Permanent body art, otherwise known as tattooing, is an ancient practice dating back to the bronze and stone ages. A 1991 study revealed that nearly eleven percent of adult American men had tattoos, and over half of them regretted their body art and would have it removed if possible. According to a study conducted in 2003, the number of American adults with tattoos had increased to sixteen percent! Today, tattooing continues to increase in popularity, as it is practiced frequently by entertainers, athletes, and other celebrities who serve as role models for teens and young adults.
As most people already know, it is much easier to get a tattoo than it is to get rid of one. Many older removal techniques have disadvantages such as scarring, incomplete removal, or tissue destruction. Additionally, older techniques often involved caustic chemicals, which destroyed the ink as well as the skin. Such methods are associated with color change and scarring, and they are rarely used today.
Slight improvements in removal techniques have included treatment utilizing an infrared coagulator, electrocoagulation, dermabrasion, cryosurgery, and salabrasion (abrasion with salt). Such techniques can cause scarring, and patients often complain that the result of treatment looks worse than the original tattoo did. Tattoos have also been removed using conventional surgery, but this method can only be used for very small ones, as the results are unsatisfactory with larger ones.
At California Skin & Laser Center, we use a highly sophisticated laser tattoo removal method that yields excellent results. Our multi-wavelength picosecond laser is one of the most advanced laser technologies available and we are the only local dermatology practice to offer it.
Picosecond laser treatments are high powered and use short pulse lengths to target tattoo pigments. Other benefits include:
- Tattoo removal can be accomplished with about 50 percent fewer treatment sessions than with older generation lasers.
- This laser is very effective in treating difficult colors such as sky blue and green.
- Short pulses mean less heat is generated which makes the procedure more comfortable.
- There is less risk of temporarily discoloring darker skin tones.
The discomfort associated with laser treatment is comparable with that of receiving a tattoo, and anesthetic is usually not needed. However, topical anesthetic cream is available by prescription if you wish.
Laser treatment is not just reserved for cosmetic tattoos. Your skin can become discolored for other reasons such as road rash or falls, and it can be treated with laser technology. It can also be used for removal of permanent cosmetics such as eyeliner or lip liner.
If you have a tattoo that you are ready to say goodbye to, we have a solution for you. If you are in the Stockton, Lodi, or Elk Grove areas, the team at California Skin & Laser Center would love to share with you the benefits of our advanced laser technology for tattoo removal.