Tattoo Removal

They were once a permanent statement of rebellion, but today, tattoos – or body art, as they are known – are a common sight.

45 million Americans have at least one tattoo. Your doctor, your lawyer, your dentist probably has one since 40% of that 45 million is between the age of 26 – 40.

They are also not quite so indelible – welcome news for the 23 per cent of those who say they now regret their inkings.

Tattoo removal used to involve painful dermabrasion, acidic skin peels or literally cutting the image out and then patching the area with skin grafts.

All these methods could leave horrendous scars. But such drastic action is no longer necessary.

Laser technology was first used for tattoo removal 20 years ago and has come a long way since then.

‘In many cases we are able to completely erase the tattoo,’ says Michael Sarti MD, owner of Vitality Institute of Agoura.

Tattoos are created by injecting ink about a millimeter into the dermis – the middle layer of your skin. As it doesn’t shed like the skin’s surface layers, the ink won’t wear away. The ink particles are too big to be broken down by the immune system so they remain there.

The lasers work by splitting the ink into smaller fragments, allowing them to be broken down by the body and naturally excreted, essentially tricking the body into fading the tattoo.

The laser handpiece is held like a pen, so removal can be precise – even making ‘editing’ possible. ‘We are sometimes asked to alter a name within an existing tattoo without touching the surrounding artwork,” Sarti explained.

Treatment time normally lasts months, with each treatment being spaced 6-8 weeks apart. The cost and time of removals depend on the size of the tattoo. “It can be very expensive but we try to manage the cost by allowing monthly payments, it will undoubtedly set you back more than the original tattoo,’ says Sarti, who has had some patients come to his clinic on the way back from the tattoo studio, begging him to remove their body art.

If you’re starting to regret your tattoo, call us today for a free consultation to learn more about how you can get started on the removal process.