If you've ever gotten a tattoo, someone probably told you that you'd regret your ink someday. While plenty of people go through their lives happy with their tattoos, a few do eventually change their mind. After a few years, some people start to wonder why they ever thought it was a good idea to get a butterfly, star or someone's name permanently printed on their skin.
The good news is that tattoo removal is an option should you eventually decide that your ink is no longer for you. The not-so-great news is that not all tattoo removal methods are effective or even safe. Before you choose the method that seems quickest, get to know what works and what doesn't.
At first glance, a tattoo removal cream seems like the perfect quick and easy solution when you've grown tired of your tattoo. All you need to do is slather the cream over the ink and it will fade away.
Unfortunately, tattoo removal creams are usually too good to be true. A cream will help your ink fade, but it won't eliminate it completely. Usually, what happens is the bleaching ingredients in tattoo removal can help the top layer of pigment fade. But since the ink from the tattoo is usually located in the deeper layers of skin as well, the cream isn't able to reach all of the ink.
Many people who try a tattoo removal cream end up with a half-on, half-off tattoo that looks messy and distorted and often worse than when they started.
It's also worth noting that there aren't any tattoo removal creams that are approved by the FDA. Worse, these creams often contain harsh ingredients that can cause unpleasant side effects, including skin burns and rashes. You're better off leaving any creams that promise to remove tattoos on the shelf.
A chemical peel can help to refresh your skin by removing the top layer of dead skin cells and encouraging the growth of new cells. Chemical peels range in potency from very mild, superficial peels to deep peels that remove more skin and require a lengthier recovery period.
Although it makes sense to think that a chemical peel could help to remove a tattoo by removing the skin cells that contain the ink, the reality is that peels aren't an effective tattoo removal option. No chemical peels are currently FDA approved for use in removing tattoos. Even if there a peel that would be effective, the treatment process would be long and would require a considerable amount of recovery time afterward.
Dermabrasion is actually an approved method of tattoo removal. Howeve, it's not the best option out there. During dermabrasion, a plastic surgeon sands away the top layers of skin. If those layers of skin contain ink, then the ink will be sanded away as well. Dermabrasion can go pretty deep into the skin, meaning that it's possible for a treatment to reach the deeper areas where ink might be located.
There are a couple of drawbacks of dermabrasion. One is that it leaves your skin raw, red and oozing. It can be up to a couple of weeks before you're ready to appear in public again after dermabrasion. Another drawback is that you might need multiple treatments, which can increase your risk for infection. Since the process involves removing the top layers of skin, the exposed tissues are often very delicate. There's also a risk for discoloration in the treated area.
The most effective and the recommended method for removing unwanted tattoos is a series of laser treatment. Some lasers are better than others when it comes to tattoo removal. For example, the PiQo4 laser works on a wider range of tattoo ink colors compared to other laser treatments, so it's better able to treat stubborn ink colors and can more effectively reduce the appearance of an unwanted tattoo.
Another benefit of the PiQo4 laser is that it treats a larger area at one time, so you spend less time getting your tattoo removed. It's also gentler on the skin compared to other lasers, so recovery and downtime are shorter.
If you regret your tattoo, you don't have to live with it. At Masri Clinic for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery, Dr. Haitham Masri and Dr. Fatina Masri each have more than two decades of experience performing plastic surgery and non-surgical procedures. Masri Clinic offers the state-of-the-art PiQo4 laser to patients at practice locations in Birmingham and Dearborn, Michigan. To schedule a consultation with the Masri Clinic and learn more about tattoo removal options, call (866) 487-3223.
Do you have a tattoo that you regret getting? If so, you're not alone. About one quarter of adults in the US have a tattoo. And, that about a quarter of people with tattoos regret them. A smaller number considers removing their tattoos and an even smaller number actually seek out tattoo removal.
If you've got ink that you wish were gone, the good news is that tattoo removal treatments have come along way in recent years. Newer lasers such as the PiQo4 can make the process quicker, more effective and less painful. Learn more about how to remove your tattoo and about the PiQo4 laser treatment.
In the past, the only way that you could get rid of an unwanted tattoo was to cover it up with makeup or hide it underneath layers of clothing. Then laser tattoo removal arrived on the scene. In the earliest days, laser tattoo removal was helpful but not the most promising thing when it came to actually getting rid of a tattoo.
It worked best on dark colors, such as black ink, so people who decided to get tattoos with colors such as yellow or green were out of luck. The skin type of the patient, the size of the tattoo and its age also influenced how effective laser tattoo removal was as well as how long the entire process took.
Another issue with earlier forms of tattoo removal was that the lasers could change the color of the skin around the tattoo. Some people ended up with darkening of the skin near the old tattoo, while others had lightening of the skin.
Older laser treatments often required more sessions and longer wait times between sessions because the lasers didn't effectively break down the tattoo pigment. It also took longer for the body to flush away the damaged pigment particles.
Changes in laser technology mean that laser tattoo removal is more effective and more efficient than before. While older methods operated on just one or two wavelengths, the PiQ04 laser uses four. That means it is able to remove a greater range of colors from the skin, from black and other dark inks to yellows and light colored inks.
Another benefit of the PiQ04 laser compared to older methods is that the laser itself treats a larger area all at once. That means that more of the tattoo can be removed in a single treatment session, reducing the time it takes to eliminate or significantly fade the tattoo.
The laser also breaks the tattoo pigment down into finer particles, so that the body has an easier time clearing away the pigment.
Each treatment session with the PiQ04 laser takes about 20 minutes or less. You'll be able to go back to your regular life after each session. While you won't have downtime, you might notice that the treated area feels a bit warm and looks a bit red for a few hours afterward. Any side effects usually fade away pretty quickly, though.
Although PiQo4 laser treatment for tattoo removal might offer several benefits over older laser removal methods, it's not the right option for every person with an unwanted tattoo. If you have a history of keloid scarring, this might not be the option for you. It's also worth pointing out that your results might vary from someone else's. It all depends on the size of the tattoo, the colors used and how many treatment sessions you are able to commit to.
While you might see tattoo removal on offer at beauty spas and salons, this is a treatment you want to see a doctor or surgeon for. A plastic surgeon with knowledge of the PiQ04 laser and experience performing the treatment for tattoo removal can give you a good idea of how many sessions you'll need and whether that particular laser is the right choice for you.
You don't have to live with a tattoo you regret. Dr. Masri offers the state-of-the-art PiQo4 laser to patients at his practices in Birmingham and Dearborn, Michigan. To schedule a consultation with the Masri Clinic and learn more about modern-day tattoo removal, call (866) 487-3223.