More Americans than ever now sport one or more tattoos, as many as 29% according to some estimates. Although most remain happy with their body art, it’s inevitable that tastes and lifestyles change. Dr. Karim Khalil and the team of Irwin Laser Center, in Irwin, Pennsylvania, help patients remove the unwanted ink. Call today or schedule an appointment online to learn more.
There are several techniques that can reduce or remove the appearance of tattoos, and one of the most effective uses lasers to break up the inks injected under the skin. Dr. Khalil uses the Alex TriVantage laser system from Synderon Candela®, a leading maker of cosmetic laser equipment, for its effectiveness and versatility when removing tattoo ink.
Tuning the laser to treat the ink colors present in your tattoo, the Alex TriVantage laser penetrates the outer skin layers to reach the ink particles that form your tattoo. On their own, these particles are too big to flush from your body through the lymphatic system, but the laser energy absorbed during treatment breaks up these particles to the point that your body disposes of the smaller pieces, fading and ultimately removing the tattoo.
You’ll be given eye protection before your procedure, since stray light from the laser’s handpiece may be harmful to your vision. Depending on the part of the body being treated and your pain threshold, a topical anesthetic may be applied. However, most people don’t find laser tattoo removal treatments painful.
Dr. Khalil will assess your tattoo, its component colors, as well as your skin color to determine the best course of treatment. Tattoo removal requires multiple visits, depending on the size, colors, and depth of your tattoo. During the actual laser treatment, you’ll feel a sensation similar to the light snap of a rubber band against your skin as the handpiece is placed against your skin and activated.
Yes. Since the light from the Alex TriVantage laser adjusts and targets tattoo ink, as well as other skin pigmentation irregularities, normal skin and other surrounding tissue are typically unaffected. Sometimes, your skin color may be close to a color being treated and may absorb some of the energy from the laser. When this happens, an effect similar to mild sunburn may occur, but the redness typically fades within 24 hours.
You should apply ice packs immediately after treatment to minimize irritation, and whether you experience effects or not, avoid vigorous washing or scrubbing of the treatment area. Dr. Khalil may also recommend a sunblock for post-treatment use.