Why Do People Get Tattoo Removal?
The reasons patients are now looking to remove an unwanted tattoo vary. Oftentimes, patients are unhappy with the look of the tattoo or it’s meaning is no longer significant.
How Will My Tattoo Be Removed?
The type of laser used to remove a tattoo is called a Q-switched laser. Lasers have become the standard treatment for tattoo removal because they are a minimally invasive, low risk, effective alternative with minimal side effects.
Does It Hurt?
Individuals vary in their tolerance for pain, and patients can find tattoo removal to be anywhere from slightly uncomfortable to painful. Patients have described the treatment as being like a hot, “rubber band snap”. However, with each treatment this discomfort lessens. We offer a variety of anesthetic methods including a topical numbing cream, injections of numbing medicine, ice packs, or an air chiller. Since the procedure is very quick, we find that ice packs are the best way to decrease discomfort without other side effects.
Dr. Prasad or one of her experienced nurses will sit down with you for a consultation before the treatment. When you are ready for treatment, we will have you ice the area of the tattoo to minimize pain and subsequent complications. The laser treatment is very quick, taking only a few minutes, depending on the size of the tattoo.
Following the treatment, your skin will be mildly red and could possibly result in pinpoint bleeding or blistering. You might also notice temporary whitening of the tattoo and slight swelling of the skin. Recovery from these symptoms is usually noticed within a few hours, but may take up to a few days.
Over the next few weeks after treatment, your body’s scavenger cells remove the pigment residues. At about two weeks after the treatment, you should begin to notice the lightening of the tattoo. Depending on the tattoo, it may take a few sessions before the fading becomes apparent.
How Many Treatments Does it Take?
Laser tattoo removal is the most effective, yet least painful technology to remove tattoos. However, because of its safe nature, the results are seen gradually and typically take full effect after a few sessions. The number of treatments depends on the depth of the tattoo, the type of ink used (more stable ink is harder to break down), the age of the tattoo and the size. India ink tends to be the easiest to remove.
Laser Esthetica has had patients whose tattoos have been fully removed after just two treatments, and others that have required more than fifteen. Most patients average about six to eight treatments, but may need more or less due to the aforementioned factors. During your consultation, you will be given a better estimate of the number of sessions required for your tattoo. Though, the exact number of sessions needed for the individual will become apparent after the treatments commence.
Treatments are spaced between four and six weeks apart to allow the pigment residue to be absorbed by the body.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Side effects of laser procedures are generally few. They include hyperpigmentation, or excess color in the skin at the treatment site, and hypopigmentation, which is lightening of the skin in the treated area. Other possible side effects of laser removal are textural changes in the skin. But the biggest risk in laser tattoo removal is simply incomplete removal of all pigment in the tattoo.
Why Do People Choose Laser Esthetica For Tattoo Removal?
Laser tattoo removal is a medical procedure, so you should choose the practitioner with the same level or expertise and care as you would expect from your other doctors. Laser Esthetica provides a safe environment for you to go through the removal process. The facility is under the care of a licensed physician, Dr. Prasad, who owns all the lasers she uses ensuring they are of the highest quality, most current technology and well maintained. Laser Esthetica uses the Quanta Laser, which has three different lasers to allow treatment of various colored tattoos.