Tattoo Removal Frequently Asked Questions
How does Laser Tattoo Removal Work?
Lasers are the safest and most effect way to remove tattoos. The RevLite Laser is the gold standard tools for this sophisticated procedure, using up to four different wavelengths to remove multiple colors of tattoo ink. Laser energy causes the tattoo pigment to fragment into smaller particles that are then removed by the body’s immune system. The laser selectively targets the pigment of the tattoo without damaging the surrounding skin.
How does the body remove the shattered ink?
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.
How long does each treatment take?
Laser treatment usually does not take more than a few minutes, depending on the complexity and color(s) of the tattoo.
What happens after each treatment?
After each laser treatment ice is immediately applied. We than apply a topical ointment and a sterile dressing. The skin site should be left dry for at least 24 hours and cared for like sunburned skin. It is important to drink extra water to speed the flushing of the ink.
How many treatments are required?
The number of treatments depends on the size, location, depth and color of your tattoo, including depth of ink penetration, age of the tattoo and color intensity – lighter versus darker colors. Most people need between six and twelve treatments and begin seeing results after only one or two sessions.
Will my tattoo be removed completely?
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.
Is the laser tattoo removal process paintful?
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 Skin Deep we make every effort on making the procedure as comfortable as possible by offering a topical anesthetic cream 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. Combined with topical numbing cream you may feel minimal pain.
Does the laser tattoo removal process cause scarring?
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.
Can I lighten an existing tattoo?
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.
Is this treatment safe?
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.
Does my insurance pay for this?
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 offer interest-free finance, call for more information.