A tattoo is for life. Unless you don’t want it anymore and want it removed. Tattoo removal is a special technique that allows you to remove any tattoo with a laser. Price, course of a session, pain, advice… We tell you all about tattoo removal.
Tattoos are more popular than ever. To forever write a symbol, a sentence, a drawing on your body seems to be a good idea for a large number of French people. According to a Ifop poll for the newspaper La Croix, in 2018, 18% of those over 18 are or have ever been tattooed, against 14% in 2016 and 10% in 2010. Unfortunately, it happens that some people bitterly regret one or more of their tattoos. Youthful mistake, phrase that no longer makes sense to you, failed tattoo, there are many reasons to decide to have a tattoo removed. Fortunately, today there is a sufficiently effective in removing any tattoo, regardless of its size or colors: the laser.
Tattoo removal: the laser is the miracle solution?
Tattoo removal is increasingly democratized. To achieve it, you have to go to a dermatologist, because only a doctor can use a laser to remove tattoos. Medical assistants, beauticians and tattoo artists cannot under any circumstances remove tattoos using laser. There are three types of lasers on the market. While each of them has its specificities, they all work the same way. Thanks to its wavelength, the laser fragments the pigments in very small particles which will then be naturally evacuated by the body.
the Q-Switch Nanosecond laser is the oldest laser on the market. It has been used for twenty years and is very effective on black skin. Unfortunately, if this is the safest, it only works on black ink and some tattoos may not be completely erased with it. In addition, it is slow and quite painful. the Picosure Picosecond laser works great on black and red inks and does not leave marks on the skin, whatever your complexion. Finally, the Picoway Picosecond laser is effective on all colors and is the fastest. Thus, if you do tattoo removal sessions, they will be less numerous than with the other two lasers.
You shouldn’t expect the area where your tattoo was located to be neat after your tattoo removal sessions. It may have some visible traces, such as areas of depigmentation, from tasks or even small scars.
How is a tattoo removal session?
Before starting your tattoo removal treatment, you have a consultation appointment with the dermatologist to examine the tattoo (s) you want to have removed. Several criteria must be taken into account for determine the number of sessions you will need, but also the price. If your tattoo is deep in the dermis, then it will take longer and more difficult to remove. Colors that make up your tattoo are also important. Black, red, dark blue and brown are inks that are very easy to laser. On the other hand, green, turquoise blue, pink, yellow and phosphorescent inks are more complicated to remove. The age of the tattoo is also to be taken into account. The older the tattoo, the easier it will be to remove. Once all these criteria have been analyzed, the dermatologist will give you a quote with the total price and the number of sessions needed to remove the tattoo. In fgeneral, it takes between 50 and 300 euros per session tattoo removal and 5 to 12 sessions, spaced 3 months apart on average until the area heals completely.
As it concerns pain, it is not more intense than what you can feel when you get a tattoo. Professionals prefer to talk about a discomfort than real pain. The lasers are equipped with a blower system that propels fresh air in order to minimize any feeling of discomfort you may experience. But if you are really afraid of the pain, be aware that the dermatologist may prescribe a anesthetic cream to be applied between 45 minutes and 2 hours before the session. Throughout the session, you wear special glasses to protect your eyes from the laser light. The duration of the session varies depending on the size of the part to be removed, because the laser beam will pass over the line of the tattoo.
Tattoo removal: what are the risks and contraindications?
Right after your laser tattoo removal session, the treated area will be white before turning pink and slightly swollen. You can also have overheating sensations during and after the treatment sessions as well as redness. It is then necessary take care of this area to help it heal well. For several days you must apply a healing cream to nourish, soothe and repair the epidermis. You must also apply a psun protection with a minimum protection factor of 30 and avoid exposure to the sun as much as possible to avoid photopigmentation. During the healing process, a scab may form. It should never be removed at the risk of creating a stain on your skin.
Overall there is very few contraindications for this type of tattoo removal. However, it is not recommended for people who are pregnant, breastfeeding or have skin problems, such as acne, eczema, psoriasis or dermatitis to perform this treatment. Likewise, if your tattoo was done less than 2 months ago, it cannot be deleted. Finally, if you’ve been tanning recently, you’re going to have to wait 3 weeks before doing a tattoo removal session.
What is surgical tattoo removal worth?
The laser is not the only solution to removing a tattoo that you no longer want on your body. Less known, but just as effective, there is the surgical tattoo removal. As the name suggests, this is a surgical procedure that removes your tattoo in one go. The.surgeon.not. cut and remove the affected skin area. The deeper the ink has been pitted into the epidermis, the more thickness it will have to remove.
This tattoo removal technique is heavier than laser, because it is a operation under local anesthesia. To avoid leaving too large a scar, the surgeon will close the skin with intradermal sutures. So the scar will be thin and inconspicuous, but it will be present. The advantage of this technique is that just one operation you got rid of your tattoo. On the other hand, it cannot be performed on just any area of the body. The tattoo should be where the skin is supple and fleshy, like the buttocks for example or the chest. If your tattoo is in an area where the scar is too visible, the doctor may refuse to have surgical tattoo removal.
Surgical tattoo removal cannot only be done on small parts and costs minimum 150 euros, the price varying depending on the size of the tattoo and its depth. The threads are removed 10 days after the surgery. The scar, which is twice as long as the width of the tattoo, remains red for several weeks and needs care. You absolutely must protect it with a minimum SPF 30 sun protection and themoisturize to promote good healing.
In all cases, tattoo removal is not an act to be taken lightly. If done improperly, or by people who have not been trained for it – only doctors and surgeons can perform tattoo removal – you can end up with serious repercussions, such as severe skin burns or infections during scarring. It is therefore important to inform yourself well before starting your treatment. For example, you can talk to your doctor who can redirect you to specialized professionals.
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