Tattoo removal can be performed with different techniques. You and your provider may consider the size, color, design, and age of your tattoo when choosing a treatment option.
Today, lasers are the preferred method for removing tattoos. The treatment uses concentrated light waves to heat up ink particles in the skin. These particles then break into smaller pieces that your body’s immune system clears away.
Most people will need several laser treatments, usually between 6 and 10, to achieve their desired result. Some lighter ink colors, such as green, red, and yellow, are more difficult to remove with a laser than others. Black and blue are usually the easiest to target with a laser.
With surgical tattoo removal, doctors simply cut out the skin that contains the tattoo. Then they pull surrounding skin together and close it up. This method, which is more suitable for smaller tattoos, will create a scar.
Dermabrasion is a technique that involves using a special tool to sand down the skin and remove layers that contain ink particles. Dermabrasion isn’t commonly used for tattoo removal because it often provides inconsistent results and leaves significant scarring. More than one session of dermabrasion may be required for tattoo removal.
Chemical peels containing trichloroacetic acid (TCA) are a less commonly used method of tattoo removal. When applied to the skin, TCA removes the outer layer, along with tattoo ink.
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