THE tattoos they are increasingly common in Italy among young people but also among adults and for some years tattooed women have outnumbered men.
According to a research by the Istituto Superiore della Sanità, tattooed women are 13.8% compared to 11.7% of men.
Tattoos can be of different types, of a single color or multicolored and obviously of different sizes, covering a surface of a few millimeters of skin up to extending for several centimeters.
Most people who have a tattoo say they are satisfied with the tattoo (over 92% again according to the ISS study) but at the same time as many as 17.2% of tattooed people said they wanted to remove at least one.
What is tattoo removal?
Removal of a tattoo means the elimination, through chemical-physical and / or surgical techniques, of the pigment introduced permanently with the tattoo technique.
The choice of the best technique to remove a tattoo must be made considering the factors that make removal more or less simple. The most relevant factors are:
- Tattoo size
- Location (location)
- Characteristics ("full" or "outline only" design, number of colors, ...)
- Age in which the tattoo was made
The choice of the patient may then depend on two other variables:
- cost of the removal
- number of interventions required for removal
What are the techniques for removing a tattoo safely
The techniques for removing a tattoo safely fall into three categories:
- Mechanical / surgical methods
- Thermal / light energy methods
- Chemical methods
Mechanical / surgical methods
Salabrasion: it consists in the cancellation of the pigment through the caustication of the fabric using sodium chloride.
Dermabrasion: acts on the superficial layer of the skin up to the pigment contained in the dermis through the use of rotating burs. Curettage can be used to complement superficial dermabrasion, as the curette acts deeper to remove pigments.
Surgical excision: the layer of the dermis that contains the pigments is removed (with possible post-operative complications related to scars, sensitivity problems, long healing times)
Cryosurgery: acts through the necrosis of the tissues treated and affected by the tattoo.
Thermal / light energy methods
Electrocoagulation: it uses the heat developed by the electric current to obtain local coagulation, with localized necrosis.
Pulsed Light Therapy (IPL): It is a form of energy that works through a dermal enhancer that induces selective photothermolysis. Light is absorbed specifically by the designated tissues or chromophores.
Lasers (carbon dioxide, argon, Q-switched): they remove tattoos using light energy with variable wavelengths. The color is fragmented and subsequently eliminated by the immune system.
The switched Neodymium-Yag Q laser is the latest generation Q-S laser: it acts with rays of different wavelengths, each specific for the removal of a different color of the pigment.
In the past, silver nitrate, tannic acid, phenol were used, risking leaving obvious scars on the patient's body.
Today, among the various substances most used, we point out trichloroacetic acid which interacts with the deeper and deeper cell layers of the epidermis up to the pigments placed in the dermis.
On sale online there are also several topical creams that take several months to get the first results, however exposing you to possible allergic reactions.
Who to contact to remove a tattoo
Regardless of the methodology chosen for remove a tattoo safely it is essential to contact a qualified doctor with specialization in aesthetic medicine.
A specialized portal that collects the references of a good number of doctors specializing in aesthetic medicine is TuaMe.it: by following this link you can find more information on tattoo removal and a list of doctors residing in different areas of Italy.
The "do-it-yourself" in tattoo removal it is strictly not recommended! The risks are high: infections with possible complications, permanent scarring and severe allergic reactions.