At Laser Skin & Wellness, we know how difficult it can be to live with an unwanted tattoo, especially if it’s just too hard to cover up. Laser tattoo removal is one of the best ways to gradually remove unwanted tattoos, but it’s worth noting that there are other, less effective options. Exploring your options is an important part of your treatment process, so here’s what you should know about choosing laser tattoo removal over other alternatives.
Since tattoos are buried deep in the skin, certain skin treatments can often reach deep enough to affect the pigment. However, this can come with risk. Techniques like dermabrasion or chemical peels exfoliate away the layers of skin and can require extensive downtime and healing, which can come with side effects like hyperpigmentation, scarring, or the risk of infection. Depending on the location of your tattoo, it can also be damaging to sensitive skin or skin that hosts a tattoo that is old and sunken-in. These treatments can also be painful and require a local anesthetic.
Surgical excision is one method that can be used, although it’s not ideal if you’re prone to scarring or unable to undergo surgery. Although it can produce immediate results, larger tattoos can require extensive grafts in order to replace the skin that is excised during the surgery. Surgical removal is not normally recommended now that other alternatives exist.
Certain products exist that promise gradual tattoo removal through bleaching the skin, but have no FDA approval, regulation, or recommendation. In many cases, it’s impossible to control the product’s bleaching method and this can result in the surrounding area being bleached as well. Because this technique happens gradually, it can require extensive use for months or years.
Some patients opt for a cover-up, which usually consists of a new, better tattoo placed over the existing one. This can be a great option, but requires a skilled (usually expensive) tattoo artist who specializes in cover-ups and can effectively conceal the existing one. When opting for a cover-up, patients may still need to undergo a lightening treatment on the existing tattoo beforehand. For patients looking to simply remove their tattoo and leave the skin clear, a cover-up may not be an option.
Although there are plenty of options, laser tattoo removal still remains the most effective one. It produces extensive tattoo lightening with only a few painless treatments that don’t cause damage to the skin or require recovery. To see what else laser tattoo removal can do for you, contact our office to schedule a consultation with our laser specialists.