Tattoo Removal

Looking for the various methods of tattoo removal?

It is estimated that approximately 50% of all people with tattoos will at some point in time choose to have them removed for one reason or another.

Since a tattoo is meant to be a permanent fixture, removing them may be difficult, however, there are several options currently available for doing so.

Laser Therapy for Tattoo Removal

Laser tattoo removal has come to be one of the most popular ways in which to remove a tattoo pigment because there is little scarring and a low risk of side effects.

The process of using lasers, which stands for Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation, is done on an outpatient basis and may require several visits to be effective.

The actual treatment will depend on a number of different variables, such as the placement of the tattoo, the colors used, how old it is, the size of the tattoo, and the type and color of the person's skin.

The type of laser that is actually used will also depend upon the color pigment that was used in the tattoo. Yellows and greens are the hardest of all colors to remove, while blues and black are usually the easiest.

The types of lasers used for tattoo removal utilize a technique known as Q switching, in reference to the types of high energy pulses that are used during the process.

The three types used are called the Q-switched Ruby, the Q-switched Alexandrite, and the newest addition to this type of laser treatment is referred to as the Q-switched Nd: YAG, which is an advanced form of the process used to remove certain colors such as reds, blues, and blacks, and is also used to minimize scarring.

The majority of people receiving laser treatment for removing a tattoo will not require any anesthesia but may elect for a topical anesthetic depending on their threshold for pain.

Dermatologists usually recommend that a non-aspirin product be taken prior to laser therapy to reduce any possible bruising after treatment.


The procedure of dermabrasion essentially 'sands' the top and middle layers of the skin away and may be painful for some.

Multiple treatments may also be necessary with dermabrasion.

Surgical Excision and Cryosurgery

Surgical excision is the most radical form of tattoo removal and involves a dermatologic surgeon removing the tattooed area of skin with a scalpel, and then closing the wound with stitches.

In cases of extra large tattoos, a skin graft from another part of the body may be necessary.

During cryosurgery, the tattooed portion of skin is frozen prior to being surgically removed.

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