All That You Need To Know of Laser Tattoo Removal
Rarely do people opt for a tattoo thinking that it might have to be removed later. Teenage signs of rebellion, the name of an ex-lover or beloved, a dainty flower to light up the wrist – all these are initially meant to be a permanent fixture of life. But when dreams start crashing, the tattoo is the first victim and is sought to be removed as soon as possible.
Till some years back, tattoo removal was a long drawn and painful affair, even requiring surgical intervention in extreme cases. Some of the removal methods that were tried but not without much success included injection or application of wine, lime and garlic, microdermabrasion, and rubbing the area with salt and acid.
Today, tattoo removal is far removed from all these methodologies, with an advanced laser tattoo removal machine making the process a breeze.
How Does Laser Removal Work
Laser tattoo removal makes use of the body’s lymphatic system to eliminate a tattoo. A beam of laser that vibrates at nanoseconds is directed at the tattoo. It enters the top layer of skin and breaks up the particles of ink into minute pieces.
This is then carried away by the body’s natural processes that shuttle away toxins and other wastes from the organs to be excreted. It is a gradual process with most people needing between four to ten sessions for the total elimination of a tattoo.
A lot depends on the colour of the ink and the density of the design with black being the easiest to remove. Each session is held after the skin’s soreness from the previous treatment is completely healed, usually within six weeks.
Hence the whole process might even take up to a year. However, once done, there is usually no trace of the previous tattoo, and a fresh one may be created in the same place.
The Functioning of Laser Tattoo Removal Machines
Laser tattoo machine for removal has light wavelengths individually matched for particular pigments of tattoo ink. Every colour of a tattoo has a corresponding wavelength of a laser. A technician uses a specific laser wavelength to first break up the matching ink colour before going on to the next.
When the laser of the right wavelength strikes the matching ink, the high amount of energy present in the light beam vibrates in nanoseconds and breaks up that colour ink into fine particles which are disposed of by body’s natural processes.
This process is repeated several times, once for each colour of ink until the tattoo fades away. It is possible to get a tattoo fully removed or have it faded just enough for a new one to be designed on that space.
Q-Switched Tattoo Removal Machines
Q-switched lasers have been around for about a decade now and have been most effective for tattoo removal. These produce ultra-short pulses of light of the precise wavelengths required to break up different coloured inks.
The most popular and widely used wavelengths for tattoo removal are 1064nn and 532nn, both of which are possible on a Q-switch laser tattoo removal machine.
Tattoo ink is not easy to remove, and only Q-switched lasers have the energy and power to remove dark and bright tattoos without scarring or any other side-effects. The pulses of these lasers last only nanoseconds, that is billionths of a second, thereby providing the necessary potency to shatter tattoo ink, regardless of the colour or density of design.
Time Taken For Tattoo Removal
The time taken to remove a tattoo depends entirely on the primary pigment, the colours and the density and size of the design. Black ink is the easiest to remove and can be done in five to six sessions. At the other end of the difficulty scale are the greens, the blues and purple which can take up to 10 sessions that is, about a year.
Coming to wavelengths, a Class 4 laser operating at a wavelength of 1064 is the absolute basic one that is used to eliminate black. A wavelength of 532 is good for oranges and reds while 694wavelength matches the toughest greens and blues.
Is Laser Tattoo Removal Painful?
If a person has gone through the painful process of having a reciprocating needle repeatedly inserted into the skin during tattoo creation, tattoo removal should be insignificant in comparison.
Removal is similar to a sensation of having a rubber band being snapped against the skin or the skin being rubbed repeatedly before a burn or blister is formed on that area. It is true that lasers do have an impact on the skin and there might be slight damage, but it is not significant in any way.