TATTOO REMOVAL MYTH-BUSTING
Nearly half of people between the ages of 18 and 40 have tattoos — and about half of these people wish they could get rid their tattoos. As a result, there are many questions and misconceptions out there about laser tattoo removal.
Here are some of the most widely held misconceptions and myths about tattoos – and some clarifying information from Port City Plastic Surgery.
Myth 1: “Black is the most difficult tattoo color to remove.”
Actually, blue and green tattoos are the most difficult colors in laser tattoo removal. Each color of ink requires a different color of light to destroy it, and not all the ink particles can be destroyed at once.
Our laser emits multiples wave length of light designed to target specific colors of ink, which allows us to better target the specific colors of your tattoo and may reduce the number of visits necessary to remove it. To target your tattoo colors, our lasers emit light at the following wavelengths:
Myth 2: “Most tattoos can be removed in one session.”
Plan accordingly: most laser tattoo removal requires several treatment sessions. Typically you will see the most dramatic results a few weeks after your first treatment, but most tattoos take about eight sessions to remove. You’ll need to wait a few weeks, even up to a few months, between sessions to allow your skin and body to fully heal.
Our tattoo removal experts will be able to determine how quickly or slowly your treatments can proceed. For example, individuals with a strong immune system can deal with broken down ink more quickly. Schedule a consult at our fully accredited, tranquil, spa-like surgery center – a comfortable, private, welcoming and relaxed environment to discuss your treatment options. View photos of our offices here.
Myth 3: “My tattoo will be quick and easy to remove via laser.”
Professional, experienced and reputable tattoo artists typically use a technique that puts less ink into your skin, and does not go as deeply. So a quality tattoo can be easier to remove via laser than one done by a less reputable tattoo artist. When you schedule your consultation with us we’ll be able to give you an estimate on how many visits it will take to remove your tattoo.
Myth 4: “Over-the-counter ‘fade cream’ can be used to fade or remove my tattoo.”
Do not buy any cream marketed as “tattoo removal cream”. At best you are wasting your money – and at worst you could damage your skin or hurt yourself. Tattoo ink is embedded into the dermis, beyond the reach of any cream. A cream with an acid base might have the power to penetrate to the dermis, but this type of treatment for tattoo removal would create a scar worse than the tattoo. The safety of a cream strong enough to affect a tattoo should be questioned.
Myth 5: “Laser tattoo removal is painful.”
At Port City Plastic Surgery, we use the VersaPulse Laser for a relatively low-pain, non-invasive procedure that does not leave a scar behind. For large tattoos, tattoos on the stomach or other sensitive areas, we use a topical numbing cream to make the treatment more comfortable.
Principles similar to other laser procedures like laser hair removal, laser birthmark removal, and laser spider vein removal apply to laser tattoo removal. Because the tattoo ink is darker than the skin around it, a tattoo absorbs more light energy while the skin around it experiences only mild heating. Once completed, the treatment results in tattoo removal with no incisions and no scars.
It is not always possible to remove every trace of a tattoo, but for most people, the tattoo may become nothing more than a memory.
Myth 6: “Laser treatment is only used by those who want to remove tattoos.”
At Port City Plastic surgery, we treat both clients who would like to remove their tattoo, and those who want to change or fade their current tattoo. Sometimes our clients are working with a tattoo artist to change their existing tattoo into something new, or fade parts of it to accommodate a new tattoo. During your consultation, ask us about the options we provide for fading existing tattoos using lasers.
Myth 7: “Laser tattoo removal is always the preferred way to remove a tattoo.”
Cutting out or “excising” a tattoo is sometimes a preferable option to laser tattoo removal since it can more effective, less painful or less time consuming. For a small tattoo in the bikini area for example, we can offer excision as an option.
If you would like to have your tattoo evaluated for removal, please call plastic surgeon Dr. Brian G. Widenhouse in Charleston, South Carolina today at 843-518-5000 to schedule an appointment, or fill out our contact form. We look forward to answering any questions you have about laser tattoo removal.
2683 Lake Park Drive
Charleston, SC 29406
125 River Landing Drive
Daniel Island, SC 29492