If you have a tattoo that you want laser removed permanently from your body at a place like Countryside Dermatology & Laser Center, then you should know that dark colored inks are easier to remove than lighter colored inks. This means that black and dark blue tattoos are easier to get rid of than yellow or green varieties. Tattoo removal is also somewhat painful and is often described as a burning sensation mixed with a snapping or stinging feeling. In many cases, the tattoo removal is worth the pain, especially for larger tattoos in noticeable areas. However, some people are concerned about the formation of keloid scars.
What Are Keloid Scars?
When an injury occurs somewhere across the body, the body will repair the area by creating new tissue. This tissue fills in the wound from the bottom up until the area is healed. You can clearly see this when the skin is damaged. A scab will form and pink connective tissue will fill in underneath the scab. As the body heals, the tissue forces the scab away and you may see a small indentation where the injury occurred.
The body heals itself by creating bands of collagen that fill in wounds. The collagen fills in the area horizontally, and the bands layer on top of one another vertically. If the collagen connects in rough or wide bands, then you will see a scar. In some cases, the collagen will form more aggressively than it should and thick layers of the material will develop passed the skin's surface. When this happens, something called a keloid scar will form.
Keloid scars are rough and raised patches of skin that look similar to a skin-colored or pink rash, but the scar does not go away. Keloid scars can sometimes occur when laser tattoo removal is performed, because the laser forces a great deal of energy against the skin. This causes dermal damage and the body may create an overgrown keloid scar in response to the damage.
How Can Keloid Scars Be Prevented?
Removal Specialist Prevention
Keloid scarring after laser tattoo removal can be prevented in several ways. There are things that both you and your removal specialist can do to minimize scarring. The removal specialist can make sure that dermal damage is reduced by scheduling treatment appointments several months apart from one another. Many people will need 10 or more treatments to totally eliminate the appearance of a tattoo.
There is usually a minimum six to eight week waiting period between removal appointments. However, the longer the timeframe between appointments, the less chance that keloid scars will form. Scheduling treatments three months or more apart will help to reduce scarring concerns.
Appointments spaced out will allow the body to remove broken up ink pigments and it will also provide the body with more than enough time to heal dermal damage. When damaged dermis tissue is subjected to more energy from the tattoo removal laser, scarring is likely.
One of the best ways to prevent the formation of keloid scars after laser tattoo removal is to follow proper aftercare procedures so the body can heal fully. A blister will form after the laser treatment and it is best to keep the blister from popping. The fluid in the blister will protect the tissues underneath from further damage. Once the blister pops naturally, a scab will usually be seen. Do not pick at the scab.
You also should make sure that the removal area remains dry and clean. It is also best to cover the area with clean gauze and to make sure the wound is not exposed to the sun for several weeks. Antibiotic ointment should also be applied several times a day until the scab falls off.