What to Expect
When you get a tattoo, you know that they will be permanent; an imprint on your skin that will forever remind you of how you felt at a specific point in your life. A tattoo could be a declaration of love, a nagging reminder never to do something again, or simply an aesthetic decoration on your skin.
But sometimes the tattoo might become unwanted reminders of our past mistake and indiscretions. Depending on the location of the tattoo, it may end up looking misshapen as your skin starts to sag with age, or as the ink begins to fade.
While tattoos are well-known to be permanent, there are some ways to remove the ink off your skin. EHA Clinic’s Discovery PICO Laser Tattoo Removal is an advanced and effective way to erase the tattoo from your skin.
How Are Tattoos Inked?
To fully understand how the tattoo removal process works, we must first understand how tattoos are inked on the skin. When you enter a tattoo parlour and get yourself inked, a mechanised needle is used to puncture the external layer of skin, which injects ink into the second layer of skin, known as the dermis. There is slight damage to the skin due to the puncturing, which is why the process hurts and the skin is red afterwards.
What Is PICO Laser Tattoo Removal?
As each tattoo is unique, removal techniques must be tailored according to a case-by-case basis. In the past, tattoos could be removed using a wide variety of methods but, often, the scars were more unsightly than the tattoo itself. Tattoos that have not been effectively removed by other treatments may respond well to laser therapy, provided the prior treatments did not result in excessive scarring.
Treatment time depends on the size of the tattoo and the number of colours. The majority of treatments can be completed within 5 minutes for a small to medium black tattoo to 10-30 minutes for a medium-sized, multi-coloured tattoo.
For effective removal, it is necessary to undergo a series of treatments. Depending on a variety of factors, this procedure usually takes from 4 to 10 treatments. In order to estimate the necessary number of treatments, your doctor will consider the following criteria:
- Skin Type – Darker skin types require more treatments.
- Tattoo Colours – Black tattoos are the easiest to remove. Multi- coloured tattoos require more treatments.
- Location of Tattoo – Areas with better circulation, such as the head and neck, require fewer treatments than an extremity such as a hand or finger.
- Amount of Ink – Depending on the density of the tattoo and if it was done professionally or not.
- Layering – If one tattoo has been covered by another, it will take more treatments to remove.
- Presence of Scarring – The presence of a prior scar in the area will increase the number of treatments needed.
Is It Painful?
Most people are able to tolerate the lasers sessions without much discomfort. Patients will feel the pulses as quick tingling sensations, like very tiny rubber bands snapped against the skin. The aesthetics clinic staff will usually numb the area to be treated, to ensure minimum discomfort or pain.
Post treatment, you might see small areas of pin-point bleeding and occasionally small blisters may form. Most tattoos or pigmented lesion will itch for several weeks after treatment and your skin may feel dry and flaky. You can use a fragrance-free, perfume-free moisturiser on the area and always remember to apply sunscreen on that area during the healing period.
Within a few weeks, you will notice a change in the treated area. As the ink begins to fade, clear areas of skin will begin to appear. Each treatment will show a lightening of the tattoo. On occasion, the normal skin surrounding the tattoo or pigmented lesion will be slightly lighter. It will come back to normal after a few months.