Feb 2023
Why get a tattoo removed?

Tattoo removal is a growing trend, for a variety of reasons: aesthetic, family, professional or health reasons. In Europe, public health organizations recommend that only methods that involve a laser beam should be used. Among these, the use of the Picosecond laser is today the most suitable, both effective and safe, without significant risks of skin injuries.

Tattooing : principle

The principle of tattooing is to introduce into the dermis, intermediate layer of the skin, inks of various coloring. It is this deep enough introduction of pigments that makes a tattoo permanent. Indeed, if the operation were performed on the outermost layer of the skin, the tattoo would only last 2 to 4 weeks, the frequency at which the epidermis is completely renewed. On the other hand, if the pigments were introduced deeper than the dermis, in the hypodermis, they would tend to spread, forming unsightly spots, without respecting the desired line.

To get a tattoo, you need to call on an experienced professional who will know how to “prick” at the right depth, guaranteeing durability and precision of the line. In any case, it is a relatively invasive procedure that is often performed in an insufficiently considered manner, especially in young subjects, during vacations or on a whim. Depending on the case and the desired precision on a given area of the tattoo, the tiny needles used penetrate the skin at a frequency of 50 to 3000 times per minute.

Tattoo removal: a growing trend

Although initially desired, the permanence of tattoos can sometimes become cumbersome. Recent studies show that more and more people want to have a tattoo removed. They would represent nearly 10% of the tattooed people in France, that is to say nearly 650.000 people, this percentage being higher for men, with tattoos often realized on more visible zones of the body than for women.

The specific motivations are varied. It can be a question of erasing a missed tattoo, in particular by injection of pigments too deep or to get rid of a reason judged old-fashioned or which finally does not like any more. Social pressure is also a factor to consider, whether it is family or professional, as well as certain life events: break-up, marriage, birth, etc. About 25% of new dads would like to get rid of their tattoos. Finally, the concerns that lead to a tattoo removal treatment can also be health related. The public is becoming more and more aware that getting a tattoo is not a harmless gesture for health, especially since the ban in Europe of some inks containing potentially carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic substances.

Picosecond laser and tattoo removal

The application of a laser beam on the pigments contained in the dermis makes it possible to fragment them so that they are then eliminated via the lymphatic system. The picosecond laser is the method of choice among the equipment available today, particularly because its short pulse duration significantly limits the risk of skin injuries. The duration of the treatment is variable (patient’s skin, density and depth of the tattoo to be removed…) but it is necessarily composed of several sessions. They are always spaced a few weeks apart, to allow time for the body to eliminate the pigments previously denatured. The equipment must be handled by a qualified professional to ensure the safety of the patient and the aesthetic quality of the result.


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