Part of the fascination of tattoos is that they leave an indelible mark on the skin. Beyond any artistic or literary value, there is something profound about the fact that they are "forever". But the reality is that a third of people eventually come to regret their tattoos.
This is the main conclusion of a study conducted in England and presented at the last meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology. The study also reported that twice as many men as women regret their tattoos – three times as many if they were tattooed as boys (before the age of 16). Interestingly, almost half the respondents (men and women both) had more than two tattoos and 31% had more than five. It all seems logical: in recent decades the fashion for tattooing has seen spectacular growth, with a mushrooming of tattoo parlours in the first world. Many people get a tattoo simply because it is fashionable – and do not dwell too much on the long-term implications. And that they are long-term goes without saying ... Read more
A few years ago laser was the stuff of science fiction. Nowadays it is present in our lives ... and in our skins. Dozens of laser devices are available for aesthetic applications, such as permanent hair removal. But these techniques are not without risk, most especially when non-experts use these devices.
Manufacturers worldwide have sold thousands of lasers for dermatological applications, whether aesthetic or surgical. But many aspects regarding their use remain unregulated. For example, it has not been clarified whether or not laser hair removal is a medical treatment. If it were medical, only specialist doctors could perform this task. A report has come to light in the USA warning of the growing number of lawsuits regarding damage caused by lasers operated by non-qualified persons, especially outside traditional medical settings. Read more
The most popular technique currently being used to remove skin tattoos is laser, whose therapeutic and aesthetic results surpass those of the chemical and surgical solutions of before. But tattoo removal is no trivial matter, as it requires both patience and money. Today I interview Dr. José Manuel Miralles, a dermatologist and expert in laser medicine.
How does laser remove tattoos? Nowadays we use Q-switched technology, which is laser that emits high-energy but extremely short-duration pulses. It photoacoustically or mechanically breaks up the pigment particles, and any pigment that remains is then removed by immune system cells. Previous lasers destroyed the pigment thermally and were not as effective. Read more
Scarification, an ancient practice based on decorating the skin with artistic scars, is being revived in advanced societies. It is an extreme fashion, of minority interest, for which legislation is lacking depite the adverse affects on health. What is it? How does it affect the skin? Is it more harmful than a tattoo or piercing? How far can humans get to express their emotions?
Tattoos, perforations, deformations – since ancient times, humans have modified the body to express individual, cultural and social aspects of their identity, often with the result that they convert their bodies into artistic creations. In contemporary societies, body art includes everything from widespread practices such as body painting, tattoos and piercings, to more extreme and less popular fashions, such as scarification, or decorative scarring. Read more