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Tattoo removal

Tattoos have been a form of body art from times immemorial. Though in the recent past, tattoos were associated with bohemian and rebellious behaviour, tattoos are being more and more accepted today. There are various types of tattoos, both temporary and permanent, amateur and professional.

  • Why to remove a tattoo?

Tattoo removal is becoming more and more common today as many people are experimenting with this form of body art. However, when people change their jobs, or move up the corporate ladder, these may become inappropriate. Similarly, the armed forces also have strict regulations about body art. Some people also may have had the traditional tattooing in childhood, and may now want to get those removed.

  • How to remove a tattoo?

The best method to remove a tattoo is to use Lasers. There are Q switched lasers which target the pigment in the tattoo helping to fade the tattoo. These can be combined with treatments such as microneedling, dermabrasion, or fractional lasers to hasten the lightening of the tattoo.

  • How many sessions will I need?

Usually 4-8 sessions of laser treatments, around 6-8 weeks apart are needed for the treatment of tattoos. However, multicolour and professional tattoos may require more numbers of sessions.

  • I have had a tattoo recently. Now I notice some itching and some swelling over the tattoo area. What could it be due to?

Tattoos contain pigments, and these pigments may cause allergic reactions. The itching and swelling may be due to the same. Trying a potent corticosteroid cream may help to reduce the swelling and itching. However, if the swelling is persisting, there may be a keloid or infection over the tattoo. Do meet an experienced dermatologist, who can help you with this problem.

  • I had a temporary tattoo. However, when it faded it has left some marks on my skin. How can I get rid of it?

Temporary tattoos often contain PPD which is a black dye. If you are allergic to PPD, these temporary tattoos can leave permanent marks or scars on your skin. These scars can only be removed with a fractional laser treatment. Do consult a dermatologist so you could get personalised advice.

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The information provided in Dr. Dixit's answer is for educational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical advice. The information provided should not be relied upon as a substitute for consultations with a qualified health professional who may be familiar with your individual medical needs.

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