People have many reasons to get a tattoo. To commemorate a special love or a special life event, to shown their allegiance to a cause, a band, or a public figure, or just because it seemed like a good idea at the time. However, fashions change, hearts get broken, and fads come and go. What seemed like an amazing idea in your twenties may not seem like such a good idea in your thirties.
An estimated 14 percent of all Americans have at least one or more tattoos, or 45 million people, have one or more tattoos. Thirty-six percent of males between the ages of 18-25 have tattoos, while 40 percent of those between the ages of 26-40 have tattoos. Nearly half of all millennials have tattoos.
In addition, Americans spend an average of $1.6 million annually on new tattoos. This adds up to a lot of tattoos. Unfortunately, for many Americans, it also adds to up a lot of regret.
Unfortunately, tattoos are forever — or at least they used to be. Laser tattoo removal can help you permanently erase your past tattooing mistakes.
Laser tattoo removal was first tried in the late 1970s. Unfortunately, the CO2 and argon lasers commonly used at the time tended to cause heavy scarring and mutagenicity, or genetic damage to exposed tissue. Mutagenicity has been linked to a higher-than-normal risk of developing skin or other cancers. Concerns over these serious side-effects cause laser tattoo removal caused there to be very, very limited use of the procedure. This change during the early 1980s, when researchers began testing the viable of using high-energy Q-switch or pulsed ruby lasers to remove tattoos.
This has since become the standard for laser tattoo removal, and has been successfully used to remove thousands of tattoos during the intervening decades.
The principal behind laser tattoo removal is very simple.
Tattoo inks generally contain heavy metals such as cadmium, lead, manganese or even mercury. These metals are what give tattoos both their color and their permanency. When a tattoo is applied to the skin, your immune system immediately goes to work trying to remove these pigments, which is one leading reason that tattoos fade. The pieces small enough to be removed by your body’s white blood cells are then filtered out of the body by the immune system. The pieces that are too big for the white blood cells to destroy stay behind. These large particles are the parts of the tattoo that much be removed by the laser.
In laser tattoo removal, short, powerful blast of laser light are used to rapidly heat the remaining tattoo pigment up so that it breaks apart into particles small enough for the immune system to remove from your body. These pulses are extremely fast — on the order of picoseconds, or trillions of a second — and cause part of the pigment particle to rapidly heat and then cool. This rapid temperature change between different parts of each particle cause the particle to rip itself apart.
Laser treatment can be a very effective way to completely or near-completely remove tattoos that would have been considered permanent and non-removable until just a few short years ago. For many patients, the results can be life changing.
However, results will vary from person to person based on a number of factors. These factors include such things as the age of the tattoo, the size of the tattoo, the type of pigment used — some colors are harder to remove than others — and the individual’s skin tone.
Consult with one of our trained professionals today to see if laser tattoo removal is right for you. The first step towards changing your life may be only a phone call away.