We don’t make it a point to ask “why” when someone comes to us wanting to remove a tattoo. We believe that if someone wants to share, they will, and if they don’t then it’s their personal business. We’re here to provide a service regardless of the “why.”
A lot of times the reasoning for wanting to remove a tattoo does get shared, and we welcome your stories without judgment. We’ve heard the “I was young and dumb” line many times. We’ve heard a few “I lost a bet” statements. We’ve heard of relationships lost. We’ve even seen and heard “it just didn’t turn out right.” But surprisingly, none of these reasons seems to be the number one reason for seeking laser tattoo removal services.
Believe it or not the primary reason we hear for tattoo removal is placement. We’ve heard “if I could pick it up and move it…” numerous times. Hands, wrists, feet, ankles, and necks tend to be the areas that produce the most “regret.” These are highly visible areas and unless you’re in an industry that has openly embraced highly visible tattoos, a tattoo in any of these areas could be a hindrance in the workplace. It is unfortunate that judgments about a person’s work ethic, trustworthiness, and overall character are made, but as for now it is a reality.
Another common complaint we hear from people with highly visible tattoos are in reference to other people. People are noisy, and asking questions is one thing. Admiring a tattoo is acceptable as well, but when the admiration steps into the wearer’s personal space and business, a line has been crossed. Some people handle this unwanted attention better than others. Some simply cannot tolerate other people touching them or getting overly personal with their questions about a visible tattoo. Having been involved with laser tattoo removal for nearly 3 years, we have learned that some people are quite audacious. It’s amazing what some “tattoo admirers” will do in order to get a better look at someone’s art.
Regardless of the reasons, we know that laser tattoo removal is a very personal decision. It is one that requires commitment and follow-through. Unfortunately, tattoos often elicit more attention as they fade from laser treatments. This is because, as stated before, people are nosey. The good news is that you’re taking a step to eliminate that attention by continuing with laser tattoo removal treatments, and before too long, the tattoo will be gone.
You may be shocked to find out that lasers DO NOT in fact remove tattoos from your skin. Wait…What? It’s true. Laser tattoo removal is quite misleading, at least with regards to the name. Lasers DO make it possible for the tattoo ink to be removed from the skin, but they do not do the actual removal.
So, if lasers don’t do the removal, what does?
Your own immune system is the workhorse behind the scenes of laser tattoo removal. It all starts with the intensely focused light energy of the laser being absorbed by the tattoo ink. The ink particles heat up and expand eventually shattering into much smaller particles. At this point your immune system rushes in, absorbs those tiny particles, and begins carrying them out of your body.
The immune system is an amazing thing. It works hard every day to rid our body of toxins and pathogens. It fights off illnesses often before we even begin to get sick. As any super hero has a weakness, so your immune system has its limits. When too many things are keeping the immune system busy, it tends to slow down. It still does a very good job of keeping us healthy, but it may take a bit longer to accomplish all the tasks it has.
This is especially true for things like laser tattoo removal. When you have a cold between treatments, you may notice that your tattoo doesn’t fade as much as with prior treatments. It doesn’t mean that your immune system quit working on the shattered ink. It just means that your immune system had a lot to do and likely focused more of its resources on healing your cold.
Anything you can do to boost your immune system will help to speed the laser tattoo removal process along. Alternately, anything that compromises the immune system can slow the process. Also remember, begin sick between treatments may slow the flushing of the ink, but shouldn’t cause problems. However, if you are sick the day of your appointment (or even a day or two prior) or you’ve been on antibiotics within 10-14 days of your scheduled appointment, it is best to reschedule. We don’t want to knowingly add more strain to your immune system than is necessary, and antibiotics tend to cause sensitivity to light which can lead to unwanted reactions after laser treatment. As always, if in doubt, contact your laser specialist and ask questions. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
photo courtesy of www.freedigitalphotos.net by David Castillo Dominici
As we close the door on another year tonight, many people will be reflecting on all that 2014 has brought…the good, the bad, where they’d like to make some changes, and what they’d like to keep the same. Many of us create a list of “New Year’s Resolutions.” They include goals we would like to accomplish in order to make the New Year the best year yet. Many resolve to eat healthier, lose weight, quit smoking, spend more time with family, work less, work harder, and many, many more. Our resolutions can be anything that, to us, would create a better us and perhaps a better world.
