Practitioners use a variety of lasers to achieve differing results when it comes to tattoo removal and the removal or treatment of certain skin conditions. Dream Tattoo Removal incorporates the Cutera® Enlighten™ laser, which is a state of the art technology to help successfully remove unwanted tattoos with precision and power.But we’d like to take a closer look at the technology that was previously used in order to educate our patients and clients, so they can make the most informed choices for themselves. Also, we’d like to let them know how lucky they are to live in a time when they can get their tattoos removed by laser technology.
Tattoo removal has come a long way throughout history. There’s a reason why people used to think of tattoos as something that stayed with you for life. It’s because the methods for getting rid of them were so painful, left such gnarly scars, that people would rather live with the tattoo then go through with removing it. Here are some of those previous methods that were popular before the advent of laser tattoo removal apparatuses:
- Dermabrasion — this process involves sloughing away the top layers of your skin to remove the pigment as well as the skin affected by your tattoo, which encourages new skin to grow. A local anesthetic is generally necessary, as opposed to the non-surgical, non-invasive technology incorporated by our Cutera® lasers. Problems with dermabrasion include excessive scarring, even resulting in keloids, or raised scars. Pain and skin discoloration can also result.
- TCA (trichloroacetic acid) — also referred to as “chemical peels”. TCA is an acid that eats away the top layer of your skin, attempting to reach the deepest layer of the tattoo. TCA is generally applied to the skin for ten excruciating minutes, then neutralized with frozen saline packs. Patients would also have to apply skin conditioners for up to a month before their treatment. Many times this method of tattoo removal proves ineffective, as TCA chemical peels are not able to penetrate deep enough into the skin to remove all pigment.
- Salabrasion — scrubbing away at your skin with salt. This method is particularly antiquated. This procedure is also performed under local anesthetic.
- Cryosurgery — “freezing” method of tattoo removal. Think “wart removal” here, because it’s basically the same thing. Liquid nitrogen is applied to your tattooed area. Then a specific light is applied to induce skin peeling. This way of tattoo removal has to be done over time, gradually, in a series of doctor’s visits. Bleeding is a common side effect, as well as blistering, edema (swelling caused by fluid retention) and pain. One common side effect is that patients who undergo cryosurgery are no longer able to grow hair in the region that has been treated.
- Excision — cutting away large chunks of your skin. Once the area has been removed, your skin is then sutured together. None of this sounds very fun, does it? This process could only be effectively done with smaller tattoos. It may be an immediate form of tattoo removal, but it has an extremely high rate of scarring. A skin graft might even be needed for larger tattoos.
Dream Tattoo Removal incorporates cutting edge, minimally invasive laser tattoo removal technology. Most patients report feeling a “snapping” sensation, like a faint rubber band against their skin. Sounds a lot better than salabrasion and excision, right?
Cutera® Enlighten™ technology is the world’s first dual wavelength and dual pulse duration laser system, which boasts industry leading power, treatment depth, and precision. For the most efficient and complete tattoo removal results, call Dream Tattoo Removal today. We’ll schedule your initial consultation and discuss how laser tattoo removal technology can benefit you.