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We provide a directory of specialists in OR
specializing in tattoo removal procedures such as Laser
Tattoo Removal, Intense Pulsed Light Therapy (IPL), Excision
and Dermabrasion. If you have questions regarding
tattoo removal or just want to learn more about the procedure,
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by: Becky McClure
We all know that tattoos are more popular than ever. The bad news is that lots of people regret their tattoos for a variety of reasons. The good news is that laser tattoo removal is becoming a more acceptable form of erasing past mistakes.
There are several reasons why people want to remove their tattoos, but mostly because of indiscretion of youth:
Guys intending to join the military would want to remove their tattoos because any tattoo or brand located anywhere on the head or face are prohibited by the U.S. Army (NOTE: the Army may have relaxed this restriction somewhat to bolster recruitment. Check with your recruiter for more details.).
Women may want to remove the tattoo on their ankle or leg so they can wear nylons in the workplace.
Or there is nothing like showing up for an job interview looking like a member of a gang and wondering you are never getting any call backs!
Lasers are the most popular method of tattoo removal these days. Laser tattoo removal has generally better results, less pain and less chances of scarring. But that is NO guarantee everything will work out perfectly. As always, KNOW YOUR RISKS!
I think the easiest way to explain how the laser tattoo removal works is this; when you get tattooed, the ink particles stays in the skin because it is too big for your tissue to remove. What the laser does is emit short, but powerful pulses of light that break the ink pigment into tiny particles, which are more easily removed by the body’s immune system during the weeks and months following laser treatment.
The number of laser treatments to remove the unwanted tattoo varies depends on the type of ink used, how deep the ink was injected and the location of the tattoo. Also, keep in mind that the professional tattoos are much harder to remove than the “street” tattoos. That is because the professionals use better quality ink and tattoo equipment to insure and minimize fading of the tattoo.
The color of the ink is a big factor in determining how many laser treatments you will need to remove the tattoo. Black and blue tattoos are the easiest to remove while the green and yellow pigments are the hardest.
The usual laser tattoo removal process would require anywhere from 4 to 12 laser treatments spaced out 5 weeks apart. These parameters can change so be sure to discuss this with your laser technician.
The laser treatment can be painful and usually the laser technician will apply or recommend a topical anesthetic or “numbing cream” to reduce your skin’s sensitivity to the laser pulses BEFORE the process starts.
Another thing to keep in mind is that laser tattoo removal can destroy hair follicles. So if you want to have a tattoo removed from an area where there is wanted hair growth, you may have to manually extract all follicles prior to treatment. Again, check with your laser technician to determine your exact risks.
Surprisingly in most areas, there are no license or certification required to operate a laser tattoo removal device. The lasers were originally designed for use by Doctors only -- but recent modifications made this device simple enough for anyone to learn to use and perform.
Your laser technician should ask you several relevant questions about your medical history and currently prescribed medication. This is because certain medical conditions and medications would make exposure to the laser treatment dangerous to you.
You can expect to see some redness, swelling, blistering, bruising, pinpoint bleeding or scabbing in the treated areas. And the treated area will feel warm for a few hours after treatment.
Your laser technician will give you after care instructions like applying an ice pack for a hour or so… and keeping the treated area clean. The technician may tell you to stay out of the sun and avoid the tanning beds for a while.
In short, laser tattoo removal is more acceptable today. As always, do your due diligence when seeking to have your unwanted tattoo removed. Make sure the equipment and office is sanitized… and the technician is experienced and knowledgeable about the laser tattoo removal process.
The process does involve some pain and requires several treatments for success. There is always a chance the laser will leave a scar. There are several parameters that will determine how many laser treatments will be needed to remove your unwanted tattoo. Be mindful that there are no guarantees of a complete tattoo removal because of so many different brands of tattoo inks. And gradually, you will see your tattoo fade away…
Becky McClure believes that the MOST important word after you made the decision to get inked is “Patience!” Pick the right tattoo design. Pick the right location on you. And then pick the best artist you can find for your new body art. Her website at http://www.dream-tattoo-design.com provides a wealth of informative articles and directions to a huge tattoo design gallery.
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