Tattoos have been around for hundreds, even thousands of years. Once viewed as a sign of anarchy or rebellion, they’re now considered to be mainstream in many cultures.
In fact, in certain demographics, number of people with “inked skin” significantly out numbers those without tattoos. Perhaps one of the reasons for this prevalence is that these days tattoos don’t require as much commitment as they did in the past.
Although they were once viewed an irreversible permanent marking, advanced technology now allows the removal of tattoos which is undoubtedly reassuring for a lot of people.
The History of Tattoo Removal
Professional modern tattoo removal has been around for almost half a century, although records of ancient methods for removing permanent ink from skin do exist.
It’s said that in ancient days, a resin from a tree called Terebinth was rubbed on the skin. Although it supposedly took 20 days to work, reports were that it was effective.
Other methods that were tried included various substances being injected into the skin including wine and pigeon excrement in an attempt to dilute the ink colour.
Enter the Rise of Modern Tattoo Removal
In the 20th and 21st century, plastic surgeons began developing more effective medical procedures to remove tattoos either partially or fully.
The first of these options included:
Excision – Cutting away the skin affected by the tattoo and sewing it up.
Trichocloroacetic acid – Putting an acid on the tattooed skin to remove the inked layers.
Salabration – Rubbing the skin with salt to remove the inked skin
Dermabrasion – Using abrasive devices to remove the top and mid layers of skin
As you can imagine from reading the descriptions of these treatments, most were extremely painful and many had unsightly results with plenty of scarring.
Today, tattoo removal has evolved far past acid treatments and wine injections. Most cosmetic surgery clinics, including Fairview, use laser treatments to get rid of tattoos. Laser treatments are much less invasive, and much more effective with very limited recovery time.
Most people describe laser treatment as a similar sensation to being snapped with an elastic band. Although slightly painful, it’s a lot milder than using abrasion or excision to remove the tattoo.
Depending on the size and colours of the tattoo as well as the depth of the ink, complete removal can sometimes take up to 5 or more sessions.
After the last session, at least 95% of the tattoo is usually removed and it will be next to impossible to see remnants of the tattoo with the naked eye!
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