Lasers

The 5 Important Things to Know about Tattoo Removal

The funny thing about growing up is that we all go through a rebellious phase and we want to look cool. I’ve been through that ‘goth’ phase and wanted a tattoo so badly but of course, my mom stamped that idea out of me straight away.

Well, I still do want a tattoo. I’ve always envisioned a dragon tattoo – the fiercer it is, the better. But I’ve always joked that I fear the day I become old with saggy skin, the tattoo will become a lizard instead.

Tattoo can be viewed as an expression of emotions or form of body art. However, some tattoos are done badly or perhaps, lost its meaning. So, what happens when you no longer love that Latin phrase on your arm or perhaps, want to erase a jaded lover’s name?

Fear not! Tattoo removal is easily available nowadays.

Here are some quick facts about tattoo removal.

1. Know Your Tattoo

How long have you had this tattoo? Was it done by an amateur or a professional? Do you know if they mixed the colours or was it pure black?

tattoo removal depends on

In my experience, black tattoos are easy to get rid off. However, some tattoo artists mix black with a little green and as time passed, the greenish hue stayed on and those are more difficult to remove. Luckily, we are using PicoSure which is effective for all kinds of coloured tattoo.

Generally, red coloured tattoos will require 532nm wavelength whilst black tattoo responds well with 755nm or 1064nm wavelength.

2. Tattoo Removal Takes Time

Tattoos don’t just disappear after a once-over with the laser. (I wish!)

Those videos of tattoo becoming whitish after the laser passed through it…. well, that can be explained by science. It is a temporary condition whereby the rapid heating of the pigment leads to carbon dioxide gas being released. The body will then breakdown the ink pigments and the results will be more apparent after 3 to 4 weeks. So, don’t be fooled by the whitish appearance on videos, thinking that the tattoo has been removed !

tattoo removal frosting

A complete tattoo removal may take up to 6 to 10 sessions and usually, laser treatments should be scheduled 1 to 2 months apart from another so you get the most out of each treatment. It will also allow your body to break down the ink particles and gives your body the opportunity to heal completely before the next session.

3. After Care is Required

For first timers, you might experience some swelling, bleeding and blisters after the procedure. The wound will then have scabs, peel and regenerate. This is totally normal. As the ink is the most concentrated during the first time, there will be more heat( and pain). Don’t worry though, before the procedure, we will definitely put some numbing cream or even some local anaesthetic. Some inflammation will be expected after tattoo removal. Oral painkillers and soothing creams can help reduce these discomfort. Usually, the whole healing process will take about 1 to 2 weeks.

4. Eyebrow embroidery removal

Yes, definitely eyebrow embroidery removal can be done too. However, it is important to note that usually embroidery colours which are brown can be oxidized to a shade of grey initially. As the lasers target black pigments, it is also quite common for our eyebrows to be bleached white and occasionally, some hairs may also drop off. Don’t worry though, this is just temporary and the eyebrow will be able to grow back!

Eyebrow embroidery removal

5. Visit a Professional Licensed Medical Doctor

You may think that it is a simple procedure but tattoo removal requires knowledge too !

For example, the machine matters! With the wrong wavelength settings or wrong power settings, the treatment wouldn’t work or, worse, could harm you or scar you.

The machine shoots rapid pulses to the tattooed area, with each pulse sending light energy into the skin. And as the ink particles absorb heat, they shatter into tiny fragments. Hence, it is important to know proper care and of course, a consultation prior to tattoo removal is required as the treatment results vary from person to person. A professional doctor will have adequate knowledge to counsel you about the procedure and manage your expectations.

About AuthorDr Chew

Dr Chew's love for discovering new knowledge and keen eye on beauty motivated her to pursue aesthetic medicine where she practices with delectation. Often placing herself in patient’s shoes, she listens with empathy and goes the extra mile to ensure satisfaction from them. She is an accomplished Aesthetic Physician with MBBS, MAC certification and specializes in lasers and injectables.