In his office, Dr. Popp said there’s probably more need for tattoo removal than fixing piercings or other body modifications.
The painful truth is that tattoo removal is done by lasers and takes many, many sessions. The more color you have, the harder it will be to get rid of the tattoo and the longer it will take.
“That means if your tattoo has reds, yellows and blues, it will take a longer time to get rid of these than the old dark blue India ink tattoos. The old ones are easier to remove. It’s all about the wavelength of light that’s used in the laser,” Dr. Popp explained.
The pigments absorb that wavelength which in turn destroys the pigment. In other words, you could spend hundreds of sessions trying to get rid of tattoos.
“You may get rid of a tattoo but you may well have an image of it left. Let’s say you had an eagle on your arm that was dark blue and you successfully get rid of the tattoo, even so when a person looks at your arm, they will still see the eagle, just in a lighter pigmentation,” he said.
So it’s impossible to completely eliminate a tattoo to a point where you can’t see it at all. Tattoo reduction is probably a better way to describe it.
Dr. Popp said though he doesn’t do tattoo removals in his office. Many dermatologists do, so when he gets requests for that procedure he is happy to refer people on.
Fixing the piercings
The biggest area Dr. Popp fixes is earlobe piercings and he said 99% of his clients are women. The main reasons they come in to see him is either they’ve pulled an earring through the earlobe, creating a slice or the previous little hole is so elongated that an earring won’t stay in.
This can happen for many reasons
- Someone is wearing a hoop earring and it gets caught
- A baby or small child grabs the earring and tugs on it
- A person wears heavy earrings that can stretch out the hole over time
The other groups of people that come in to have their piercings fixed are men who wear gauges in their ears, enlarging the hole in their ear to the size of a quarter or a silver dollar. Many men decide they want this fixed. “These may require two or three procedures to get them close to normal. But even so they may still have funny looking earlobes. They are a bigger challenge but these cases are also on the rise because more people doing it,” said Dr. Popp.
Have a question about your earlobes? Set up a free consultation with Dr. Popp by calling 402-391-4558.