What To Do About Tattoo Regret

June 6, 2013

Tattoo Regret is on the rise!

TATTOO REGRET IS ON THE RISE!

Studies have shown that about 20% of Americans have at least one tattoo. Did you know that at least one third of people with tattoos have “Tattoo Regret?” As quickly as tattoos are becoming popular, so is the desire for having them removed!  Some of the reasons that people want their tattoo removed are:

  • They’re unhappy with the design.
  • They made a hasty decision and regret it .
  • Their Job doesn’t allow visible ink.
  • They simply changed their minds.
  • And of course, the not-so-funny mistakes such as spelling errors or an ex-girlfriend’s name tattooed across your heart.

Fortunately for those with tattoo regret, we now have a safe and affordable method for removing the unwanted ink that may be adorning your body. Laser Body Solutions utilizes the advanced Sandstone UltraLight Q to lighten or remove unwanted tattoos. The powerful UltraLight Q breaks apart the ink particles without damaging the healthy surrounding skin. After multiple treatment sessions the appearance of the skin is more uniform and natural.  Some changes in the texture and color of the skin are unavoidable.

HOW DOES THE LASER WORK?

The wavelengths of light emitted by the UltraLight Q are absorbed by tattoo ink. The laser light goes right through the outer skin layers and only targets the ink that your tattoo artist put into your skin. The laser energy is rapidly administered to the skin where it is absorbed by the ink thus breaking up the ink particles into microscopic bits. Over time, the body’s self-scavenging cells ingest the smaller particles and the tattoo fades and eventually disappears.

HOW MANY TREATMENTS WILL I NEED?

Everyone’s body art is unique; determining the number of treatments needed involves many factors such as:

  • The length of time the tattoo has been in the skin. Older tattoos are easier to remove than newer tattoos.
  • How deep the ink is.
  • The type of ink. There are many different types of ink or pigment that may have been used.
  • Whether the tattoo was created by a professional tattoo artist or an amateur.

A number of years ago, Drs. Kirby and Desai created a scale called The Kirby Desai Scale to estimate the number of treatments a person will need to completely remove the unwanted tattoo. The scale considers factors such as the size of the tattoo, the patient’s skin type and the colors present in the tattoo.  Their scale seems to be accurate within about 80%.  Most professional tattoos will need about 10 treatments and possibly more, while amateur tattoos usually take fewer treatments. The sessions are spaced eight weeks apart, allowing the body’s scavenger system to remove the pigment fragments. Dr. Gold uses the Kirby-Desai scale to estimate a patient’s treatment before beginning the process.

WHAT WILL MY SKIN LOOK LIKE AFTER EACH TREATMENT?

The area treated will be red and somewhat raised and may sting. Blistering can occur and usually heals within a week. You should expect to receive written, detailed care instructions outlining the use of 1% Cortisone cream and/or antibiotic cream.

DOES LASER TATTOO REMOVAL LEAVE SCARS?

Occasionally treated skin will become paler than before, leaving sort of a ghost image of the original tattoo. There may be an increased risk of scar formation in keloid formers. Some inks also create a paradoxical reaction, causing the skin to become darker instead of lighter.

DOES LASER TATTOO REMOVAL HURT?

In order to minimize the discomfort topical anesthesia is applied along with cold packs and Extra-Strength, Rapid-Release Tylenol.  All of Dr. Gold’s patients to date have reported that the laser treatment hurts less than the original tattoo

HOW MUCH DOES THE TREATMENT COST?

The cost depends on the size of the area to be treated.  During a free consultation, Dr. Gold will measure your tattoo, estimate the number of treatment using the Kirby-Desai scale, and give you a cost per treatment so you can make your own decision whether to proceed.

Dr. Jeffrey Gold is the medical director at Laser Body Solutions of Hamden CT. He’s an award-winning surgeon who is best known for his work as a laser vision correction expert.