Tattoo Removal

Do you have an embarrassing or unwanted tattoo?  Tattoos are currently fashionable, maybe you may get a tattoo on an impulse - only to regret it later.  Tattoos are intended to be permanent, but there are some methods available for removing tattoos - at least partially.  However, don't expect to obtain a completely unblemished outcome.

Tattoos are produced by inserting pigments deep into the skin.  Insoluble ink is deposited in the dermis - the second, more stable, layer of skin about a millimetre underneath the epidermis (the outer layer) - where it remains, with only limited fading,  for life.

Methods of Tattoo Removal There are basically three methods available - cutting out the skin containing the tattoo, rubbing away the skin containing the tattoo and using a laser to vaporize the ink.  Do not attempt to cut or rub away the skin yourself - this will result in serious injury and is unlikely to be successful.

Laser Treatment  This is the most common method - but it may not be fully effective,  How effective it is will depend on the size, depth and colour of the tattoo. It works best on blue, black and red inks and not so well on green or yellow.  Between four and ten treatments are usually required at least a few weeks apart.  Even after the treated area has healed, there may still be some evidence of the tattoo remaining and the skin may not be completely smooth.

Surgical Removal  If the tattoo is too deep for laser treatment, of if the tattoo is small it may be cut out and either the skin stitched together or, if the area removed is too large, a graft of skin may be used.  There will be scars from this process but they should settle and fade over time.

Dermabrasion  An abrasive tool is used to literally rub away the skin to remover the layer containing the pigment.  A deep tattoo will require a skin graft after this process.

Risks of Tattoo Removal  Laser Removal is generally considered to be safe when performed by qualified practitioners.  It is usually performed as an out-patient under a local anaesthetic.  Surgical Removal or Dermabrasion may be performed under a local anaesthetic, but occasionally are performed under a general anaesthetic.  Any surgical procedure, and any use of general anaesthetics has associated risks and potential side effects.  Make sure you understand the risks and expected results before you proceed with any procedures.

Able was I ere I saw Elba

Medical Information Services; Cosmetic Surgery

Tattoo removal treatment - techniques, risks

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