Getting a tattoo can be easy, but having them removed is a difficult and long process. A tattoo, though permanent, will fade and be stretched and distorted due to loss of skin elasticity over time. Individuals with tattoos may choose to have them removed for personal reasons, for example; the stigma in most work environments that tattoos are unprofessional, or they simply may no longer want the tattoo because the tattoo has lost its appeal. Most tattoos can be removed or faded with laser treatments. Not all lasers are the same and it is vital that the right laser be used for each individual colour in the tattoo.
The Yag, Ruby, and Accolade Laser can aid in the removal of most colours. The lasers work by emitting a strong light directly on the tattoo which breaks the ink within the tattoo into tiny particles which the body extricates, diminishing the tattoo’s appearance over time. Tattoo removal requires multiple treatments (approximately 8-15) spaced 6-8 weeks apart. Depending on the age, colour, type, and the individual, the tattoo may not completely disappear. It is advisable for patients when selecting a clinic that they choose one that has multiple machines for tattoo removal on site to better suit their skin tones. It is also recommended they select a site where there is a medical Doctor, preferably a board certified dermatologist to ensure safety is being observed at all times, and if complications do arise proper treatment can be started immediately.
With any laser based procedure there is a risk of scarring; patients should also limit sun exposure to the treated area and apply sunscreen of an SPF 30 or higher whenever the area will be exposed to sunlight.