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The Science Behind Tattoo Removal: How Does It Really Work?

Whereas once tattoos were the domain of sailors, for the past decade or two they’ve become quite the fashion statement, with celebrities, rock stars, hipsters, frat boys, and college girls all adorning themselves with ink. While most of these folks have gone out of their way to choose something they can live with for the rest of their lives and enjoy showing off, there are a number of folks that will live to regret the decision. That tattoo may have looked hot when you were hitting the clubs in college, but now that you’re a mother of two with a full time job in an office somewhere, it may no longer be the image that you want to put out to people. Fortunately, tattoo removal is not impossible.

For those who have gone through the painful experience of regretting the tattoo with our first girlfriend’s name on it, or don’t want to have to explain the lascivious devil tattoo to our congregation every Sunday, there are a few effective treatments for getting rid of a tattoo.

tattoo removal how it works

“The most popular treatment for tattoo removal is laser treatment,” says one dermatologist from Pleasanton, California. “Though there are other treatments such as dermabrasion, laser removal is widely regarded as the most effective option. Basically, a laser is aimed at the tattoo that the patient wants to see removed. The laser penetrates the skin, breaking down the ink.”

Dermatologists warn that the process isn’t immediate, and that it can often take multiple sessions in order to completely destroy the ink in the skin, but also say that it’s likely they will see some fading shortly after the procedure is performed.

“We’re going to want to schedule treatments at least 3 weeks apart,” says one dermatologist from Placerville. “The idea is to allow the immune system to get rid of the ink particles, and we want the natural healing process of the skin to work itself all the way through before we try again. For obvious reasons, laser treatment encourages the regrowth of skin by destroying old skin, so there’s a limit in how much skin can be safely destroyed in one treatment.”

For those wondering if the process is painful, most patients report that it is, likening it to being splashed by hot grease from a pan.

“There’s going to be somewhat of a burning sensation,” he continued. “Laser treatment involves a concentrated beam of light being directed at the skin, so there is going to be burning and discomfort. It doesn’t feel good. Typically, we recommend taking ibuprofen or naproxen for the pain. It helps take the edge off. Aspirin is not recommended because it thins the blood and can cause bruising.”

Disclaimer: We are unable to guarantee any result, even though most of our patients do see success. The results of our services will vary greatly to each patient’s level of commitment and compliance with the program.


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