How Does Laser Tattoo Removal Work?
Think of it like this:
Let’s compare your tattoo to a large boulder.
The tattoo laser machine targets the ink particles (boulder) beneath your skin (using extreme heat with the laser firing at a billionth of a second) and breaks those ink particles down into smaller formations (into smaller rocks, instead of a boulder).
As the laser continues to break down the particles into smaller and smaller pieces (think pebbles now), your body’s immune system can more easily digest those particles and then get rid of them.
Am I a Candidate For Laser Tattoo Removal?
If you have a tattoo that you’d like removed, then you’re probably a candidate for laser tattoo removal.
It is rare that we can’t treat someone with the Quanta Q+C laser.
However, people with certain underlying health conditions, who are taking certain medications, who have had recent sun exposure, or who are pregnant are not candidates.
With our practice, we make sure to put your health and wellness first.
Is Laser Tattoo Removal Safe?
Laser tattoo removal is quite safe. The modern technology (Quanta Q-Plus C Laser) that we use has been tested, and in our thousands of laser tattoo removal treatments we’ve never had anyone experience significant health risks.
But, that’s not to say that laser tattoo removal has zero risks.
There are some minor side effects that you can experience, like: hyperpigmentation (darkening of the skin), hypopigmentation (lightening of the skin), discomfort, bruising, scabbing and more.
Why Do I Need Multiple Laser Tattoo Removal Treatments?
Your tattoo is not simply one layer of ink.
Alternatively, your tattoo is composed of multiple layers of ink. Tattoos use more ink than you’d realize.
While the laser is very effective in removing tattoo ink, it cannot penetrate through all the layers at one time.
In addition, once the laser breaks down some of the ink, your body’s lymphatic system needs time to go in and flush those ink particles out.
Do Tattoo Removal Creams Work?
The short answer?
Tattoo removal creams do not work.
There’s a chance that they can lighten the tattoo or gently fade it, but no tattoo removal cream has ever been shown to fully remove a tattoo.
There’s one main reason for this:
The ink of the tattoo is located in the dermis (a layer of the skin that lies below the the visible surface of yourskin).
Because of this, when you’re applying tattoo removal cream to the outer layer of your skin, it cannot penetrate deep enough to reach all of the ink particles.
In contrast, laser tattoo removal has been proven to work.
The laser can penetrate the skin and target different ink colors, breaking them down and allowing your lymphatic system to flush them out.
How Often Can I Get Laser Tattoo Removal Treatments?
This depends on your body and the healing process.
After you get a laser tattoo removal treatment, your skin needs time to heal and your body also needs time to flush out the ink particles.
Once the skin is fully healed, then you’re able to have another treatment.
In general, we find that patients can get laser tattoo removal treatments every 4 to 8 weeks.
Does Laser Tattoo Removal Hurt?
The answer is that it depends.
If you are sensitive to pain or have a tattoo in a sensitive area (close to bone such as the neck, collar bone, fingers or ankle), you might find tattoo removal painful.
Laser tattoo removal on areas with more fat, such as the arm, thigh, or buttocks are usually less painful. Colored tattoos tend to be slightly more painful to remove than black ink tattoos, due to the wavelength of light used to break up the ink. Also, as the settings increase, the more painful the tattoo removal treatments become.
There’s one important thing to note:
Everyone has a different pain threshold.
What’s painful for one person may not be as painful for someone else. Patients often describe the discomfort as something like having a rubber band snap against their skin.
There is good news, though!
The laser tattoo removal process is quick. Treatments usually take seconds to minutes to complete.
Plus, with our state-of-the-art technology, our Zimmer Cooling system (used to minimize pain during treatments), proven track record, and extremely qualified staff, we will do our best to ensure that the process is as painless as possible.
Does the Age of My Tattoo Affect the Removal Process?
The age of your tattoo does affect the tattoo removal process.
- The newer the tattoo, the darker and thicker the ink.
- The older the tattoo, the lighter and thinner the ink. An older tattoo will be more faded.
If your tattoo is 25 years old, we can assume that your body has already digested some of those ink particles over time, and therefore the tattoo has probably faded.
Because of this…
- The newer the tattoo, the more laser tattoo removal treatments it takes to completely remove the tattoo.
- The older the tattoo, the fewer laser tattoo removal treatments it takes to completely remove the tattoo.
Does Laser Tattoo Removal Cause Scarring?
While there is a risk of scarring, and people have experienced scarring when getting their tattoos removed, it’s not common.
What’s the biggest reason for scarring during the tattoo removal process?
The lack of experience of the technician and outdated equipment.
Our technicians are extremely qualified and our equipment is the most advanced and up-to-date. In our clinic, we see minimal scarring.
What Side Effects Might I Experience During and After My Laser Tattoo Removal Treatments?
We’re not going to lie to you and tell you that there are no side effects to laser tattoo removal. As with any medical procedure, there’s a risk of certain side effects.
With our experienced staff, we rarely see significant side effects. And the side effects we see are primarily temporary, lasting a couple of weeks at most.
Some of the possible side effects are:
- Tender and discomfort to the touch
- Your skin may darken (hyperpigmentation)
- Your skin may lighten (hypopigmentation)
How Much Does Laser Tattoo Removal Cost?
There are a couple of things that determine the cost of removing your tattoo:
- Size: The larger the tattoo, the more the tattoo removal process is going to cost.
- Color: If your tattoo has all colors of the rainbow in it, then it may take more treatments to remove, which could influence cost.
- The location of the tattoo: ink on certain areas of your body are harder to remove and therefore require more treatments.
The best way to get an accurate price is to come in and get your free consultation with one of our experienced team members. Here, we use a Tattoo Analysis Card to measure and analyze your tattoo so that there is no guesswork involved. At the Missing Ink Laser Tattoo Removal, we strive to provide the safest and most affordable prices.
How Soon Can I get Another Tattoo after Laser Tattoo Removal?
Before getting another tattoo on the area where a previous tattoo has been removed, we recommend that you come into our clinic so that we can take a look at it.
We want to ensure that the skin has completely healed so that your next tattoo process goes smoothly.
Usually it takes between 6 and 10 weeks for your skin to be fully healed and ready for more ink.
What can I expect after my tattoo removal treatment?
Here is the progression of what you can expect after your tattoo removal treatment.
Immediately following the treatment: For the first 30 minutes after the treatment you can expect to see the skin whitening. This is totally normal. We will cover your treated area with a gauze dressing to ensure that it stays clean and that the healing process begins properly
A couple of hours after the treatment: You may experience redness, bruising, and potentially some blistering.
For the first week or two after treatment: You may still experience some lasting bruising, scabbing, or blistering. But after the first week or two, these side effects should go away. Since we have trained professionals using a Q-Switched laser, you should not experience any scarring.
What should I do after my tattoo removal treatment?
There is a protocol that you should follow after getting your laser tattoo removal treatment to ensure that the healing process goes smoothly.
The first 24 hours after a laser tattoo removal treatment:
- Continue your daily activities
- Elevate the area, if possible.
- If needed, us an ice pack (20 minutes on, 20 minutes off).
- If needed, use Tylenol for pain (do NOT use Aspirin, Aleve, or Advil, as they can increase your risk of bleeding).
The first 2 weeks after a laser tattoo removal treatment:
- Do not attempt to pop or itch blisters/scabs.
- Avoid direct sun exposure for long periods of time or use sunscreen if you can’t avoid the sun.
- Avoid swimming for at least these 2 weeks.
- Use an all-natural, fragrance-free lotion to alleviate some of the dryness or itching.