Sooner or later in life, a lot of people regret decisions made in the impulsive years of youth. When this writer started hearing radio ads for tattoo removal…well, it sounds like for all the skin that has been inked in recent years as tats lost their taboo, there’s a lot of it coming off now that wearers understand the concept of regret.
The thing is, that permanent tattoo ink is amazingly difficult to remove. That does not mean it is impossible.
According to WebMD, the safest method of de-inking is with a laser. How it works:
Lasers remove tattoos by breaking up the pigment colors with a high-intensity light beam. Black tattoo pigment absorbs all laser wavelengths, making it the easiest color to treat. Other colors can only be treated by selected lasers based upon the pigment color.
That does mean that not all colors respond the same way to a laser. Darker colors come off more easily, so, the end result may leave a shadow of the image removed. It can also scar, invite infection, and cause skin discoloration. Tattoo removal requires more than one treatment, and the patient does wear protective eye gear.
However, the procedure when done by a dermatologist is not overly painful.
Laser tattoo removal is uncomfortable, but most patients don’t need anesthesia. Depending on the location of your tattoo, you may want to apply a topical anesthesia cream beforehand.
Immediately following the treatment, use an ice pack to soothe the treated area. And apply an antibiotic cream or ointment and bandage to protect it. You should also be sure it’s covered with sunblock when you’re outside.
So, are all of the impulsive decisions of youth irreversible? Not entirely. Tattoos, anyway, can be dealt with, and dermatologists have weapons in their arsenal to help those who do which to erase the follies of the past.