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Frequency Of Treatment

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What is the most effective method of tattoo removal?

There are a few tattoo removal methods, including a couple of types of surgical tattoo removal, chemical peels, laser treatments, and tattoo removal cream.

Of these options, laser treatment is the most common tattoo removal procedure because it is considered the safest and most effective choice.

How does laser tattoo removal work?

Laser removal targets ink particles without damaging or harming the outer layers of the skin.

Tattooed skin holds thousands of tattoo ink particles that are highly concentrated. Normally, the body’s immune system would take care of small foreign particles, however, the particles in tattoo ink are too big for the body to process. The body needs help breaking down the ink particles in the tattoo so that it can absorb them over time.

Laser tattoo removal addresses this by using concentrated light waves that specifically target the tattoo ink particles. These waves heat the large particles, causing them to deconstruct so that the immune system can reabsorb them.

Using laser treatments, black ink is considered the easiest to remove because it absorbs all light wavelengths. Other ink colors such as red ink require specified lasers to successfully get the tattoo removed.

How is laser tattoo removal performed?

There are several laser devices that can be used for laser tattoo removal. Prior to your first session, your doctor will consult with you to go over the size and colors of the tattoo(s) so that they can best determine the course of treatment.

In your laser treatment session, you’ll be given a protective eye shield; your technician will confirm your recent history and do a quick test to see how your skin reacts/which pulse type will be most effective.

The laser pulse is then applied to the tattoo. It sends specified light waves through the top layers of the skin so as to preserve skin pigment, so when the particles are absorbed your complexion is still even.

Only the treatment area needs to be exposed, so most of your clothing can stay on.

The amount of pulses necessary varies by the size of the tattoo–small tattoos need fewer pulses; larger tattoos will take more. Size and the type of ink used can also impact how long laser treatments take; for a smaller unwanted tattoo, sessions can take as little as 5 minutes to complete.

Regardless of tattoo size, tattoo removal requires several sessions to complete, however, you should notice the tattoo becoming progressively lighter after each visit.

How do I prepare for laser tattoo removal?

In general, to best prepare for laser tattoo removal you should make sure the tattooed skin is completely clean and free of skincare products such as creams and ointments. This includes the use of any products that affect skin pigment, such as tanning creams, which must be excluded from your routine for 2 weeks leading up to your laser treatment. It is also recommended that you avoid UV exposure like sun exposure or tanning beds for a month before treatment.

During the consultation your doctor will go over any other specific instructions to prepare for laser removal.

Laser treatment has been known to be uncomfortable, and responses vary amongst patients, however, most report that laser removal feels similar to when they got the tattoo.

Most patients require 6-12 sessions to remove their unwanted tattoo.

What is the healing process for laser tattoo removal?

For the first several days after the laser tattoo removal session, most can expect to experience mild signs of skin irritation in the treated area including redness, swelling, flaking, scabbing, and sometimes blistering.

Intense physical activity should be avoided for the first couple days after a session. Water immersion (swimming, baths, hot tubs), and sun exposure should be avoided both between sessions and for up to 4 weeks after you’ve completed your series.

The treated area should be cleaned daily using a gentle soap and kept moist and bandaged with a non-adherent material for 7-10 days or until the area is healed.

When will I see results from my laser tattoo removal?

It can take the immune system 4-12 weeks to begin absorbing the broken down ink pigments from laser tattoo removal, but usually results become visible in 4-6 weeks.

Since laser tattoo removal breaks down ink, your immune system will continue absorbing pigments, meaning that for some patients, progression may be more gradual.

What are the risks of laser tattoo removal?

Laser tattoo removal is considered the most optimal tattoo removal treatment; where surgical removal involves cutting out a tattoo, laser tattoo removal leaves the skin unharmed as it targets the unwanted tattoo ink.

This means there are fewer risks involved, however laser tattoo removal does have a handful of associated risks including:

  • Infection
  • Scarring
  • Discoloration of treated skin

If you’re concerned about the potential for any of these side effects, be sure to discuss it in your consultation.

Who are the best candidates for laser tattoo removal?

The best candidates for laser tattoo removal are anyone who has unwanted tattoos and is looking to avoid surgical removal. There are some combinations that notice better results than others, for example, the treatment is most effective on people with lighter skin and a dark tattoo. Candidates with dark skin will still notice a significant difference in the visibility of their tattoo, however, they are at higher risk for higher or lower pigmentation on the treated skin.

Another factor for ideal candidates is the depth and density of the tattoo. Highly concentrated pigments will take longer to break down, so if your tattoo is extremely dense you will likely need more sessions for effective tattoo removal.

Who is not a good candidate for laser tattoo removal?

You are not eligible for laser tattoo removal if you have a history of keloid scarring or an autoimmune disease.

Additionally, pregnant people are not acceptable candidates for laser tattoo removal, as ink particles are absorbed by the body and could affect the fetus.

Get your tattoo removed safely and effectively with laser tattoo removal!

Learn more and schedule a consultation today.