If you’ve decided you want that old tattoo to disappear, this is probably something you’ve asked yourself at least once. Yes, you can remove tattoos safely—if you choose the right removal procedure.Certain tattoo removal methods can cause far more harm than good, often because they’re quite invasive. However, laser tattoo removal is safe and highly effective when done by a trained specialist.Learn More
Does Tattoo Removal Cause Cancer?
Laser tattoo removal does not cause cancer, no conclusive study has shown that laser tattoo removal is the cause for skin cancer or lymphoma of any kind. The skin cancer foundation has studdies that show inconclusive evidence of the effect laser has on the body.
The PicoWay® picosecond laser from Syneron Candela has received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance for tattoo removal with ultra-short pulse. The new ultra-short wavelength is the first of its kind in the aesthetic market. It utilizes a titanium sapphire laser to remove all tattoo ink pigment.
Its also worth considering that the number of skin cancers arising in tattoos is low, and this association has to be “considered thus far as coincidental” in a studdy about Tattoos, inks, and cancer DrNicolasKlugerMD Reviews the use of varying tattoo pigments and the effect they have on the skin.
Tattoo removal does cause the skin to become more photo sensitive imediately following treatment and appropriate measures must be taken to cover the treated area and the use of high spf sun block is nessesary to protect the area from the sun. Removery encourages all clients and those removing tattoos to follow the appropriate aftercare protocol.
Which Tattoo Removal Options Are Safe?
Laser tattoo removal is the only safe and effective tattoo removal option available today. When performed by a experienced specialist tattoo removal will leave your skin without any visible damage.
Some tattoo removal options on the market pose serious risks to your skin and possibly health. Home remedies—including home laser removal—are ineffective and often dangerous. Some may fade a tattoo slightly, but they won’t remove it completely. At the same time, they can cause extensive skin damage. Let’s take a look at several types of tattoo removal methods to compare the risks they present.
Tattoo removal techniques like the following can lead to lasting damage to the skin and typically achieve poor results:
- Tattoo Removal Cream: You may be wondering if tattoo removal cream can allow you to simply remove your tattoo at home. However, there is no FDA-approved tattoo removal cream on the market, and the word “cream” itself is misleading. While “cream” conjures images of a gentle, soothing ointment, this method actually involves doing a chemical peel. Tattoo removal creams use acid to peel away the skin in an attempt to remove the tattoo. This can cause lasting skin damage such as scarring while also exposing your body to infection. Further, it doesn’t actually remove the dermis layer of the skin that holds the ink, so it won’t completely remove a tattoo.
- Salabrasion: This method involves sanding off the epidermis – breaking the skin and using a salt paste to draw the ink out. This technique can only lighten the tattoo slightly (in a best-case scenario), and its invasive nature means it brings a high chance of side effects or prolonged healing. Needless to say, this is extremely painful. People undergo multiple dermabrasion sessions in an effort to remove a tattoo—usually without the results they were looking for. Moreover, this can lead to substantial scarring, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
- Chemical peels: Using an acid solution to remove part of the skin in an attempt to remove the tattoo. Chemical solutions used in these treatments typically can’t reach the deep layer of skin where tattoo ink has been deposited—and when they can, this invasive technique brings a high risk of lasting damage. This method of removal requires keeping the area clean and dry until the resulting scab falls off naturally, which can take weeks
- Dermabrasion: This invasive technique involves actually sanding the skin in an effort to remove the tattoo ink within it. While dermabrasion can effectively smooth the appearance of the top layer of skin when used for cosmetic purposes, sanding down to the dermis level that contains the tattoo ink runs a high risk of causing damage such as scarring.
- Tattoo excision: This extreme measure involves surgically cutting away the skin containing the tattoo. Needless to say, it hurts quite a bit, is infeasible for all but the smallest tattoos, exposes the skin to infection, and leaves behind a nasty scar. Invasive procedures can pose a serious risk to your overall health because they expose your body to infection. They leave you with a gaping wound through which infection can enter your body. This might affect the local area undergoing removal or your overall health, leading to fever and chills.
- Lemon juice: This home remedy may sound innocent enough, but if you expose your skin to sunlight after treating it with lemon juice, you can actually end up with substantial discoloration!
As you might imagine, these tattoo removal techniques can prove quite painful. Healing can be a lengthy and cumbersome process. Tattoo removal and health experts have debunked the effectiveness and safety of many tattoo removal methods, and urge all to use caution when considering any tattoo removal message, and avoiding any DIY options or techniques that are not performed by a licensed clinician.
Is laser tattoo removal safe? Absolutely. In fact, laser removal is the only truly safe tattoo removal option. Thus, experts like medical professionals recommend this method far more than any other. That’s why it’s the tattoo removal option that Removery uses.
Is Laser Tattoo Removal Safe and Effective?
Laser removal is by far the safest and most effective method of removing a tattoo when done by an experienced professional. In fact, it’s the only method that can break down the ink without breaking the skin. Furthermore, it’s the only tattoo removal method regulated by the FDA. Why trust your skin with anything but state-of-the-art laser technology?
