The reasons can be very different, but the problem is the same for everyone: “How to get rid of that tattoo done when I was or was too young / too in love / too drunk ?
According to data from the Dermatology Unit of the Ruber Clinic only in 2014 increased by 30% the demand of wanting to erase some tattoos body. And when 5 years have passed since the tattoo was made, 60% of people would want to remove it.
“Removing a tattoo is much harder than doing it, and it cannot always be achieved” – says Luca Siliprandi, Vice President Plastic Surgeon of Aicpe.
Tattoos are often done by young people without thinking that it is a sign that they will be with us forever.
Many of them get tired, they change the tastes and passions and then they decide to erase the drawing or the writing. Some do it for work. Those who want to join the army, police corps, and world of finance … do not have to have tattoos.
Here are ten things we should know when deciding to say goodbye to a tattoo:
1) Complete elimination is not always possible: The laser does not always remove all tattoos. It is not like using an eraser to remove the pencil from a piece of paper. The effectiveness of the treatment will depend on the color, depth, density and type of pigment use. Apart from the patient’s skin type, that is, from the color of his skin (white, olive, black)…
2) There is a lot of intrusism in the subject: The best way to go is to request help from experienced professionals, capable of offering modern techniques. At the moment the most effective technique is the q-switched laser (or QS laser). It is a technique that uses a laser of very short duration (nanoseconds, a few millionths of a second). This destroys the cells in which the pigments have been introduced, breaking them into smaller fragments (diameter ranging from 10 to 100 thousandths of a millimeter). This is allowed to be removed by body fluids or by cell migration in a matter of days or weeks. Treatments must be constant, spaced for a long period of time (usually 45 – 60 days) to allow the spontaneous removal of the pigments.
Now it has appeared a type of special tattoos that only last several years and that can be remaking if they want to maintain. I recommend you read Ephemeral Tatoos. Tattoos are no longer for life!
3) Choose the right time of the year to do it: You need to calculate time well, because removing a tattoo is a long process that needs several sessions spaced around 6-8 weeks. Exposure of sun-treated skin or sun lamps should be avoided for at least one month between session and exposure, taking care of. In addition, sunscreens with high protection (30+ in very dark skin and 50 + in the rest of skins) should be used at the first exposures.
4) It is difficult to calculate how many sessions will be needed: It is difficult to know in advance how many sessions should be done to remove a tattoo. It can range from 3 to 5 sessions on less complicated tattoos, or reach 8-12 sessions in more difficult cases. In a small percentage of cases, treatment may be unsatisfactory. It depends on several factors: the type of tattoo (professional tattoos are usually more difficult to remove due to the depth of the pigment and its high density); the color (green, blue and especially yellow, are very difficult and sometimes impossible to eliminate. Red, in some cases, may even darken by the effect of the ferrous material present in the pigment). Older tattoos are easier to remove than newer tattoos,
5) Against the larger the tattoo the longer it takes: The length of each session depends on the area of the tattoo to remove. A surface area of 4 cm is treated in about ten minutes. Cosmetic tattoos (eyebrows, lips, areola, and camouflage of scars …) of brown-orange or pink color should be treated with great care. Tests should be performed on small areas before proceeding to complete treatment. If they contain zinc or titanium oxide and if treated with QS laser can irreversibly blacken.
6) You can leave a tattoo half removed: The patient should be aware that he is half-hearted.
7) To presume you have to suffer … QS laser treatment is painful. To reduce pain, an anesthetic cream is usually applied 30 minutes prior to the session and during treatment; ice is applied to the skin.
8) The darker the skin, the harder it will be to remove it: Tattoo removal gives more problems in people with dark skin. There is a high risk of alteration of pigmentation. It is also not advisable to eliminate tattoos in people with a tendency to develop hypertrophic or keloid scars, or who have active infections.
9) The “post-operative”: After treatment, blisters form on the skin. It is then recommended to use ointments or creams with antibiotics and apply an occlusive dressing with vaseline gauze for a day or two, until crusts form.
10) The “Phantom Tattoo” syndrome: Finally it is good to know that when a tattoo is removed, the “tattoo ghost” usually appears. That is, the area where the tattoo was left as if there was a shadow. It may take several years to disappear or even subtract there forever.
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