Tattoo Removal – Washington, D.C.
The practice of decorating the body with tattoos dates back to the Stone Age and has persisted through the centuries. It is common in every part of the world, and in many cultures is associated with specific rites of passage. In the United States, where tattoos are merely ornamental, people sometimes regret receiving them. Studies today suggest that more than half of all adults with tattoos wish they didn’t have them.
If you have a tattoo in Washington, DC that you wish to have removed, the cosmetic dermatologists at the Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery can help. Schedule a tattoo removal consultation in Washington, DC to learn what removal options might work best and what results you might be able to expect.
The mechanism behind tattooing is simple: inks of various colors are introduced into the skin by a sharp instrument (usually a needle). Modern tattooing has become more advanced with intricate patterns and the use of exotic blends of natural and synthetic dyes to produce a wide range of colors.
Tattoos are commonly categorized into four groups:
(1) Professional Tattoos are complex applications of large amounts of pigment and multiple colors. Because of their complexity and, amount of pigment, they require the most treatments, usually on the order of 10 or more laser sessions.
(2) Amateur Tattoos are the simplest in appearance and the easiest to remove. Self-applied tattoos and medicinal tattoos (from radiation markings) typically fall in this category. The scant amounts of black ink or pigment in these tattoos can typically be removed in a few laser sessions.
(3) Cosmetic Tattoos are professionally applied tattoos consisting of red, black, or brown pigments designed to mimic lip, eye or brow liner. Unfortunately, many cosmetic tattoo pigments contain a reddish-brown substance (iron oxide or titanium dioxide) that can turn dark upon laser impact. To gauge this, a single small test pulse is often applied to determine the response before additional laser treatment is applied.
(4) Traumatic Tattoos are the result of an accident that forcibly introduces foreign debris into the skin. Depending on the size and distribution of the particles, it can take as little as a few to many laser treatments to clear.
Tattoo Removal in DC at Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery
Tattoos are regarded as a deep type of pigmented lesion. Dermasurgeons in Washington, DC can remove the ink particles in the same manner as they take out the pigment in a mole or brown birthmark. The same lasers that target pigment in the skin also can reduce the tattoo particles to much tinier pieces that the body can eliminate or hide. Because color is related to absorption of light energy, different lasers are used to remove different-colored pigments. Tattoos of the same color may also react differently because tattoo pigments may have different chemical compositions.
All of the tattoo lasers are effective in removing black or dark blue tattoo ink, but no laser currently available can remove all of the inks in multi-colored professional tattoos, so treatment of multicolored tattoos requires the use of at least two different laser systems.The number of treatment sessions necessary to remove a tattoo depends on:
- The kinds of pigments or inks used
- The number of different colors used
- The amount of pigments or inks used
- The length of time a tattoo has been present
Although an estimate can be made regarding the number of treatments that will be necessary to remove a tattoo, it is impossible to predict the exact number of sessions necessary due to individual variations.
If you have a tattoo you no longer desire, schedule a tattoo removal consultation in Washington, DC on K Street at the Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery to learn how we can help.