Laser Tattoo Removal:

That tattoo you got years ago may have seemed like a great idea then, but you may not love it so much today!  Whether it is because of a change in career, a new relationship, or because you simply want to freshen up your image, tattoo removal may be the way to go.

How does the tattoo removal process work?

When a tattoo is applied, the ink remains in the upper dermis of the skin.  The tattoo laser is beamed directly at the area of ink coverage.  The light beam reacts with the ink, breaking it down into small particles that your body can absorb.  Certain inks such as dark colors, red, green or sky blue can be challenging to remove if the correct wavelength of light is not available. Fortunately, our Fotona Q-Switched laser is finely tuned to remedy that challenge!

Is the process painful?

Most patients describe the feeling like a rubber band snapping the skin.  In general, about two thirds of patients report that the laser removal process is less painful than getting the tattoo.  We do our best to subdue any pain by applying topical anesthetics prior to the procedure.

How safe is the laser removal process?

It is extremely safe as it is a minimally invasive process.  Compared to treatments such as dermabrasion (sanding off the top layer of skin), surgical removal, or chemical/acid peel applications, lasers only target the ink in the tattoo, so there is no damage or scarring of the skin.

What will my skin look like in between treatments?

The treatment area may have a whitish discoloration for several minutes immediately during and after the session.  Patients may experience reddening of the skin, swelling, pinpoint bleeding, or blistering, which may last a few hours or as long as three weeks.  This is the normal healing process where the ink is being dispersed and absorbed by your immune system.  As long as you follow the post treatment instructions, which include keeping the area clean, applying an antibacterial ointment as directed such as aloe, or petroleum jelly, and keeping out of the sun and away from tanning beds, the process should go smoothly.

  • Keep in mind, the larger and darker the tattoo is, the more sessions it will take to completely break down the ink.
  • The amount of coverage and opacity of the ink will play a factor in the removal process
  • Each session is usually between 10-30 minutes, and these are spaced every 6-8 weeks to allow time to heal and to disperse the ink.
  • You should see your tattoo lighten over time provided you follow the post-treatment instructions between laser removal sessions.
  • Individuals who are sensitive to pain or had difficulties during the application of their tattoo should discuss this at the time of their consultation.