Everything You Need to Know About Laser Tattoo Removal

Do you have a tattoo you regret? If so, you’re not alone. A 2012 poll found that one in eight American adults have a tattoo they wish they hadn’t gotten. Happily, there are multiple options for removal, with laser treatments being among the most efficient and successful.

How the laser removes the ink

The laser is concentrated light energy, which the pigment in the tattoo ink absorbs. The laser energy blows the ink particles apart, and the tiny pieces of fragmented ink are then removed through your body’s natural lymphatic processes.

There are several different laser systems in use for tattoo removal. Here at Stirling Skin Care Clinic, we use the enlighten™ laser system made by Cutera®, which has two advantages.

First, different colors of ink require different wavelengths of light energy to be effectively removed, and the enlighten is designed to remove any ink color. And second, the system combines two kinds of pulse duration, picosecond and nanosecond, to deliver precise results.

More than color matters

Black ink absorbs the laser energy the best, so it’s the easiest to remove, but there are more factors to consider than just color. The location, age, size, and type of ink all make a difference in how successfully a tattoo can be removed.

Even if your tattoo can’t be completely removed, it can be lightened. Before you begin removal treatments, one of our experts talks with you to discuss your specific tattoo and your personal goals.

What to expect during laser tattoo removal

Most tattoos take several treatments to reach optimal results, so you should expect to come in for more than one visit. During your initial consultation, our clinician gives you an estimate of how many treatment you’re likely to need. Generally speaking, you may need anywhere from  five to 15 sessions, with one to three months between appointments to allow the area to heal.

You should also expect a minor amount of discomfort during the treatments. Most patients report that having laser tattoo removal involves about the same amount of discomfort as getting a tattoo. If this is something that worries you, discuss it with us during your visit. Various forms of pain relief are available to make you more comfortable during the laser treatments.

Recovering from laser tattoo removal

Following a treatment, you may have minor swelling or blistering. Our staff provides you with a cold compress right away to relieve discomfort.

When you get home, you’ll need to make sure the area is kept clean to limit any risk of infection. You’ll also want to keep it covered with a sterile bandage for a week or so, and after that use plenty of sunscreen.

You can resume all of your normal activities within 24 hours, but avoid swimming pools, hot tubs, and otherwise submerging the treated area. Our team provides you with complete aftercare instructions so you get the best results.

Life is too short for regrets. If you have a tattoo that doesn’t fit your life anymore, book an appointment for a consultation at Stirling Skin Care Clinic. Just call the office or click to use the scheduler here on the website.

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