How Does Tattoo Removal Actually Work?

What’s that saying? — “Young, dumb, and broke.” 

Most of us have embodied that entire phrase at some point or another (that’s just life), and many of us regrettably got inked during our “young, dumb, and broke” phase. 

But as it (thankfully) turns out, none of us have to live with our youthful and reckless decisions. At least, not all of them — tattoos being one that we can gloriously erase. Although tattoos were once considered permanent, advances in laser technology have presented people with the opportunity for a clean slate. Er, skin. 

Dr. Jeffrey Gosin, our vascular specialist here at Shore Vascular & Vein Center, explains tattoo removal and how you can finally stop cringing at your ex’s name on your arm. 

How can I remove a tattoo?

You can remove a tattoo by coming to see Dr. Gosin.

No, seriously — all jokes aside, the best way to pursue tattoo removal is with a qualified specialist who uses the best technology available to physicians — which is an exact description of Dr. Gosin.

Tattoo removal lasers work similarly to hair removal lasers and lasers for skin pigmentation issues. The laser targets the pigment of your tattoo (the ink), and the heat causes it to break up into small particles. Your body sees the particles as foreign and sheds the pigments through the waste-removal systems. 

Voila — bye-bye, tattoo. 

Does tattoo removal hurt? 

For most people, a little bit. The laser process itself can be painful, but Dr. Gosin offers his patients a topical anesthetic to apply before the procedure. Most patients feel sensations similar to a rubber band snapping, but most say getting the original tattoo was more uncomfortable than laser treatment to remove it.

After treatment, you may experience some tenderness, swelling, or blistering. But don’t fret: Dr. Gosin can recommend an ointment to soothe the area and help speed up your skin’s recovery. 

What is the tattoo removal procedure like? 

It’s surprisingly simple: Dr. Gosin numbs the site of your tattoo and uses the enlightenⓇ III laser to send pulses of intense energy into your skin. The energy from the laser breaks up the ink, and your skin absorbs the particles. Eventually, your immune system gathers the ink and your body sheds it as lymphatic waste

You’ll need more than one treatment for good results. Most patients see changes after one session, but don’t see full results until they’ve undergone four to eight sessions. Optimal results — complete removal — usually happens after eight to 10 sessions. However, it’s different for everyone. 

Dr. Gosin offers free consultations so you can discuss how many sessions you’ll need to adequately remove your tattoo. Sessions are best placed at least a few weeks apart. 

Laser tattoo removal is an outpatient procedure at Shore Vein & Vascular Center, so you can go home the same day as your appointment. Ready to get rid of that ink from a bygone era? Call Shore Vein & Vascular Center today 609-297-5992 or request an appointment with Dr. Gosin using our online scheduling tool.

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