The tattoo world takes place this weekend in Paris, and brings together more than 400 tattoo artists from around the world. If you just wanted to get tattooed, choose your tattoo carefully, because removing it can be complicated, if not impossible, explains the dermatologist Isabelle Catoni, specialist in laser removal tattoo.
Isabelle Catoni, a dermatologist in Neuilly-sur-Seine, specialized in tattoo removal, which she has been practicing for 25 years. 7 million French are tattooed. The tattoo world takes place in Paris from March 3rd to 5th, in Paris.
When someone comes to see me, I start by examining the tattoo to see if it can be removed or not. We have tattoos that will be removed more easily than others, and others that will never be removed. There are two essential elements: the color, and the composition of the ink used. The ideal is to have black or red tattoos. The greens fade badly, turquoise yellows and blues do not fade. Very colorful tattoos, with our current lasers, are impossible to erase. As for the ink, today you have tattoo artists who will put colors with a lacquer-based ink. They are very pretty (white, fluorescent), but our lasers are not able today to treat them.
To detach, we use the Q Switched laser, which will ‘explode’ the color pigment embedded in the skin. Tattoo pigments are like big stones that would have been put into the skin. They are too big to be eliminated naturally by our cells. The laser will then ‘burst’ these large pieces of pebbles into small, fine layers like sand, which our cleaning cells are able to remove.
The number of sessions and the price depend on the tattoo
It is impossible to predict the number of sessions to laser removal tattoo because it depends, in addition to color, the depth of inlay of the pigment in the skin. If the pigment is superficial, it will take one or two sessions. If it is deep, it will take several sessions spaced every two months minimum to not damage the skin.
I have spent only two sessions to erase a whole back because the tattoo was very finely encrusted. But if the contour is dense, it will have to remove the laser layer after layer, and it is longer. If there have been 10 layers of pigments, it will take 10 sessions; if there are 20, it will take 20 sessions etc.
If laser removal tattoo is encrusted without having damaged the skin, if the tattoo artist has used ink and not lacquer, if it is black or red, then the tattoo fades without a trace. If you still have scars, it’s because the tattoo was badly done, or the tattoo removal was done with sessions too close together.
A burning and stinging sensation
The price depends on the laser removal tattoo centers, the time spent, but also the surface of the tattoo. It can go from 30 to 300 dollars to erase an arm, for example.
On the other hand, it hurts a lot. We feel inside the skin as a shock – the explosion of the pigment – and intense heat. There is a sensation of burning and stinging. It is very unpleasant and most of the time, it is put a numbing cream, which sometimes does not prevent pain.
My patients are between 30 and 40 years old
What drives to be torn apart? Among my patients, I often have people who have tattooed the name of their fiance who is no longer. Or, they are people who have made a tattoo on a very visible area who want to remove it. We also erase very gory, satanic, laser removal tattoo. Patients are usually between 30 and 40 years old, tattooed at 18, and can not afford to keep it now that they have entered the world of work. I also have new parents who do not want their children to see their tattoos.
Before, I also had future police officers (profession that prohibited until very recently). I also have a lot of ritual laser removal tattoo that are done in the Maghreb countries and which are forbidden by certain religions. So, when we convert or get married – the Jews do not have to go to the rabbi with a tattoo – we have to erase it