Tattoos and permanent makeup nowadays have become a common way of enhancing ones self-image. Unfortunately not all tattoos stand the test of time, style and quality – there are times when concept of ever-lasting needs to be challenged by tattoo removal.
The most efficient tattoo removal method is laser treatment. With the development of laser technologies and aesthetic medicine, tattoo removal is becoming faster, less painful and more efficient. Modern lasers can successfully erase not only black, but also coloured pigments, which previously made tattoo removal more difficult.
How does laser tattoo removal work?
Removal of tattoos and permanent makeup takes place in the dermatologist''s office using laser technologies – most often laser platforms with different wavelengths necessary for removal of pigmented tattoos.
Tattoo removal is based on the thermal effect of laser on the tattoo pigment – pigment absorbs laser energy and is split into very fine particles. The body''s immune system cells – macrophages – absorb and process these particles, gradually removing the pigment from the body through cell metabolism.
What laser is used to remove tattoos?
Dermatologists use Q-switch, alexandrite and Nd:YAG lasers for tattoo removal. These golden standard solutions are also available in ''Veselības centrs 4'' clinics and are used depending on the tattoo type, age, intensity and other factors.
Where can I remove a tattoo?
A wide range of laser solutions for tattoo removal is available in ''Veselības centrs 4'' branches ''4. Dimensija'' and ''Dermatoloģijas klīnika'' (Dermatology Clinic). Laser is chosen depending on the condition of the specific tattoo and the customer''s wishes and possibilities.
- Alma-Q laser platform with Nd:YAG, LP, QLP and Q-switched modes – tattoo removal, removal of small blood vessel lessions, procedures for skin renewal and beauty;
- DEKA Q Switch laser – specially measured for removal of black, grey, purple and blue tattoo shades;
- DEKA Q-Switched Nd:YAG laser – efficiently removes not only black, but also coloured tattoos, maximally reduced risk of scarring;
- ALMA Lasers Harmony®XL laser – ipixelQSW laser therapy for removal of various tattoos on all skin levels, laser peeling, laser therapy for improving the condition of problematic skin;
- New! Tattoo removal with SmartPICO laser.
This year, the picosecond laser SmartPICO (DEKA, Italy), the first in the Baltics, which makes removal of tattoos and fight against unwanted pigmentation even more efficient and faster, was added to ''Veselības centrs 4'' laser technology park. Depending on the specifics of the tattoo, the laser pulse length can be adjusted in picoseconds or nanoseconds. SmartPICO splits the tattoo pigment into much finer particles than other lasers, which allows removing tattoos that could not be removed with other laser technologies. Besides, SmartPICO laser affects not only the tattoo pigment, but also the scars left by unsuccessful tattooing or previously removed tattoos, softening and making them smoother.
How long does it take to remove a tattoo?
Tattoo removal is a relatively long process and is carried out in several sessions. Depending on the used laser, tattoo pigments, depth and age, full tattoo removal requires an average of 10 laser therapy sessions with an interval of 6-8 weeks between the procedures.
The biggest risk factor in tattoo removal is hyperpigmentation, which can occur when the treated area is exposed to sunlight. Therefore, specialists recommend removing tattoos in the dark months of the year and using sunscreen regardless of the season.
Tattoo removal process:
- tanning is prohibited before laser tattoo removal and during the course of procedures;
- laser tattoo removal can cause certain discomfort, therefore, anaesthetic gel is applied to the treated area before the procedure;
- both the dermatologist and the client wear special protective glasses during the procedure;
- during the sessions, laser power is adjusted according to the remaining pigment.
After tattoo removal procedure:
- immediately after the procedure, the dermatologist applies healing cream and a patch to the treated tattoo;
- after laser procedures, temporary swelling, redness and, in rare cases, small blisters may form in the treated area;
- the treated area heals in two weeks, scab will disappear within a week and a half after the procedure;
- split pigment is removed from the body within 6-8 weeks;
- avoid heat procedures (bathhouse, sauna), pools and soaking in the bath during the tattoo removal course;
- after tattoo removal, skin in the treated area may be lighter than elsewhere. Skin shade will gradually even out within six months to one year after the tattoo removal;
- new tattoos can be made in the treated area after tattoo removal.