SKIN PROBLEMS AND TREATMENT

5.9 TATTOO REMOVAL

Some person choose to have permanent artistic mark on the body. Some people cover whole body by tattoo. Some people write name of dear person or god or draw god image in tattoo ink. Why people choose to have tattoo? It is a puzzling question. Tattoo is done for prestige and as love symbol or as holy relief. 25% population have at least one tattoo marks. After few years, many feel embarrassed by it. An unhygienic procedure of tattooing can cause hepatitis. During formative process of tattooing, pigment is inserted into the skin by trauma. This pigment is present in keratinocytes, phagocytes and melanocytes. Tattoo is permanent. Some person attempt to remove tattoo at home or in parlour with the help of non-medical persons. Some may use combination of lime and strong soap.Such attempt causes permanent depressed scar on that point. So avoid non-medical or home treatment.

Patients with darker skin and hyperpigmentation and tanned skin have higher risk in tattoo removal. It is easier to remove tattoo of a person having fair skin. As tattoo becomes old, it fades away due to body's process of elimination. So, it is easier to remove older marks of tattoos. Some tattoos cannot be removed completely. Ghosts like colour may remain at site of a treatment. Multicolour professional tattoos are difficult to remove.

Why tattoos do not respond in one sitting?

Tatto mark is intergrated deeply in the skin. Tattoo ink become part of the live cell in that area. With each sitting the darkness of the tattoo mark fades away. After each treatment for disposal of pigment from live cell, at least 4 to 6 weeks are required.

To remove tattoo, procedures like excision, dermabrasion, Q Switch Nd: YAG LASER removal etc. are used. Each procedure have a certain limitations, risk and benefits. Removal by Q Switch Nd: YAG laser treatment is best treatment accepted by most of the patients worldwide.

Black and blue tattoo responds best to Q-switch Nd: YAG laser of 1064nm. Red and orange coloured tattoo responds to moderately and red and green respond poorly. Ruby laser helps to break red and green colour. Flash lamp pumped dye laser can treat purple, orange, red colours. Local anaesthetic cream is applied 2 hours prior to treatment. Whitening is achieved during Q-switch laser treatment. It takes about 3 to 10 sittings for removal. Number of sitting require very from case to case. It tattoo is deeper one needs more sessions. It is easy to treat black and blue tattoo but difficult to remove other colours of tattoo. e.g. (red colour)

Some person have pigment depression in local area. Such person should get excised such depressed mark by cosmetic surgery. Thus tattoo& that depression disappears.

Surgery for tattoo: In certain lasers with limited area of tattoo, cosmetic surgical excision can be done. This is done when tattoo does not respond satisfactorily to treatment or when that person want to eradicate at earliest or when surface of the skin in tattoo area is damaged

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