Your tattoo is pigment that permanently resides in the dermis skin layer, the area just below the top layer in the skin. Ink that reaches only the epidermis, the outer most layer of skin, has not penetrated deeply enough and is destined to be shed off during the regular process of growth that the skin routinely cycles through. Of course, during a normal tattoo process, much ink will be deposited in the epidermis, just by virtue of the fact that the needle is on the way to the dermis and just passing through. Experienced artists know that this colored epidermis will typically peel off and fall away fairly quickly (a few to several days, much like the skin from a sunburn), leaving the actual tattoo, the pigment in the dermis, behind. Despite the body’s attempts to remove ink molecules from the dermis much of the ink is either captured or ignored, and stays in the dermis. Laser Tattoo Removal targets the tattoo ink that is deposited in the dermis, the treatment triggers your immune response to attack the fragmented ink it considers a foreign substance. The cells in the skin that attack foreign bodies are called phagocytes (phago=”eat,” cytes=”cells”). These “cell eaters” engulf and consume the ink particles. Other immune cells heal the area after your laser tattoo removal treatment.
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