Tattoos long ago left the realm of sailors and pirates and became mainstream. Research shows that the number of U.S. adults who have a tattoo has increased to around 45 million. That’s one in five adults! Over half of women over the age of 18 now have a tattoo.
But just as tattoos have grown in popularity so has a phenomenon known as “tattoo regret.” Various studies have found that around 20 percent of people who have tattoos wish they didn’t have them. In 2016 around 53,000 tattoos were removed with lasers. That number was up 13 percent from the previous year and surely grew at an even faster rate in 2017.
As people with elaborate tattoos become older, those numbers are likely to keep growing. That dragon on a biceps muscle could start looking more like a basset hound as skin slackens and muscles lose some definition, both a result of natural skin aging.
Everyone’s skin becomes saggy and loose. Everyone loses collagen production, the skin’s support system, by one additional percentage point each year. And weight gain exacerbates the process, stretching the skin and underlying tissues. With 40% of the country now being obese, there are many, many tattoos that don’t quite look as they did when they were inked in.
Fortunately, Dr. Jensen can effectively remove your unwanted tattoo with the state-of-the-art PicoSure laser.
How do lasers remove tattoos?
Removing tattoos used to be a pretty difficult, and painful, process. Before today’s lasers, tattoos either had to be basically sanded off, a process known as dermabrasion, or they had to be surgically excised. Yes, the tattoo had to be cut out of the skin. Both methods left scarring that was just as noticeable as the tattoo.
But lasers have changed that.
Dr. Jensen’s PicoSure laser delivers a quick, high-energy pulse that is absorbed by the pigment in the tattoo. The energy breaks the pigment into particles small enough that they can be efficiently removed by the body’s lymphatic system.
How many treatments will I need?
This is where things get a little tricky. Different colors absorb the laser energy better than others. For instance, black is easy while green, not so much. Also, some tattoos are placed more deeply in the skin than others. Ink composition and the age of the tattoo also come into play.
Colors that laser energy breaks down the fastest are black, red, dark orange, and dark blue. Green, purple, brown, light orange, and light blue take more time.
Most tattoos require a number of treatments spaced 6-8 weeks apart. Bottom line? Removing that Angel of Death will likely require anywhere from 3 to 13 laser treatments. Very complex tattoos placed deeper in the skin can require even more treatments to fully remove them. Dr. Jensen will be able to give you a ballpark of what will be needed to remove your tattoo when you come in for a consultation.
If you have lost the love for that tattoo, let Dr. Jensen put his PicoSure laser on the job of removing it. Call us at (801) 728-9258 to make your consultation appointment.