Erasing Ink: Options for Your Tattooed Clients

Posted By American Med Spa Association, Friday, February 19, 2016

There is a growing trend of people wanting their ink to be erased. According to research firm IBISWorld, spending on tattoo removals is still growing and is expected to reach $83.2 million in 2018. Below are three options for tattoo removal recommended by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS), one that can be adopted in a medical spa and two that take place in a medical facility. Keep this information handy to educate clients who want to remove their ink. 1. Dermabrasion Using a rapidly rotating device, a dermatologic surgeon removes the surface and middle layers of the tattoo. This outpatient procedure can be done at a lower cost than other treatments, and the ASDS considers it a tried-and-true method in many cases. However, dermabrasion may cause various minor side effects, including:  Redness, swelling or bleeding  Changes in skin color including hyperpig­mentation, hypopigm­entation or blotchiness  Infection, although rare, may occur. Dermabrasion that is performed too deeply may cause scarring. 2. Laser Therapy Laser therapy — also called laser surgery and laser rejuvenation — has become the preferred treatment for tattoo removal since it offers a low-risk option with minimal side effects, according to the ASDS. High-intensity laser beams break up the pigment of the tattoo, and the type of laser used generally depends upon the pigment colors. Different lasers or different settings of the same laser are needed for different colors, and a Q-Switched laser is commonly used to remove tattoos. The laser selectively targets and removes the tattoo without damaging the surrounding tissue, which the ASDS said greatly decreases scarring. The downfall is that most tattoos do require multiple treatments. The ASDS said side effects are generally minor, but may include: Skin discoloration Infection Lack of complete pigment removal Some scarring A raised or thickened scar may appear three to six months after tattoo is removed Read more at Skin Inc.