Tattoos, as we all know, are as old as man. In the past, tattoos were used to manifest the social position of an individual (e.g.warrior, lord, sorcerer, slave e.t.c.).
In some tribes (e.g. the Maoris in the Pacific), over time, tattooing has evolved to the level of an art form, as it is today.
Nowadays, tattoos are applied for decorative reasons, especially by young people. In Greece, tattooing is not just ”fashion”. It is fairly widespread and, by now, socially acceptable.
There are many specialized tattoo parlors with well trained and experienced staff, abiding by all the safety health regulations.
Abroad for some years now, and lately in Greece, there is a growing need of tattoo removal. The need to “erase” from your skin an unwanted name that meant a lot in the past, is a typical example. Years ago, tattoo removal resulted in, sometimes unsightly scars.
Laser technology is, again, the solution. Lasers, but not all kinds of lasers, can “erase” tatooos.
The tattoo removing laser type called q-switch, is very different from the lasers used for hair removal, spider veins, skin rejuvenation, acne treatment etc. Q-switch is a highly specialized laser used only for tattoo and sun spot removal. Nothing else!
The use of any other type of laser in tattoo removal usually harms the skin.
How does q-switch laser work? What is so specila about it?
The secret is in the of the energy emiting laser pulse
In common medical lasers the duration of the pulse is a million times longer that the pulse of a q-switch laser (miliseconds compared to nanoseconds). Q-switch laser breaks the tattoo ink particles in smaller ink particles (that can be absorbed in the body), leaving the surrounding tissues intact. Tattoos are removed without scarring.
Does this happen always? To all tattoos?
It happens almost always. Some colours (e.g.black, dark blue, dark brown) can be easily removed, while other colours (e.g.yellow, light orange) simply cannot be removed.
Amateur tattoos (less ink in more superficial skin layers) can be removed easier than professional tattoos.
What is left behind?
In most cases the tattoo disappears completely. In a few cases all that remains is a trace, the tattoo “ghost”, as it is called.
How long does the treatment last? Will there be many sessions?
Each session lasts a few minutes, according to the extent of the treated area. It usually takes 6-8 sessions to achieve the desired results. We have seen tattoos disappear in 3 sessions and other tattoos disappear in 12, but this is not the rule. There is an interval of 3-4 weeks between sessions.
Does it hurt?
There is a stinging sensation like the one we feel when we are having a tattoo. Of course, there is always the possibility of local anesthesia (cream or shot).
This means that we can have any tattoo we want and then a doctor wil remove it?
Not exactly. Tattoos are a life choice. Of course, sometimes we are forced to, or our wishes change and we want to/have to have our tattoos removed. Medicine has the solutions, provided we reach proffessionals equipped with suitable technology, knowledge and experience.