Have you ever, on one random night out with your friends, gone to the tattoo parlor and gotten a tattoo that you immediately regretted the next day? It happens to the best of us. Or, maybe you were so in love with someone that you wanted the world to know it was real and forever, so you got their name tattooed on you. But … then it turned out to not be forever. Well, the Center for Skin and Cosmetic Dermatology is here to help you erase that regrettable tattoo and the bad memories with it.
Previously when removing tattoos, dermatologic surgeons used dermabrasion, salabrasion and Argon or CO2 lasers, and those often left behind scars in place of the tattoo. The advent of Q-Switched lasers has permitted the removal of most tattoo inks with a very low risk of scarring. The neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet (Nd:YAG for short – because that’s just too long to say every time) laser is the newest system in this class of lasers. This laser can significantly lighten or remove many tattoo inks, and it is particularly advanced in the removal of blue, black and red inks. Put simply, the Nd:YAG laser removes tattoo ink with the concentrated energy of light.
Just as natural sunlight is made up of light wavelengths of many colors, a laser is a device which is designed to produce one or more specific wavelengths of light. These wavelengths are either absorbed, reflected, or simply pass through the skin, but they are absorbed by the ink. The rapid absorption of light energy causes the tattoo ink to destruct, and the body’s natural filtering systems then removes it.
Medical research has taught us which wavelengths of light to use and specifically how to deliver the laser’s output to best remove tattoo ink. The Nd:YAG uses a light wavelength which passes through skin, but is absorbed by most inks, meaning that the laser won’t affect your skin’s pigment. Nd:YAG laser also delivers the light in very short, high-intensity pulses for maximum ink destruction. The use of this specific combination of wavelength and rapidly-pulsed light results in minimal damage to the skin, while providing maximum tattoo ink removal.
If you’re ready to permanently remove that memory of your horrible ex-significant other – or that bet that you lost – that you worried was permanent, then contact the dermatologic surgeons at the Center for Skin and Cosmetic Dermatology. We’ll give you a complete walkthrough of the tattoo removal process, along with an estimate of how many sessions you’ll need for a complete removal of the tattoo. The smaller the tattoo, the fewer sessions you’ll need. There is a little bit of pain involved in the removal process – less than actually getting the tattoo – but topical anesthesia is available if needed.