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Laser Tattoo Removal FAQs
- Why Remove Tattoos?
- How Do Lasers Remove Tattoos?
- Will a Laser Remove My Tattoo?
- Does Tattoo Removal Hurt?
- What Can I Expect After the Treatment?
- How Many Treatments Does it Take Before the Tattoo is GONE?
Why Remove My Tattoo?
Let’s face it . . . we’ve all done something we wish we hadn’t and a tattoo is one of those permanent reminders!
Well, it used to be a permanent reminder . . . but not anymore! Now, thanks to the revolutionary advancements in laser therapy, a tattoo doesn’t have to be a lifelong reminder of things we wish we hadn’t done. If you are considering tattoo removal the following will address common questions and steps in which one may receive permanent tattoo removal.
How Do Lasers Remove Tattoos?
Lasers work by producing short pulses of intense light that pass harmlessly through the top layers of the skin to be selectively absorbed by the tattoo pigment. This laser energy causes the tattoo pigment to fragment into smaller particles that are then removed by the bodies immune system. Researchers have determined which wavelengths of light to use and how to deliver the laser’s output to best remove tattoo ink. (If you’re wondering if the laser might also remove normal skin pigment, don’t worry. The laser selectively targets the pigment of the tattoo without damaging the surrounding skin.)
Will a Laser Remove My Tattoo?
Tattoos are meant to be permanent, so removing them is difficult. There are several methods of tattoo removal which have proven effective. The degree of remaining color variations or blemishes depends upon several factors, including size, location, the individual’s ability to heal, how the tattoo was applied and how long it has been in place. For example, a tattoo applied by a more experienced artist may be easier to remove since the pigment was evenly injected in the same level of the skin. New tattoos may also be more difficult to remove than old ones. Doctors say they can’t predict the exact degree of removal because they generally don’t know which of the 100 tattoo inks available today were used. (The U.S. Food and Drug Administration currently lists tattoo pigments as “color additives,” which are intended only for application to the top layer of the skin.) Consult with a removal specialist — be sure to take a list of questions along. It is a fact that black tattoos are removed much easier than tattoos with colored ink such as red, yellow or green. At the very least laser treatments can significantly lighten tattoo ink, and in many cases the treatments are greatly successful and the tattoo is no longer visible without careful inspection.
Does Tattoo Removal Hurt?
The unfortunate thing about tattoos is that both getting them and having them taken off can be uncomfortable. The impact of the energy from the laser’s powerful pulse of light has been described as being snapped by a thin rubber band. As the tattoo is treated, a Zimmer Cryo 5 skin cooler can blow cool air alongside the laser to combat the heat. Numbing cream may be applied and is extremely helpful in making the tattoo removal process more comfortable.
What Can I Expect After the Treatment?
Following treatment at the LaserAway facilities, patients should be sure to keep the area as clean as possible. A shower or bath the day after treatment is okay, but the treatment area should not be scrubbed. Your skin might feel slightly sunburned for a couple of days and the treated area may remain red for a few weeks. The site might also form a scab, which should be handled gently. After healing, the ink will gradually and continually fade.
How Many Treatments Does It Take Before the Tattoo is GONE?
More than one treatment, which actually only takes minutes, is usually needed to remove an entire tattoo — the number of sessions depends on the amount and type of ink used and how deeply it was injected. Three to six week intervals between sessions are required to allow pigment residue to be absorbed by the body.