Does Laser Tattoo Removal Hurt?

Etymology of Tattoo

Tattaow is how it was spelt back in the 18th century and it is known as tatau in Polynesian, in Tahitian as tatu and it was introduced into the English dictionary where it underwent a change to conform to English phonology as tattoo. It gained popularity through sailors who introduced tattooing to the world.

Ever since the 70's it has become fashionable to have tattoos and both sexes from all economic classes, age groups, from later teen years to middle age opt to have tattoos. Having decided to get a tattoo, you also need to know what the consequences of getting a tattoo can be.

Health Risks involved in getting a Tattoo

Before you decide to get a tattoo beware of the risks you will be undertaking:
  • FDA regulates the inks used in the tattoo but does not have any regulations with reference to the practice of tattooing.
  • When injecting a substance into the skin, in this case tattoo ink, you are risking infection; although small the risks include hepatitis, staph, or warts.
  • Other possible health risks involve unsterilized tools such as the needles or gun, and ink that have been contaminated, can lead to infection.
  • Depending on which part of your body you are being tattooed on, and since the skin is being punctured, bleeding is inevitable which could put you at a risk for blood borne diseases such as hepatitis B.
  • Tattoo ink ingredients may vary but they do contain metals like mercury and nickel. And the ink can cause inflammation and scarring.
  • Tattoos are very difficult to remove; they can be lightened, but complete removal is a challenge, and you have to accept the fact that the skin will never look the same again.

Tattoo Regrets

While in the heat of the moment one opts to get tattooed, sooner or later along comes regret and perhaps embarrassment too. A survey conducted showed that 53 percent men, 47 percent women, from people ages 16 and older (half of them were older than age 40), who had visible tattoos, regretted getting their tattoos and were thinking about having their tattoo or tattoos removed. According to Mayo Clinic (a nonprofit worldwide leader in medical care, research and education for people from all walks of life), tattoo removal can be completed either by surgery, laser surgery or dermarasion, but should never be attempted without a licensed doctor's help.

Though most tattoos are thought to be for keeps, most often it is possible to remove them, either completely or to some extent with laser treatments. Removing tattoos with an FDA approved laser is now considered the best and most competent method. The Tattoo removal laser efficiently breaks down the ink. Two wavelengths of light are generally used to break down a wide spectrum of tattoo ink. The number of sittings to remove an unwanted tattoo would depend on the size and location of the tattoo which could be anywhere from three to four treatments, spaced eight weeks apart. The cost of the complete treatment could vary from US$700 to several 1000 dollars. Laser tattoo removal uses heat to destroy the dyes used in the tattoos and therefore, in all likelihood scarring, discoloration, or even possibly an outline of the tattoo could be left behind as a residue. Is it painful to remove a tattoo? Since the skin is a protective layer and is sensitive to heat, cold, etc, the laser removal of a tattoo most definitely will be painful. The sensation is likened to a snapping of a rubber band against the skin.