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Home » News » Special Features » Want to zap that tattoo? Here's what you need to know
2 months ago | 09-09-2017 | ANI

Want to zap that tattoo? Here's what you need to know

BY Pallavi Aman Singh, New Delhi [India], Sep 9 : An ex-lover's name? A drunken mistake? A wild spring break trip? A goof-up? For whatever reason it may be, if that ink job is no longer speaking your language, don't despair; there's hope.

For those who have inks they regret and are quite keen on the idea of zapping them, but don't really know much about the removal, Dr Priyanka Goyat, Rejove Clinique co-founder, has given out the low-down.

"People need change; they don't want to carry a look for the longer period. In pursuit of desires to transform look and persona they do lots of experimentation, some bring changes in their hair and attires and the more daring or adventurous wear tattoos on their skin to differentiate themselves from the crowd," she told ANI. "But, every daring act involves some risks and tattoo is not an exception. Freedom from the past muses becomes a terrible affair when one chooses a casual approach."

"Yes, removal of old tattoos from amateurs is never been a right advice, and for the safe and painless elimination of tattoos, one needs to be aware of feasible options as well as their limitations in advance," the aesthetic science expert said.

1. Laser - most reliable method of tattoo removal:

Among the various traditional ways to remove tattoos, the common ones are surgery, chemical peels or dermabrasion, but they all come with a list of side effects like scarring, inflammation and so on.

According to Goyat, "The most recent, advanced, effective and the safest method to get rid of old tattoos is selective photothermolysis based laser treatment which is more result-oriented than other methods. Selective photothermolysis breaks tattoo ink particles into smaller pieces."

She noted that one needs to go through 10-20 laser sessions to get the skin from tattoo marks. The actual numbers of sessions depend upon various factors such as the age of the person, the age of the tattoo, location on the body, size of the tattoo, types of inks, colours of the inks and how it was placed (by a professional artist or by an amateur).

"Though side effects of laser tattoo are quite rare, they can emerge in a few cases. Hyperpigmentation, hypopigmentation, infections, and scarring are some of the common side effects of tattoo removal through laser," she told ANI. "Besides, dark skin people can also face problems like keloid scarring."

2. Colours play a significant role:

Among various factors discussed above, ink colour is of the utmost importance for an aesthetic consultant.

"Black and dark green are the most friendly colours to get removed while yellow, turquoise, fluorescent, and purple are the most rigid and stubborn inks to deal with," Goyat said. "However, with the latest PicoSure (Q-switch) laser technology, the removal of these colours and other tough colours such blue or green is no more a disappointing task for laser consultants. With the help of PicoSure, tattoos can be vanished easily without affecting the surrounding tissues, and it takes less healing time."

3. Fresh tattoos take more time to fade:

While fresh tattoos are hard to deal with and require more time and more sessions, tattoos of 5 years or more in age are easy to rub out.

"Hence, one needs to take more laser sessions if the tattoo is less than a year old. Hence, if the tattoo is new, it is normal to expect the area to be red swollen or bruised. One can also experience blistering of the skin under the laser. So, regular application of ointment and gel is mandatory until the skin gets fully healed. Moreover, to protect the skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays, one should also use a sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher on daily basis," Goyat revealed.

4. Multi-layered tattoos may change the skin tone:

Sometimes fashion fanatics repeatedly use a particular area of the body for tattoo art, means replacing the old tattoo with the newer one.

"These tattoos over tattoos may affect the colour and texture of the skin. People who frequently suffer from tanning are more prone to hyperpigmentation," she noted, adding, "To remove such repetitive tattoos completely one needs to take extra laser sessions, despite it, the success rate is significantly low in such cases."

"What is more important here is, if immediate skin darkening is noticeable, then the laser beams should be tested on a very small area first. People affected by any kind of allergy must inform about it to the therapist in advance. Hence, a fresh skin for a fresh tattoo is always advisable to tattoo freaks," Goyat concluded.

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