The moment you realize you really hate that tattoo you got is a sad one. After all, that tattoo is tied to memories that were likely pleasant (at least at some point). If it’s time to see it go, your best option is laser tattoo removal. But, if you listen to the rumors, you may be terrified of the idea.
Ever since laser tattoo removal was first invented in the 1960s, rumors have swirled about how dangerous it is. Most commonly, people worry about getting burned, losing their hair and getting cancer.
We get these questions all the time. We know the horror stories, and we know how the media portrays lasers in general. Let us ease your concerns by dispelling some of scariest myths out there about laser tattoo removal:
Lasers Use Heat, Which Means Burns!
If you go to an inexperienced, unprofessional laser tattoo removal specialist, there is the chance you might get burned. After all, you’re having a laser strong enough to eliminate ink less than an inch from your skin! That, in addition to outdated technology and bad technique, can leave you with burns on your skin if you choose the wrong clinic. That’s why it’s vital you choose the right place to get your laser tattoo removal.
Now, even if you choose the best clinic around, there is a chance you’ll either blister or scab. These are NOT the same as getting burned. Blisters and scabs are a natural part of the body’s healing process during laser tattoo removal. Be sure to follow your specialist’s instructions for treating the skin after your session to prevent any kind of permanent damage.
If you do get burned at a bad clinic, they will most likely be no worse than a first-degree burn. These are relatively minor, and can be treated with cool water and aloevera. If the skin breaks, be sure to use antibiotic cream to keep the area clean. Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen can be taken as well. Your burn should heal in a matter of days to possibly a couple weeks.
But the Laser will Kill My Hair, Right?
Laser tattoo removal is often associated with laser hair removal. But, these are completely separate processes that use vastly different tools. One uses certain methods to kill hair roots, and the other uses a different method to break up ink. So when you get your tattoo removed with a laser, you won’t permanently lose all your hair in the area.
However, there is a chance some of the hair near your tattoo could be affected. It depends on the location, size and type of ink used for the tattoo. If this happens, don’t worry! That hair will generally grow back during the healing process, depending on scabbing and other factors. It may take longer than you want for the hair to grow back, but fear not — it will!
Though hair loss is a possibility, especially around big, dark tattoos, any kind of loss should be negligible at best. If you have more noticeable hair loss, it’s likely indicative of a bad laser tattoo removal specialist — and you should find a new one as soon as possible.
Surely Those Lasers Can Cause Cancer, Though
Nope. Whether you’ve had cancer before or not, there is no known correlation between tattoo removal and the disease. Moreover, there is no evidence that those with tattoos in general have a higher risk of cancer either. While there is evidence that dirty needles and other unprofessional environments can cause other diseases when you get inked, getting a tattoo removed is extremely safe.
It’s important to note that, after laser tattoo removal sessions, your skin will be very sensitive to sunlight. Be sure to lather on the sunscreen or, better yet, wear clothes that cover the affected area after your sessions. Again, follow all instructions from your specialist to make sure you avoid unnecessary skin damage after getting your tattoo removed.
Laser tattoo removal is a safe, effective way to get rid of that ink you don’t want anymore. More important than anything, be sure you choose a center that is professional and has the expertise needed to eliminate that tattoo without leaving any lasting damage behind.