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Emerald Isle photo by Heather WrightLaser tattoo removal is an exciting area of medicine, combining the satisfaction of a cosmetic procedure with the latest technology. Following are some of the terms we use when discussing tattoo removal.

Absorption
In the field of laser tattoo removal, the process by which the energy of a photon is taken up by something else, in this case by an atom in the pigment of your tattoo.

Anesthesia
A substance used to block the feeling of pain or other sensations.

Antibiotic
A pharmaceutical that inhibits or eliminates the growth of bacteria, fungi, or protozoa.

Color
The frequency of visible light. A phenomenon of light that enables differentiation of objects.

Cream
A water-soluble substance added to the skin. In laser tattoo removal this can take the form of an antibiotic used to prevent infection.

Cryosurgery
A surgical procedure where liquid nitrogen or other liquid is applied to skin and layers are peeled away.

Dermabrasion
A cosmetic medical procedure where layers of the skin are removed by sanding with abrasives.

Excision
A surgical procedure that removes a portion of skin. Before lasers, it was a painful form of tattoo removal

Homemade Tattoo
A tattoo made outside of a professional studio, often using India, pen, or other ink.

Hyper-pigmentation
Excess pigmentation/color.

Hypo-pigmentation
Loss of pigmentation/color.

Laser
An acronym meaning "Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation." In tattoo removal, a light of a specific wavelength to remove particular colors is generated by a gain medium and amplified, then directed towards the tattoo pigment.

 

Melasma

Also known as sun damage, coimmonly seen on the face.  This is a flat browning of the skin in splotches.

Pigment
A substance used a coloring. In a tattoo, the most common pigment is black, but thousands of pigments/colors can be mixed.

Professional Tattoo
A tattoo applied at a professional tattoo studio by trained staff with professional equipment.

Tattoo (Often Misspelled Tatoo or Tatto)
Also known as dermal pigmentation. A mark on the body.

Tattoo Removal
A procedure to remove unwanted tattoos, most recently using highly specific lasers to break up tattoo ink.

Wavelength
The distance between two crests or troughs of a wave of light. Laser tattoo removal uses several different wavelengths to address different colors of tattoo ink.

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