Until the middle of the last century, getting rid of a boring tattoo was almost impossible. But, with the beginning of the use of laser beams, everything has changed: now, in a relatively short time, an unnecessary drawing can be almost completely removed, and even traces will not remain.
However, is everything so cloudless and safe, or is there a hidden side to the laser tattoo removal method that salon workers do not like to talk about?
Since ancient times, people have loved to decorate their bodies with drawings. The goals could be very different: to designate a position in society, to impress enemies, or to add attractiveness in the eyes of others. Scientists found skillfully drawn colored tattoos on the bodies of the mummies of Egypt, the ancient Persians, Greeks and Romans loved to decorate their bodies with images, and among representatives of the Germanic tribes, the bodies of leaders and priests were covered with drawings and scars.
Even the simplest images carried a deep meaning: they protected from evil spirits, testified to belonging to a tribe, and even showed the status of a married woman.
Centuries have passed, costumes, manners and the whole life of mankind have changed a lot, but painting the body is still one of the ways to emphasize your individuality and add charm. Many more tattoos are designed to indicate belonging to a particular subculture or a separate group. Often, professional painting on leather is so interesting that it can be considered as a separate art form; it is not for nothing that talented body art masters are very popular.
But the image may turn out to be not entirely successful, the person's life style, circumstances, or simply wants to change. However, to apply good tattoos, high-quality pigments are used, drops of which accumulate under the client's skin, forming a picture. Until recently, it was almost impossible to get rid of the applied images, only to surgically cut off a piece of skin or scrape off the drawing, forming ugly scars in its place.
In the second half of the last century, the properties of the laser began to be widely used in medicine. And after a few decades, the technique of removing unwanted tattoos using directed laser beams began to gain popularity. Doctors - dermatologists are constantly developing new ways to influence the accumulation of colored pigment under the skin, trying to achieve maximum safety and painlessness of the procedure.
How it works
Before deciding to remove an unwanted pattern, you need to decide on the clinic: the specialist who will carry out the procedure must necessarily have a medical education and, preferably, be a dermatologist. After all, only a professional can choose the right mechanism for laser action and the type of installation. These recommendations do not depend on the whims of the doctor, but on how professionally the tattoo was applied, such types of pigment were used and how deeply the paint particles penetrated the skin. By the way, the removal method will also depend on the colors that the master used.
There are two main methods of exposure to the laser beam on the skin:
- Ablative: the beam acts directly on the epidermis layer, quickly warming it up. At the same time, the water contained in the skin cells also heats up and evaporates. Thanks to this, the fragment with the applied drawings becomes thinner and disappears. In practice, the laser beam "polishes" the skin, removing the top layer. It will help if the tattoo pigment has not penetrated deeply. Leaves no scars or scars when used correctly.
- Selective: its effect occurs deeper than with the previous method, affecting the subcutaneous formations and leaving the outer layer of the epidermis intact.The specialist selects the required irradiation mode and wavelength individually, based on the color of the pattern and the depth of penetration of the pigment particles. The beam only affects the paint fragments, causing them to be destroyed. The remains are excreted along with the lymph over a period of several weeks.
Several types of laser systems are used in aesthetic cosmetology. Their action is distinguished by the depth of penetration and the possibility of individual adjustment:
- Erbium or carbon dioxide: it can be used to quickly remove patterns on the surface of the skin. Good for shallow monochrome images.
- Ruby: good results for black, green and blue paints. However, its rays have almost no effect on the red and orange segments of the tattoo.
- Alexandrite: also used to selectively affect the skin. It features a faster removal rate and is recommended for shallow patterns with dark shades. Like the previous look, it has almost no effect on warm reds and oranges.
- Neodymium: Currently the most versatile and effective method, unfortunately at a high cost. An installation with short pulses is used, generating waves of different lengths. This allows you to selectively affect the fragments of the color pattern, almost completely destroying the pigment drops under the skin. Suitable for all kinds of professional color tattoos.
What will be silent in the salon
After a thorough examination, the doctor will determine what type of laser device should be used to flatten the tattoo and in how many sessions it can be removed. Clinics' advertising brochures rarely indicate that a tattoo can be removed without a trace in only a few sessions, sometimes their number reaches a dozen and the procedure can take more than a year. Everything is very individual and depends on many factors: the easiest way is to get rid of the black pigment, but it is almost impossible to remove a fashionable white tattoo.
There are no universal methods of laser exposure, doctors still know too little about the possible consequences and do not always choose the right method. With an incorrectly calculated impact, burns and scars may remain in the place of the drawing. Sometimes, after exposure to a laser, the healing process can be long and painful: swelling of the damaged area, bleeding, and sometimes superficial skin burns. It is especially difficult to remove drawings from dark skin, the darker the patient, the more painful and difficult the procedure will be.
Yellow, white and violet colors practically do not react to laser action, therefore, partial fragments of the removed pattern may remain on the skin.
People prone to allergic reactions need to carefully monitor their feelings during the procedure: destroyed paint particles are carried away through the lymph and can enter the lymph nodes, causing irritation and dangerous allergic reactions.
Re-exposure to the laser is only possible after 28 days. In the meantime, you need to carefully care for your skin and not put yourself at risk:
- Avoid direct sunlight.
- For the first few days, the skin should not be wetted. After consulting a doctor, a wound healing agent can be applied to the damaged area. Only in a thin layer, the skin under the ointment should "breathe".
- If possible, avoid contact of the affected area with clothing to avoid irritation. And, of course, try not to touch or scratch the tattoo. Although it will itch very strongly …
- In the event of the slightest complications, immediately consult a doctor: even with a gentle effect on the skin, there is a risk of infection.
Despite the relative safety of using the laser, there are several contraindications in which the procedure cannot be carried out:
- Fresh tan;
- Suspected cancer;
- Cardiovascular diseases in the acute stage;
- Systemic blood diseases;
- Pregnancy and lactation;
- Allergy to pain medications;
- Mechanical damage to the skin.
If you tune in to long-term efforts and minor pain sensations, using modern techniques, you can get rid of a boring tattoo once and for all. And soon fill a new one, because the desire to be unique will not go anywhere …