Tattoo removal is an application that has increased popularity nowadays. The reasons may be purely professional (candidates in military schools-police-port ,flight attendants) but also social.

But many times the person himself regrets it at some point in his life or even immediately after the application if the result was not what he imagined.

With the evolution of lasers we can offer significant help in this difficult task of tattoo removal.

 

Tattoo removal with specialized lasers

Before the era of lasers in dermatology, we tried to remove tattoos with destructive methods such as dermabrasion, strong chemical peels (TCA), cryotherapy , but also surgical resection.

Lasers have given a new impetus to this application. Using Q - Switched Νd YAG laser, laser specially made for the treatment of pigment (colour) containing a tattoo, It is possible to treat almost all tattoo colors, without causing burns or unsightly scars on the patient's skin.

This laser can and does selectively treat different colors, of which a tattoo may consist , leaving adjacent tissues intact by a process called selective photothermolysis (in contrast to non-specialized lasers e.g.. CO2 laser surgery, fractional, laser skin rejuvenation, laser Alexandrite etc.) Only in this way can the best aesthetic result be achieved.

The Q - Switched YAG laser produces a ray of light, which is selectively absorbed by the grains of the tattoo pigment. This causes the pigment to break down into tiny pieces, which are recognized by the body's defense cells (are phagocytosed ) and then excreted slowly through the lymphatic system (natural way of removing junk from the body). The process takes a few weeks , therefore more than one session is required.

 

How long does a tattoo treatment session last? QSwitched YAG laser;

The duration of the application is usually 15 to 30 minutes and depends on the size of the tattoo. At this time we will have to add more 30-45 minutes if preceded by local anesthesia using xylocaine anesthetic cream.

 

The treatment is painful;

With the use of local anesthesia the patient feels only small bites on the surface of the skin, which usually did not hurt. Local anesthesia can be done using a local anesthetic cream, although we usually prefer injectable xylocaine (alone or together with adrenaline) which has a much better result and immediate action

Many times in parallel with the application of the laser we use cold air provided by the cryo6 zimmer and it offers additional anesthesia in the area where the application takes place.

Instructions that we give before the application of laser tattoo removal

Avoid exposure to the sun or artificial light sources (solarium) for the previous ones 4 weeks. If the area where the tattoo is located is covered with hair, to shave the area the day before.

 

What we see immediately after treatment; Instructions for after application.

The part of the skin that contains the tattoo is slightly swollen temporarily for an hour or two, immediately after treatment and may develop whitish discoloration and small blisters with minimal serum content which will then form crusts (These crusts also contain part of the tattoo pigment. We must not remove them by force because there is a risk of scarring).

Avoid wetting the area for the first ones 24-48 hours while then showering carefully so as not to injure the area (which contains crusts).

Using a suitable antibiotic-anti-inflammatory ointment, the skin irritation subsides within the next few days and the healing process is facilitated with moisture (moist healing). In the first days we close the area with a patch (this is necessary for the former 72 hours ,while then we can leave the area open). The following is the use of a moisturizing-regenerating ointment for the next period until the next session. We see the color of the tattoo gradually fade and the texture of the skin is completely restored. Then we are ready for the next session (approximately 4 weeks)

During healing it is advisable to avoid very tight clothing in the area to avoid friction. also, we avoid the use of perfumes in the area as well as anything that offers intense heat (very hot water in the bathroom, sauna-hammam, sunbathing or solarium and of course swimming in the sea or pool (avoid soaking)

 

How many treatments are needed in total; And at what intervals?

It depends on the type of dye (quality but also color hue) , the amount of pigment and the depth that has been placed inside the skin. Amateur tattoos may need four- six sessions if a proper biodegradable dye has been used superficially, while there are cases where the color did not recede with the application because the dye was inappropriate (ink containing metal ions). Professional tattoos may require six to eight treatments and sometimes more. Black and blue colors in tattoos respond better, while red fades more slowly ,Green tattoos fade even slower and harder and may require more treatments. The yellow color of tattoos also does not respond easily. Sometimes, the pigment of the tattoos can be placed so deep in the skin, which is impossible for the body to remove completely, although significant color attenuation can be achieved.

The old tattoos (over 5 years) in which the color has faded require fewer sessions than a new one with vivid colors.

 

After tattoo treatment using laser I return immediately to my activities?

After the application he can return immediately to his daily activities with very little care of the area where the application took place.

Avoid wetting the area for the first ones 24-48 hours while then showering carefully so as not to injure the area (which contains crusts). We use antibiotic-anti-inflammatory ointment for the former 72 hours with the area closed with a special patch (to avoid contamination). Then we can have the area open and use a moisturizing-regenerating ointment for the next period until the next session

 

What are the possible side effects that may occur after application;

The area where the laser tattoo removal session took place is an area that has received minor injuries and is therefore at increased risk for developing infections.. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation may also develop in the same area (stain) something that is more common in people with dark skin or hyperpigmentation (white spot). Also in people who have a predisposition to make hypertrophic scars and keloids, laser tattoo removal treatment carries this risk as well. (which is of course much smaller compared to the classic destructive methods such as dermabrasion).

 

After tattoo treatment using QSwitched YAG laser, there is a possibility of scarring on the skin?

By using this specialized type of laser, the chance of scarring is extremely low but cannot be completely ruled out. At this point a crucial role is played by properly following the instructions we give for after the laser application (such as not to disturb the crusts that form immediately after treatment). In people who have a history of predisposition to hypertrophic scars and keloids, or we avoid doing the application ,or we follow more conservative regulations, so we will need more treatment sessions.

 

Why should I choose the dermatology clinic of Dr.. Kalokasidi “Donations Science Clinic” for removal my tattoo?

In our office we have the most modern and advanced Q - Switched Nd YAG laser 1064 / 532nm (KTP) the Q-Clear of American LightAge laser beam. also, we have extensive experience in this application. In cases where the tattoo contains difficult colors (Green, Red, yellow) run a free trial session in a tattoo department to make sure we can be effective when applying.

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