Favorite

Taketh away 

Tattoo buyer's remorse? There's help.

26coverside_image1.jpg
 

Though you can’t see it, the invisible beam of laser light hitting Jodi Taylor’s skin a couple of times a second is audible enough: a sharp, sparkplug ZAP! that sounds like the repeat of a miniature Buck Rogers disintegrator pistol. The result is almost as striking. As the laser moves over her tattoo — a wild horse, galloping across her ankle — every ZAP! makes the skin rise in a tiny white dot.

Like many people who come in for laser removal, Taylor has simply outgrown her tattoo — something that once spoke to her strongly enough that she had it printed on her skin. Now a young mother from Malvern, more interested in wearing skirts to school functions than youthful expression, she’s ready to be rid of her permanent pony.

“I got it when I was 22,” she said. “It seemed like a good idea then, because I had horses and I was into horses. But now, I work in consulting, and I’m a mom. It just seems kind of tacky.”

The man behind the laser is Dr. Jay Kincannon, a dermatologist at UAMS. One of Arkansas’s foremost experts on making tattoos disappear, Kincannon has been doing laser removals for 12 years.

Though older tattoo-removal options like excision (cutting it out) and dermabrasion (sanding it off) are still around, for larger tattoos or tattoos in delicate areas, laser removal is the best option. Kincannon said the lasers he uses can be tuned to interact only with certain colors in a tattoo (for black inks, like the outline of Taylor’s horse, the light is invisible to the naked eye).

“The pulse of light goes through the skin and it’s not absorbed by anything else — the water, the collagen, the epidermis,” he said. “But once it sees the red of the tattoo ink, it’s absorbed (by the pigment) and it changes from light to heat. The heat actually destroys the pigment so the pigment bursts.”

Once the individual molecules of pigment are destroyed, the body’s immune system comes in and cleans up the debris.

Though the patient is generally numbed up before the procedure begins, Taylor and others said that the individual pulses of light are no more painful than someone popping the skin lightly with a rubber band. Unless the treatment is particularly heavy, scarring is usually minimal, though sometimes there might be some pinpoint bleeding from the area after the treatment. With large tattoos, there can be thinning of the skin. If a patch of skin has been repeatedly tattooed, it is sometimes impossible to get all the ink out.

Note: Go to this link to see the tattoo removal process in action.

Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Magic Springs coaster stops

    The X Coaster at the Magic Springs amusement park in Hot Springs stopped running this afternoon, KARK reports, and the station quotes the park operator ass saying guests are now "enjoying the park."
    • Jul 24, 2017
  • Judge clears effort to gather vote information

    A federal judge has said the Trump commission aimed at providing evidence he really didn't lose the popular vote may proceed with asking states to supply vast amounts of information on voters because it is not technically a federal agency subject to privacy laws.
    • Jul 24, 2017
  • Trump's ratings slide everywhere, but Arkansas remains in favorable territory

    Donald Trump's rating is in negative territory in two-thirds of the U.S., but not Arkansas, though his numbers are well below the vote he received in 2016.
    • Jul 24, 2017
  • More »

More by David Koon

Most Shared

  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
  • Turn to baseball

    When the world threatens to get you down, there is always baseball — an absorbing refuge, an alternate reality entirely unto itself.
  • Another Jesus

    If you follow the logic of Jason Rapert and his supporters, God is very pleased so many have donated money to rebuild a giant stone slab with some rules on it. A few minutes on Rapert's Facebook page (if he hasn't blocked you yet) also shows his supporters believe that Jesus wants us to lock up more people in prison, close our borders to those in need and let poor Americans fend for themselves for food and health care.
  • 'Cemetery angel' Ruth Coker Burks featured in new short film

    Ruth Coker Burks, the AIDS caregiver and activist memorably profiled by David Koon as the cemetery angel in Arkansas Times in 2015, is now the subject of a short film made by actress Rose McGowan.

Latest in Top Stories

  • Good for the soul

    The return of Say McIntosh, restaurateur
    • Jun 1, 2010
  • Robocalls are illegal

    Robocalls -- recorded messages sent to thousands of phone numbers -- are a fact of life in political campaigns. The public doesn't like them much, judging by the gripes about them, but campaign managers and politicians still believe in their utility.
    • May 31, 2010
  • Riverfest winds down

    With Cedric Burnside and Lightnin' Malcolm, Steve Miller Band, Robert Cray, Ludacris and more performing.
    • May 30, 2010
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »

July

S M T W T F S
  1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31  
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation