicoSure™ laser is an FDA-approved laser that uses short bursts of energy for the safe removal of deep tattoos, including removal of multicolored, blue, green, and dark ink in fewer treatments than other laser tattoo removal systems. Multi-colored blue green and dark tattoos tend to be the most difficult to eliminate as their pigments are usually more concentrated and placed deeper within the skin. With patience, persistence, and an experienced laser physician operating the laser, Picosure™ can remove dark, stubborn tattoos in fewer treatments without damaging surrounding skin.
Another laser option is the Q-Switched Nd: YAG, a high-quality laser primarily used for tattoo removal, but also effective for the treatment of deep pigmented birth marks, age spots, acne scars, and drug-induced pigmentation.
While your treatment depends on many factors, most tattoos require at least three to four treatments, spaced four to six weeks apart, to remove with PicoSure™, though some heavily pigmented or off colors may require more. As with any laser procedure, there is a risk of scarring; however, DAA’s precise laser technology and experience reduces the risk of treatment side effects considerably. Though laser treatments are an investment, we offer CareCredit® financing to assist in payment for laser procedures like tattoo removal. Please contact Dermatology Associates of Atlanta for a laser consultation to best determine which type of advanced laser technology will best fit your tattoo removal process. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ for more dermatology information.