Tattoo Removal Fall 2013 Newsletter
Although tattoos are meant to be permanent, after a period of time many people have regrets or second thoughts about their tattoos. For over two decades dermatologists have been using lasers to remove tattoos safely and effectively without scarring. Q-switched lasers are employed to break up the tattoo ink. The disrupted ink is subsequently absorbed and naturally removed by the body and also comes out of the skin during the healing process. The tattoo fades gradually over two to three months, and multiple treatment sessions are generally required for complete removal. At Advanced Dermatology, our new Q-switched laser, the RevLite® SI, is capable of emitting multiple wavelengths of laser light. Different colors of tattoo ink require different wavelengths of laser light. With our multiwavelength laser, our providers are able to remove all colors of tattoo ink from the skin. At Advanced Dermatology, laser tattoo removal treatments will include the administration of topical or injected anesthetic which many not always be the case when treated elsewhere. Your comfort is important to us. Once the tattoo has been anesthetized, the treatment is painless. Immediately after treatment, the tattoo will appear slightly elevated and white in color. Pinpoint bleeding may occur. A topical ointment like Vaniply ($10) will be applied. Unlike petrolatum based ointments like Aquaphor, Vaniply ointment contains hydrogenated polydecene as its moisturizing base, which is a component of mineral oil that is noncomedogenic and won’t clog pores. A sterile dressing is then applied to the treated site. This should be changed daily for one to two weeks until the site is fully healed. Repeat treatment may be scheduled as soon as two months later if desired.
Before (left) and 48 hours after tattoo removal treatment (right). Photos courtesy of Advanced Dermatology, LLC.