If you’re the not so proud owner of some regrettable ink, fear not -- tattoo removal has come a long way over the years. With today’s technology and a state-of-the-art laser such as the PicoWay, we can safely and effectively remove tattoos of all shapes, sizes, AND colors, and the results are better than you are probably imagining. Life might be the canvas and you the paintbrush, but fortunately, you don’t have to live with a permanent reminder of the past anymore. There are numerous reasons for wanting to remove a tattoo, and we promise not to judge. Just schedule an appointment and let us help you remove that design that no longer represents who you are.
In addition to treating spider veins, unwanted hair, and skin discoloration, laser treatments can also help with the removal of tattoos. While tattoos have previously been thought of as permanent, the development of laser treatment technology has made the complete removal of tattoos possible—big or small, and in just about every color. We have the gold standard of machines for laser tattoo removal, the PicoWay, which can be adjusted to target colors across the spectrum. We have seen countless patients seeking to remove an unwanted tattoo, and through this procedure, many of them have gained confidence and freedom from something that no longer represents who they are.
So how does it work? Lasers target specific wavelengths of pigment in the skin. When the laser is passed over the treatment site, a burst of energy is released in a fraction of a second. The energy targets the dye in the tattoo, effectively breaking it down so that the body can metabolize the shattered molecules of ink and remove them naturally. It may take several sessions to completely remove a tattoo, but in the end, it will look like it was never there in the first place.
If you have an unwanted tattoo, you are a candidate for this procedure. In fact, laser tattoo removal is the safest and most effective tattoo removal option (compared to other methods such as chemical peels, dermabrasion, and diathermy).
There are two main questions when it comes to laser tattoo removal. First, does it work, and second, is it safe? In short, yes laser tattoo removal works, and it is possible to completely remove the pigment through laser treatments. As for its safety, tattoo removal is a completely safe and effective way to treat unwanted tattoos. During your consultation, we will evaluate the tattoo and recommend a treatment plan. We would never recommend the treatment of a tattoo that is risky. The PicoWay laser that we use is the safest and most effective tattoo removal laser on the market, and it carries the lowest risk of burning, scarring, and pigmentation issues in the skin.
Tattoo removal is a process involving multiple treatment sessions. Each session of laser tattoo removal will remove approximately half of the existing tattoo pigment. This means that the biggest change in tattoo appearance occurs within the first two to three sessions. You can expect a gradual reduction in tattoo color within a month of each treatment.
At each appointment, we will clean the treatment area and apply topical numbing cream. Once the area is numb, we will begin the laser treatment. Generally, this part of the appointment will be over quickly, but it depends on the tattoo size, of course. Following the laser treatment, we will apply an ointment and cover the treatment site with a bandage.
While laser tattoo removal can be uncomfortable, it typically is not so painful that it requires an anesthetic injection or sedation. However, to make the procedure as comfortable as possible, we will cover the tattoo with a topical anesthetic cream. If you need additional numbing, we can offer additional measures such as injectable lidocaine or Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas). Most people say the pain is no greater than getting the tattoo to begin with. So if you made it through the process once, you could take comfort in the knowledge that you will be just fine.
Your healing time will be dependent upon the size of the tattoo, but you should see the complete recovery of the treatment site in approximately 1-2 weeks. It is important to keep the area protected so that it can heal properly and for the best results. Proper care will help to avoid any laser tattoo removal scars. We typically schedule repeat sessions 8 weeks apart to ensure that the area is completely healed as well. A good deal of fading often occurs in the last two weeks of this time frame, so fewer sessions are sometimes needed by spacing them out.
After completing the recommended number of sessions for your tattoo, you can expect to be free of the appearance of any ink or residual tattoo “shadowing.” In other words, your skin will show no signs of a tattoo.