Tatt's All Folks
Apr 08, 2014
Tattoos today are more popular than ever. A fifth of British adults now have at least one tattoo, but up to 50% regret their decisions. Whether for physical, emotional, or professional reasons, some tattoos just have to go.
Having inkings removed can be a complex, painful, and expensive progress. Although money is no object for celebrities like Johnny Depp, the actor famously changed a tattoo dedicated to his former girlfriend Winona Ryder, rather than going through the process of having it removed. He now has “Wino Forever” permanently written on his arm.
However, since this episode during the 1990s, the tattoo removal process has become more sophisticated. Much more effective methods can now be used to fade regretted artworks, from Laser (which stands for Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation) removal to simply cutting away the affected area of skin.
Laser therapy, indeed, is an extremely popular treatment option, as it leaves minimal scarring and fades the ink significantly. Patients choosing this option will visit the clinic several times, having sessions of laser treatment until the tattoo is sufficiently faded.
During the laser removal process, short pulses of intense light are sent into the tattooed skin, where they are absorbed by the pigment in the design. The strong energy of the laser causes the pigment to break apart into tiny fragments, which the body’s immune system then removes. The surrounding skin remains untouched, and after a few sessions the tattoo begins to fade. This method is most successful for patients with black or dark-pigmented tattoos, but yellow and green pigments do not respond as well to light treatment.
After a course of laser therapy, some patients find the treatment to be only partially successful. In these instances, excision is the next option for tattoo removal. For small inkings, the skin can be cut away in one stage, and sewn back together under a local anaesthetic.
For larger examples of body art, multiple operations are required at three month intervals, until the whole tattoo is removed. Occasionally, removing a very large tattoo may even demand a skin graft, which involves shaving skin from another part of the body and applying it to the tattooed area. This has to be carefully considered, but most patients at this stage prefer the sight of a skin graft scar to that of a large tattoo on their body.
Choosing to have a tattoo removed can be confusing, but at Austingraces, we hope to carefully guide you into making the right choice for you. Call us today for a consultation on 08456 020 621