How to Find a Good Laser Tattoo Removal Doctor?
- Asked by kly. in Los Angeles
- 3 years ago
Laser Tattoo Removal
If you have a tattoo, you are not alone. An estimated 20 million Americans sport tattoos. Laser technology has made great strides in eliminating tattoos. The laser's short pulses of intense light pass harmlessly through the top layers of the skin and are absorbed by the tattoo pigment. This causes the tattoo pigment to fragment into smaller particles that are then removed by the body's immune system.
With the array of state-of-the-art lasers, we can now remove tattoos of all colors, shapes, and sizes. You should consult an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon who is professionally bound to engage in techniques that have been deemed safe after rigorous testing. You might also want to look at before and after photos of laser tattoo removals performed by the doctor. No matter what doctor you choose, you want to make sure you feel comfortable with them.
Laser Tattoo Removal in 2010
Amazingly, years ago we used to remove tattoos by such crude techniques as salabrasion (the use of abrasive salt on the tattoo) or dermabrasion. Of course these procedures left unsightly scars and may or may not have removed the tattoo. Today, there are a variety of lasers that are effective against a variety of colored dyes, and most often there is little or no scarring (although there may be a texture change).
Which laser to use depends on what color or colors the tattoo is. Colors are certain wavelengths of light and lasers that are "tuned" to that wavelength (or nearly so) will be more effective in removing that tattoo. The laser is most frequently a Q-switched laser although at the recent American Academy of Dermatology meeting in Miami Beach, there were some reports of success with even a resurfacing laser in the right circumstance.
Removal is not a one shot deal! The number of treatments vary depending on the color and age of tattoo, whether it was professionally placed or not, and so on. But, be aware that it is not uncommon to require half a dozen or more treatments.
Both dermatologists and plastic surgeons have experience with this technique. In my office, the treatment is administered by me, not by trained assistants, but in other offices this is not the case. I would suggest you meet with the physician and discuss the process, who is going to adminsiter the treatment, and probably your gut will tell you who is the right match for you. Charges vary so have a frank discussion about this, and what charge will be added if you require the application of topical numbing creams.
Laser tattoo removal
The most important question you should ask is what type of laser are they using. Typically, the physician himself/herself does not perform the removal of the tattoo and delegates that role to either his nurse or physician assistant depending upon your state regulations. Depending upon the colors of your tattoo or permanent eyebrow, I would ask for a q-switched ND:YAG type of laser or q-switched alexandrite as they are the most effective. I hope this information helps.
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.