How Does Tattoo Removal Actually Work?

You thought your love for (fill in the blank here) would last forever, so you inked his name on your shoulder. Now, that love is gone, and you want that tattoo gone too. 

Luckily for you, Dr. Gul A. Zikria, board-certified physician and cosmetic surgeon in Milpitas, California, can erase that old tattoo in just a few sessions. Curious how tattoo removal actually works? Read on to learn more.

Tattoo removal is harder than it looks

Between 7 million and 20 million people in the U.S. have at least one tattoo, and roughly half will eventually suffer “tattoo regret” because of acute inflammatory reactions, perceptions that tattoos interfere with professional opportunities, or a host of other reasons, according to Clinician Reviews. 

Tattoos are made when a needle deposits small amounts of ink into the superficial layers of your skin, although some ink particles migrate deeper. Tattoo inks are permanent because they’re typically made from heavy metals, like lead, copper, manganese, and sometimes even mercury. 

Anyone with a tattoo knows that images fade with time as the body’s immune system recognizes the ink as an intruder, white blood cells engulf the particles, and the liver eliminates them. Your body, however, can’t completely get rid of the bigger ink particles. For that, you need a laser. 

How lasers remove tattoos

Dr. Zikria removes tattoos with the Spectra™ Q-switched technology system, one of the best and most advanced ways to erase your tattoo and restore your natural skin. Spectra uses multiple laser wavelengths to break down ink pigments into tiny particles, which the body recognizes as foreign bodies and works to eliminate. 

If your tattoo is in a sensitive place, Dr. Zikria might ask you to come in about a half hour before your appointment to apply a topical numbing cream, which will reduce discomfort. Once your skin is numb, Dr. Zikria will zap your tattoo using the Spectra’s handheld device.

The tattoo removal session typically lasts about 20 minutes, although bigger tattoos take longer to remove than smaller ink mistakes. Black tattoos are the easiest to remove, while bright colors are the hardest.

After your session, expect some minor swelling and irritation. Dr. Zikria will give you skin care instructions to minimize side effects and discomfort.

Although individual results vary, you’ll typically notice your tattoos fading after your first removal session. However, you’ll probably need four to eight sessions for optimal results.

Want to get rid of your old tattoo ASAP? Get started today by calling Dr. Zikria’s Milpitas, California, office at 408-290-8289 to book your appointment.

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