Laser treatments could be part of your New Year’s Resolutions. If you’ve been covering an unwanted tattoo because it draws too much attention, it didn’t come out like you wanted, it reminds you of something you’d rather forget, or you want something different in that place make 2015 the year that you decide to do something about it. Laser tattoo removal may not be as painful and expensive as you think. Removing a tattoo is a process one that can take 6 months to a year or more in some cases, but when done correctly and proper care is taken, the ink can be removed without permanent damage to your skin. This leaves your skin open for a new tattoo if you want or just clear new skin that you can be proud of. Resolve to stop hiding that unwanted tattoo and do something about it.
Vanish uses the Astanza Trinity Laser to target a wide variety of colors, and only trained laser specialists under the oversight of our medical director will be performing the treatments. We do all we can to ensure you see the best results possible. We take great care in making sure you are pleased with your results as well as the quality of your treatment. Consultations are always free, so there is no reason not to come in and get your questions answered. We hope you have a safe and happy New Year. Give us a call when we're back in the office on Tuesday, January 2nd to schedule your free consultation, because putting it off might just mean you’ll still be looking at that tattoo this time next year and you don’t want that.
Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net by Krishna Arts
Skin Rejuvenation before and after 3 treatments
Photo courtesy of Vanish
We talk a lot about laser tattoo removal around her, but did you know Vanish also offers aesthetic procedures such as age spot removal and skin rejuvenation treatments? Utilizing our Astanza Trinity laser, we are able to target naturally occurring skin pigment in much the same way tattoo ink is targeted.
Age spot removal is great for patients who have a good complexion overall, but a few darker sun spots here and there that they would like to see faded and ultimately removed. Just as with laser tattoo removal, the laser is used to target and shatter the the darker pigment of the age spot. The immune system can then absorb and remove the shattered pigment. Patients will experience redness, swelling, and darkening of the treated area immediately after treatment. The treated area may develop a scab or remain texturally unchanged. Over a 24-48 hour period, the redness and swelling will resolve. The darker color will gradually fade as your skin turns over. If you developed a scab, it will gradually slough off revealing lighter skin underneath. This process can take a few days to several weeks. Typically sun spots can be removed in 1-3 treatments, though some may require additional treatments depending on a number of factors including but not limited to the density of the spot, the depth of the spot in the skin, and whether the skin after treatment is protected from the sun.
Skin rejuvenation treatments are great for anyone who wants to help even out their skin tone, improve collagen production, and just have overall healthier, younger looking skin. Skin rejuvenation treatments are performed using a very low setting of your 1064nm wavelength. The most common areas to treat are the face and back of the hands, though other areas can be treated also. We treat the entire surface which causes just enough damage to the skin forcing it to turn over at a faster rate. The laser is attracted to skin pigment as well as fin lines and wrinkles. This treatment helps to soften edges around light spots making them less noticeable. Fine lines may fill in slightly as the skin turns over and collagen production is improved. Skin rejuvenation treatments do not cause an extreme reaction, but rather a mild pink glow after treatment. Also results are not dramatic especially to those of us who are critical of our skin. Typically after one treatment, friends tend to ask questions like, "did you do something different with your hair?" or "Are you using a new make-up?" They notice something is different (in a good way), but just aren't sure what. Depending on the results you are looking for, 1 to 3 treatments are typically sufficient. Maintenance treatments primarily after summer sun exposure will help keep your skin looking healthy and young.
It is recommended to wait a minimum of 6-8 weeks before another treatment (sun spot removal or skin rejuvenation) is performed. For sun spot removal treatments, this allows your immune system to flush away a good portion of shattered pigment before shattering more. For skin rejuvenation treatments, this time allows for your skin to turn over and regulate after treatment. Results vary from person to person. Contact the office to schedule your free consultation.