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Tattoos can be beautiful works of art, or they can be a clear reminder of regret. It’s natural to have several questions when you decide to remove your tattoo. Whether or not the entire tattoo can be removed is one of them.
So, is it possible to remove an entire tattoo? The answer is yes, but not every time.
Laser Tattoo Removal Treatment
Tattoo removal is a process that requires time, patience and the skills of a qualified laser technician. It’s also up to the patient to ensure they’re doing everything to give their body the best chance at removing all the unwanted ink.
Your laser technician can only control the removal portion of the process, including the techniques and technology that are used. As for the circumstances around your tattoo – that’s only in your control.
Some factors play a role in how quickly and easily a tattoo can be removed. In most instances, it takes anywhere from 6 – 10 sessions to remove a tattoo completely, but this is a very average guess.
Let’s take a look at some of the other factors that play a role in the tattoo removal process.
Factors that Affect Laser Tattoo Removal
Choosing a clinic for your laser tattoo removal is one of the first and most important steps in this process. Any tattoos that were applied poorly or have been treated incorrectly in a prior session could make scarring a factor. Scarring doesn’t have to be visible either; it can also be present underneath the skin. Just one lousy treatment can affect every other session during the removal process.
Laser tattoo removal is more effective when your skin is healthy, meaning it’s free of damage. When an inexperienced technician treats your tattoo, it can cause deep scarring that prevents the light from being absorbed by the ink. If your tattoo doesn’t absorb the laser light, it won’t ever disappear completely.
Inexperience is only one issue – a clinic that uses inferior laser removal technology can have the same negative effect. It’s so important to choose your clinic carefully.
If skin damage is present, you will first need to treat it before you can pursue laser tattoo removal. Laser treatments are probably the best course of action for damage of this nature. The laser that’s used will be different from the laser used for tattoo removal though. You can find more details here.
The type of ink that was used to create your body art is another factor that can affect the removal process. Thousands types of ink are used in the tattoo sector. It’s not uncommon for your tattoo artist to not know exactly what type of ink they’re using. Yes, they might know the brand and who supplied them with the ink, but unfortunately, suppliers tend to change their ink components every now and then.
Every type of ink has a slightly different chemical composition. Some tattoo inks even contain metals such as arsenic and lead. Also, different ink colors have a different structure. For example, black ink tends to contain carbon, iron oxide and logwood, while blue ink contains cobalt aluminate.
Some inks respond well during the removal process, while others can be quite problematic, resulting in an unsatisfactory result. By choosing the right clinic for your tattoo removal though, you will benefit from your technician’s experience with different types of inks. This will increase the chances of the entire tattoo being removed.
While ink color does play a role in the tattoo removal process, newer technology is working around this. The Pico laser system is one example of a device that’s capable of removing more colors. This is because the system uses three different wavelengths, which makes it possible to remove a wider selection of colors.
In terms of color, in general, overly bright colors and any greens and blues are particularly difficult to remove. If a laser technician has told you otherwise, you may want to continue your search for a tattoo removal clinic.
So, yes, depending on the technology, it is possible to remove all colors, but there are still no guarantees. It’s only until your technician starts working on your tattoo that they can tell how easily the colors will respond to treatment. With the right technician and technology, though, it is possible to remove at least 80% of your tattoo if you have challenging colors.
Black is the easiest and quickest color to remove. The reason for this is because it absorbs all wavelengths of light before converting it into heat.
Skin Care after Treatment
How you care for your tattooed skin after every session can also make a difference to your end result. Your skin is going to feel as if it has a bit of a burn wound after your session. There will be some swelling, bruising and scabbing too.
For the first few days, you will need to keep the area clean and dry – getting an infection will not speed up or aid the tattoo removal process. It’s also important not to pick any scabs as this could cause scabbing that will affect future treatments.
Exercising a few days after your session is known to help your body move the ink particles, so it is recommended – as is staying hydrated. If your tattoo is exposed to the sun, be sure to wear a sunscreen with a high SPF. Burning the area will also affect your future removal sessions.
If, at any point, you are concerned about the appearance of the treatment area, get in touch with your laser technician.
If you are willing to give the tattoo removal process time and you make an effort to find a reputable clinic, you can expect great results. Just don’t forget that realistic expectations are a must too.
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