All you need to know about tattoo removal

Do you regret that tattoo you got on a whim during a trip or do you just not like it anymore? You are thinking of getting it removed but you have some fears about tattoo removal? Cost, method, pain… We answer all the questions you may have on the subject thanks to the expertise of a doctor specialized in tattoo removal.

Laser, the preferred method for tattoo removal

The machine used by tattoo removers is a laser that eliminates the pigments tattooed on the skin. It is programmed according to the colors and the reflection of the tattoo: “Each wavelength corresponds to a particular color,” explains Dr. Bernadette Ibrahim, aesthetic doctor and tattoo removal expert for the Lazéo centers. This method allows for the complete removal of the tattoo pigments present on the skin.

Tattoo removal is not always synonymous with pain

One of the most common fears of people who want to have a tattoo removed is the pain. And there is reason to be: photos of extreme laser burns, blisters and redness are common on the Internet. But Dr. Ibrahim reassures us: “I always use a local anesthetic before starting the tattoo removal session, unlike centers that only use a cream or ice. It is therefore painless for the patient.

Not all tattoos can be removed

Color, size, location, reflection and nature of the tattoo are elements to be taken into account when one wishes to get rid of a tattoo. A preliminary medical consultation is thus mandatory in order to consider all the parameters of the process.

Color: Not all colors can be removed with a laser: “Our machine can remove black, blue, green and red pigment. Yellow and orange colors, for example, are impossible to remove,” says Dr. Ibrahim. And in general, color tattoos take longer to remove than those made with black ink.

Size: A tattoo that covers the entire back, for example, may take several years to completely disappear. Some doctors prefer not to go through the process.

Location: Tattoos on the face are very delicate to remove and some doctors prefer not to take the risk: “I don’t remove eyebrows or lips because it’s too close to the eye and there are risks for the eyes,” explains Dr. Ibrahim.

The reflection: The process will be adapted if the tattoo features have been redone several times.

The nature of the tattoo: “If the tattoo was done by a professional or not, the ink will be different and it will be more or less complicated to remove” . says the doctor

Note that tattoos on dark skins are more difficult to remove than those on light skins.

Tattoo removal does not leave any trace on the skin

The risks of scarring or hyperpigmentation are real after a tattoo removal. But Dr. Ibrahim guarantees: “When tattoo removal is performed by a professional, there is no white spot or scarring, otherwise there would be no point in getting a tattoo removed.” Not exposing the tattooed area to the sun is also important to avoid marks.

The process requires several sessions and special care

Because a tattoo must be lasered several times before it disappears completely, the tattoo removal process always takes several sessions. The number of sessions required depends on the elements mentioned above (color, size, reflection…). But six is generally the minimum number of sessions recommended. And, on average, it takes up to 10 sessions to remove all the pigments. Each session lasts about 30 minutes when there is a local anesthetic. But the tattoo removal itself lasts only 2 or 3 minutes. And you will have to wait 6 weeks between sessions.

During the entire process, Dr. Ibrahim recommends special care: the first week, the tattooed area should be covered with Vaseline. It is important to cover the area with Vaseline to allow for healing. Afterwards, the daily use of Cicaplast cream is recommended until the next session.

It has a cost

Count on a minimum of 130€ per session to remove a 5cm black tattoo but prices vary according to the centers and the specificities of the tattoo. Some centers offer promotions if you plan several sessions and payment in installments without charge.

Tattoo removal should not be done by just anyone

There is an FDA (Food and Drug Administration) accreditation for tattoo removers. Apart from this guarantee, it is strongly advised to have your tattoo removal done by a doctor, at the risk of encountering undesirable effects: burns, hyperpigmentation, intense pain…

What do you think?

Written by Isla

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