Tattoos are no longer forever

Tattooing the skin is a widespread practice in many cultures, including our own. Although most people proudly show their designs, there are also cases of regret for that inscription or illustration that may be a limitation to access certain jobs, or that was decided at a personal moment that may have changed (change of personal tastes and even sentimental breakups that leave some tattoos meaningless).

For these cases the supposed eternity of the tattoo is no longer a condemnation, since there is a technique that manages to blur and remove the ink injected into the skin, in a simple and effective way: the application of laser light.

Light that destroys the pigments

The tattoo is performed by means of a needle that penetrates the skin and injects ink into the specific area to create a design or drawing. Specifically, the ink is deposited 2-3mm below the skin, in what we call the dermis. In this layer of the skin, the cells are very stable, so the tattoo becomes almost permanent. Only the laser is able to break this characteristic and offer the possibility to erase what, until a few years ago, was indelible.

The laser treatment allows the pigment to be destroyed without damaging the skin, since the light irradiation is nanoseconds or picoseconds, which means that it only acts on the ink and not on the surrounding tissue. In addition, local cold is administered to the patient to mitigate the pain of the treatment.

The laser micro-pulverizes the ink pigment, the body reabsorbs this pulverized ink and eliminates it via the lymphatic system through the urine. That is why this technique is characterized by not leaving scars or marks of any kind.

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Laser tattoo removal with satisfactory results

Laser light can erase practically any tattoo. However, the specialist in Aesthetic Medicine must take into account that the skin tone, color and size of the tattoo itself, can condition the effectiveness of treatment. In this sense, we can point out that blue, orange, red and black colors are easy to remove, while green, lilac, brown and yellow tones pose an added difficulty. On the other hand, the lighter the skin tone, the more successful the result.

Just as several sessions are needed to create a tattoo, several sessions are also needed to remove it. Therefore, do not be in a hurry and let the skin recover well and trust that, after each session, the tattoo will become lighter. In most cases, an average of 6-8 sessions of about 15 minutes are needed, spaced at least 6 weeks apart.

After these sessions a slight warming and a slight inflammation of the treated area is usually noticed, although this subsides after a short time. During the recovery process it is necessary to avoid heat and humidity sources such as saunas, swimming pools, stoves or hot water baths. These precautions prevent the skin from macerating. It is also necessary to use total sun protection until the skin tone recovers.

Thus, we have seen that it is possible to completely remove a tattoo without leaving any trace on the skin. However, we would like to end this article with some recommendations to take into account if we want to get a tattoo on our skin: it is not advisable to get a tattoo on a freckle or on the lower part of the wrist, as this is considered the preferred area to place an IV in cases of hospitalization. Similarly, it is preferable not to tattoo the skin in the spinal area, specifically in the lumbar region, as it may prevent the injection of epidural anesthesia in childbirth.