The body art of tattooing has been traced back to the prehistoric times. In fact, it is believed to be as old as the human civilization itself. The methods and techniques of making a tattoo differ from one culture to another and one region to the next. However, the basis of all the methods is the same - injecting colored pigments into skin, which become permanent with time. Not only tattoo making, but tattoo removal is also an important part of the body art. There are various reasons, because of which people want to get their tattoos removed. While many of them get successful in the process, a few end up getting scars also.
Many cases of tattoo removal have resulted in scars, skin diseases and wounds. There are several factors, like size and location of the tattoo, an individual's healing process, how the tattoo was applied and for how long the tattoo has been on the skin, deciding the results of the removal process. Today, a number of tattoo removal methods are available. The method that will be chosen by the doctor will depend upon the size of the tattoo, its location as well as the length of time it has been on the skin. Read on to get a look at the various methods of tattoo removal, prevalent in the present times.
Tattoo Removal Methods
Laser surgery is considered to be one of the best methods of tattoo removal. In this method, first of all, a cream or gel is applied on the skin, to make it numb. Thereafter, laser light is targeted at the tattoo ink. As a result, the ink breaks into tiny fragments, which are removed by the scavenger cells (immune system) of the body, with time. However, you need to undertake the laser treatment more than once, to be fully effective.
Intense Pulsed Light Therapy
The latest as well as one of the most popular methods of tattoo removal, today, is Intense Pulsed Light Therapy (IPL). It is almost like the laser therapy, the only difference being that in IPL, instead of the laser, high intensity light is used to break down the ink into tiny fragments. This method is believed to be less painful than laser therapy and much more effective as well. However, the IPL method is also quite expensive.
The excision method of tattoo removal is more useful when the tattooed area is comparatively small. Though it is used in case of larger tattoos as well, in that case, the entire procedure has to be carried out in a phased manner. In this method, local anesthesia is applied to numb the tattooed area, after which the tattoo is removed with a scalpel. The edges are then brought together and stitched well. Excision method helps in complete elimination of tattoos and involves minimal bleeding.
Dermabrasion is yet another effective method of tattoo removal. This particular method involves freezing of the tattooed part, by spraying it with a solution. After freezing the area, an abrasive instrument is used to mechanically remove or 'sand' the upper layers of the skin. Thereafter, the area is bandaged. The new layer of remodeled skin, which replaces the 'sanded' skin after some time, has a smooth and revived appearance, devoid of the tattoo.
How To Manage Pain While Removal Of The Tattoo
Out of all the methods, laser removal can be quite tiresome but it is a much less painful procedure. The pain experienced by people who have went into laser tattoo removal procedure has been described as a mild pain that can be compared to a pouring of hot oil on to the skin. All in all, tattoo removal procedure may call for the patient to take local anesthesia as it is a pretty painful process. In the laser treatment, generally, an anesthetic cream is applied to the area approximately 50 minutes before the operation, to numb the tattooed area before the treatment. If a patient has a low threshold for pain and is going through some other complication then the tattoo removal procedure may require that patient to take local anesthesia through an injection. This might complicate the procedure for tattoo removal all the more because it causes a condition called mechanical edema, which can spread out the tattoo ink. This might end up causing the patient scarring.
What To Do After The Tattoo Removal Procedure
After the removal procedure, the patient might go through an episode of bleeding. This bleeding is generally comprised of flowing out of a white discolored blood. This happens because the heat from the treatment causes dermal vacuolization. After the treatment, you might notice a crust on the top of your affected area. This will bog off in 14 days time when your wound is properly healed. After the treatment there is not any need of the application of topical antibiotics.