Tattoo removal has become quite the popular procedure in recent years, as more and more people who got tattoos have decided, for various reasons, that they no longer wish to keep the ink. Usually performed as an outpatient procedure with a local anesthesia, the most common techniques for tattoo removal include surgical removal, laser removal, and/or dermabrasion. Depending on the technique for removal, patients can expect different experiences and even outcomes. Here are some things that a patient of each can expect with their tattoo removal procedures.
Surgical Tattoo Removal Methods
With a surgical removal of tattoos, the skin is given an injection of local anesthetic and the tattoo is then taken out with a scalpel. The edges of the skin are then stitched back together and an antibacterial ointment is applied. This is not among the most popular procedures, because although it’s effective, it does leave a noticeable scar, so it’s only practical for those who are seeking the removal of small tattoos.
During a dermabrasion procedure, the tattooed area is chilled until it becomes numb. The skin is then sanded down with a high-speed rotary device and an abrasive wheel that gets down to deeper levels of skin. As the outer layer of skin is taken off, the tattoo is taken with it. Expect the treated area to feel sore and raw for up to two weeks following the procedure.
Laser Tattoo Removal
The most popular method of tattoo removal these days uses lasers, as laser tattoo removal results are typically achieved with less pain and recovery time. Before the treatment begins, the skin is injected with a local anesthetic and numbed appropriately. A powerful pulse of laser energy is then applied to the tattoo to heat and shatter the ink. Tattoos with many colors will likely require various lasers of different wavelengths for full removal. Patients can expect some swelling and possibly some bleeding or blistering post treatment, but antibacterial ointment can help with the healing. Usually, multiple sessions are required to completely erase the tattoo, especially those that are large in size or heavily pigmented.
Learn More from Skin & Vein
Since tattoos are intended to be long lasting, complete tattoo removal can be difficult regardless of the method. Patients should be prepared for some degree of skin color variation afterward, as well as possible scarring. If you’re interested in learning more about tattoo removal and the kind of tattoo removal results you can expect, schedule a consultation with our office to discuss your individual tattoo removal needs.