Tattoo Removal (Thousand Oaks)
Laser tattoo removal involves the use of light energy to break apart tattoo pigments in the skin. Over the course of several weeks, the body removes the pigment particles, and the tattoo fades away.
Who is a good candidate?
The ideal candidates are women and men with fair complexions seeking to remove a dark pigment tattoo that has been present for more than 8 weeks. Dark pigments such as black and blue can be removed more easily than bright colors, like red and yellow.
Who is not a good candidate?
People with very dark or black skin are not good candidates due to a high risk of permanent pigment abnormalities. Anyone who has taken isotretinoin (Accutane¨) must wait a minimum of 12 months before undergoing tattoo removal due to the severe risk of scarring. Patients who have a history of cold sores (oral herpes simplex infection) must take prophylactic anti-herpes medication (such as acyclovir) before undergoing tattoo removal. Patients who smoke should quit at least two weeks prior to laser tattoo removal and for 6 weeks after to allow for better healing.
Is the procedure performed in the office?
Tattoo removal can be performed in the clinic, and you may return to work the same day.
How painful is tattoo removal?
Tattoo removal requires that the treatment area is numbed with local anesthesia. Once this is done, there should be no pain. The numbing injections sting temporarily (similar to the injections at the dentist).
How long does it take to work and how long does it last?
Tattoo removal begins to work over the course of several weeks. It takes about 2 months, for the area to heal and the pigments to be removed by the body. Multiple treatments are necessary to remove most tattoos, and some pigments will be resistant to treatment. The results of tattoo removal are permanent.
What do I have to do after the tattoo removal procedure?
You should keep the treatment area as clean and dry as possible. It is recommended to wash the treatment area with antibacterial soap and water three times a day, and keep it covered with a dry, non-stick dressing. For larger tattoos, a topical antibiotic ointment may be applied to prevent infection.
What if I have a problem? When should I call the office?
The Kryger Institute welcomes calls from patients. If you have any concerns at any time, please feel free to call our office. If it is an emergency, the answering service is available 24 hours a day, including weekends and holidays. There is always a plastic surgeon on call. Your surgeon will discuss all the risks and potential complications with you before surgery. You will receive detailed instructions about situations that warrant a call to the office.