Laser tattoo removal does cause certain side effects such as redness and sometimes blistering. These side effects are completely normal and typically go away in a short period of time.
Never attempt laser removal at home. Instead, always go to a clinic that specializes in laser removal. Operating a laser requires professional training, and a DIY attempt to carry out laser removal at home would be unsafe.
Tattoo Removal Laser Types
Lasers have been used for more than 25 years to remove tattoos, and the technology continues to evolve. Today’s top-of-the-line lasers—namely, the PicoWay—can remove ink more effectively than ever. The pulse of the PicoWay laser lasts for one trillionth of a second, yet it breaks down the ink more effectively than any other technology on the market. It effectively produces every wavelength necessary to break down any color of ink. This makes it the gentlest type of laser available as well—and far gentler than alternative removal methods.
When choosing a removal facility, look for one that uses high-end equipment, not just any laser. Older lasers are still on the market, and many facilities such as spas use less optimal equipment because they don’t specialize in laser removal. Because laser removal makes up just a small portion of what they do, they may not stay as up-to-date on the latest technologies as a facility like Removery specializes in laser removal.
What are the Risks of Laser Tattoo Removal?
Laser removal by a reputable facility offers an extremely high level of safety. Most side effects disappear within a matter of days or weeks. The potential for improper aftercare poses the greatest risk, but fortunately, clients who follow their simple aftercare guidelines closely can easily avoid these risks. For example, by keeping the area that has undergone laser removal out of the sun, they can avoid the risk of skin discoloration. Clients can also avoid complicating the healing process by simply leaving the area alone rather than scratching or picking at it. A skilled removal specialist will explain exactly how to ensure that healing occurs as quickly as possible.
Side Effects of Tattoo Removal
Experiencing side effects after a tattoo removal procedure is completely normal. Clients commonly notice the following side effects:
The area that has undergone removal will typically turn bright red after a laser session. Mild blistering often occurs in the days following the procedure. Usually, the best course of action is to simply leave the area alone and resist the urge to scratch. Your specialist will be on call to address any questions and, in rare cases, provide instructions on how to drain a larger blister.
Common Side Effects of Laser Tattoo Removal
Common immediate/acute reactions include redness, bruising, pinpoint bleeding, swelling, blisters, pain, stinging sensation, and skin color changes. As a client progresses through laser tattoo removal, he/she will require higher fluence to accomplish the removal. As fluency increases so can the acuteness of these common reactions. These common immediate reactions do not last long; 1-10 days is considered normal. Proper tattoo removal aftercare will help clients manage these reactions and facilitate quick recovery.
Less Common Side Effects of Tattoo Removal
Less common reactions are classified as delayed. This list includes: inflammation, infection, pigment changes, systemic allergic reactions. There is no normal for how long these reactions last, but following proper aftercare is still the client’s first line of defense.
Inflammation is not a synonym for infection. Infection at a laser tattoo removal site is possible, but rare. The incidence of pain, heat, redness, swelling and change of function at the tattoo site often lead a client to assume they have developed an infection. The reaction at a site is considered a local acute inflammatory response. Inflammation is a complex response of the body as a result of trauma, cell/skin injury, or irritation. This is actually a protective response provided by the immune system. The body responds to injury by activating the immune system and vascular system. Inflammation occurs to eliminate the cause of cell injury, clear out damaged cells and initiate tissue repair. Inflammation therefore is a positive response, indicating a healthy individual with a healthy immune system.
Infection is more complex and occurs when bacteria is present with an inflammatory response. Clients will experience the same incidences of pain, heat, redness, swelling and change of function accompanied by a fever and if severe, lymph node swelling. A person with an infection does not feel good. It can affect your overall feeling of wellness. Certainly, always follow-up with your clinic if you think you have an infection, a more serious complication.
Hypopigmentation and Hyperpigmentation
Pigmentation changes either lightening of the skin (hypopigmentation) or darkening of the skin (hyperpigmentation) are also delayed reactions to laser tattoo removal. Both are very common reactions to laser tattoo removal. This risk is created when the surrounding skin absorbs the heat and energy of the laser. Melanin gives us our pigment, it is present on the skin/epidermis and can be affected by the laser, thus causing changes in the skin pigment. Melanin is produced by melanocytes that are located deeper in the skin, below the tattoo. Tattoos sit at about 4mm of depth in the skin, a laser reaches and shatters the ink but does not reach and shatter the melanocyte. The body will respond to the loss of melanin in the skin/epidermis by producing melanin to replace the lost pigment. This process takes 3-12 months after the last laser session is completed. Clients are reminded to be patient, especially dark-skinned clients. Rarely are these pigment changes permanent because it is skin changes, not deeper tissue changes.
Hyperpigmentation occurs because of over-lasering at a site and because shattered ink can enter surrounding tissue and remain there. This is common in cultures where the dermis is known to be thin.
Book a Tattoo Removal Consultation
Tattoo removal safety is our number one priority. We hope this info on tattoo removal has eased your concerns and left you excited to take the next step. Ready to take the plunge with tattoo removal? Book a consultation with one of our experienced specialists today!