Tuesday, June 22, 2010

How to Prepare For Laser Tattoo

Philadelphia tattoo removal specialists use low energy lasers to break up tattoo inks without damaging or scarring the surrounding tissue. Patients can take a few simple steps to ensure the best tattoo removal results.

Do Your Research

Laser tattoo removal has many advantages compared to other removal techniques such as creams, which seldom work, or dermabrasion, which is very painful and can leave severe scarring. Once you've decided laser tattoo removal is best for you, find an experienced removal specialist who can answer your questions.

During your initial consultation the doctor will examine the tattoo to estimate how effective a laser removal technique will be. Details such as the colors and amounts of inks used will be important factors in the doctor's evaluation. It is important to have realistic expectations because some tattoos will respond only minimally to removal treatment. Tattoos require many sessions for full effect and you don't want to spend months going through tattoo removal only to achieve a little fading rather than complete removal.

Prepare Yourself For The Procedure

Laser tattoo removal works best on pale skin. Starting well in advance of the treatment, as long as several weeks, implement strategies to keep your skin light. Use high SPF sunblock every day even if you don't plan to spend much time outside. Stay out of the sun as much as possible and keep the tattoo covered with clothing or a bandage. When outside, sit in the shade and avoid direct sunlight. These measures may seem extreme, but the lighter your skin the better the procedure will go.

Patients experience some pain during laser tattoo removal, comparing the sensation to being repeatedly snapped with a rubber band. Know your pain tolerance and consult with the doctor for pain management techniques. He may use oral pain relievers or numbing creams to minimize the sensation.

Care After the Procedure

Patients may experience some swelling and pain after a laser tattoo removing treatment, similar to mild sunburn. This will fade in a few days and in the meantime your doctor will have skin care instructions designed to promote healing and reduce discomfort. The patient should continue to avoid the sun so that the skin can heal faster and so the tattoo will be ready for the next treatment.

In the long run, there should be no skin damage or scarring. Tattoo removing lasers are very precise, designed to target just the tattoo inks and not the skin around it. Each treatment fades the tattoo a little and after several treatments most or all of the tattoo should be gone. If some parts of the tattoo cannot be treated by the laser, the remainder can often be covered with makeup or clothing. Some patients may get a cover up tattoo that incorporates the remaining pieces of the old tattoo into a new design.