The laser delivers very short pulses of high intensity light into the treated area. The tattoo inks and pigments then selectively absorb the light without destroying the normal surrounding skin tissue in the process. The tattoo is dissolved into smaller ink particles that are harmlessly removed by your body’s immune system in the weeks following treatment.
Two key processes break up the ink – the pigment in your tattoo will absorb the energy from the laser and break apart; also, the incredibly fast pulse (6-billionths of a second!) and energy of the laser will cause the ink to shatter like a sugar cube breaking apart. Once the ink is broken down by the laser, the body will respond by moving fluid to the area to help flush away the ink. This immune-response will be obvious in the form of some swelling and redness in the area. Over the next days and weeks the ink will be flushed away. This doesn’t happen overnight. Removing a tattoo takes a number of sessions.
Laser treatment usually does not take more than a few minutes, depending on the complexity and color(s) of the tattoo. On average, we can have you in and out in 15 minutes!
Removing a tattoo is a fading process that requires a series of treatments scheduled four to six weeks apart. Black inks usually respond more quickly than bright colors because they absorb the light better. The depth, color and amount of ink, as well as the location of the tattoo on your body are all determining factors in how long and how quickly we will be able to get your tattoo off. Most tattoos can be removed in six to twelve treatments.
In most cases tattoos are completely removed. The depth, density and colors are the biggest determining factors. After each treatment a little bit more ink is fragmented a little deeper into your skin.
Most patients say that the laser treatment feels like being snapped by a rubber band and that the discomfort is roughly equivalent to having a tattoo applied. Here at Tataway we make every effort on making the procedure as comfortable as possible by using the zimmer chiller unit to help lessen the discomfort.
In preparation for a laser procedure doctors recommend that non-aspirin products be used for minor pain prior to the procedure. Do not use aspirin or Ibuprofen as this can produce bruising after treatment.
We are also unique in using the Zimmer Cryo 6 cooling system. We cool the skin before, during and after the procedure, reducing pain while decreasing thermal temperature.
In order to remove a tattoo without scarring, a Q-switched laser must be used. The term Q-switched indicates that the laser is pulsed so quickly (6-billionths of a second!) that it is able to dissolve the ink without destroying the live tissue in the process. Similar to running your hand over a candle very quickly, there is not enough time to burn the skin. Redness, swelling, blistering and scabbing may follow tattoo removal laser treatments.
Many tattoo artists encourage customers to lighten an existing tattoo before covering it with a new one. This dramatically reduces any chance of the old tattoo appearing through the new one. In most cases, a minimum of three to six treatments is all that’s required to lighten an existing tattoo.
Laser treatment is a safe and effective method of removal of tattoos. It is performed by a certified technician skilled in the use of lasers.
Currently this procedure is not included as a health insurance benefit. Insurance companies consider this a cosmetic or aesthetic procedure. If you have a Health Savings Account (HSA), Medical IRA or other Flexible Medical Spending Accounts (Medical FSA), you can pay for the procedure with these funds. We also offer financing, call for more information.