While many tattoos are beautiful works of art, some don’t quite last the test of time. Whether your tattoo healed improperly, has distorted over time, or you’ve outgrown a design you once loved, laser tattoo removal is the best way to diminish and remove the appearance of unwanted ink. If you’re having second thoughts about your tattoo, allow us to remove it for you at Deja You Medical.
What Is Laser Tattoo Removal?
Laser tattoo removal is the most effective means of removing unwanted ink from the body. In the past, the only methods available for removing tattoos involved removing layers of the skin through either serious dermabrasion or surgical excision, leaving patients with scars in the place of their unwanted tattoos. With the use of lasers, we can now target the ink embedded within the deepest dermal layers without harming the surrounding skin.
This method of tattoo removal uses pulsed laser light to target and break down the pigmentation of your tattoo without damaging the skin. The energy of the laser heats the particles of ink, causing the pigmentation to shatter into smaller particles that the body’s immune system can then flush away through its own natural processes. This will slowly lighten the appearance of the tattoo, and, after several sessions, eliminate the appearance of the tattoo completely.
How It Works
During a tattoo removal treatment session, a practitioner will guide a laser over the area of the unwanted tattoo. As the laser pulses over the tattoo, the pigment in the tattoo will absorb the laser’s energy. This energy causes the ink particles to heat up, thereby breaking them into smaller particles. An inflammatory response in the skin is triggered, causing the body to send white blood cells to the area to remove the shattered ink particles over the next few weeks.
Because tattoo ink particles are extremely small, they only need to be heated briefly in order to warm up and shatter for re-absorption. The surrounding skin will not be affected by the laser’s energy, as skin cells are much larger and would need to be heated for a greater length of time to incur any damage. This is how we are able to selectively target and damage only the pigmentation particles of the tattoo, while protecting the surrounding skin from harm.
Does It Work on All Tattoos?
In the recent past, laser removal was only effective on black and darker inks. Breakthroughs in laser technology have found that the way to target other pigments is to use different wavelengths to treat different colors. The most common wavelengths can now treat around 95% of tattoos, and rare ink colors that were previously difficult to target (such as bright blue or green) can now be treated with the use of additional wavelengths.
What Does Treatment Look Like?
When you come in for your treatment session, we’ll begin by disinfecting the treatment area and applying a topical anesthetic to your unwanted tattoo. This will ensure you are comfortable during your appointment. After preparing the treatment area, we then select the appropriate laser wavelength for targeting the pigment in your tattoo. Before we begin the treatment, you will also be given a pair of protective eyeglasses to shield your eyes from the laser’s light.
As the practitioner guides the handpiece over your skin, the laser will deliver short pulses into your tattoo. The full outline of the tattoo will be traced this way, delivering short pulses from the laser until the area has been completely covered. Your appointment length will depend largely on the size of your tattoo, though our treatment sessions typically take between 10 and 30 minutes.
What Does Recovery Look Like?
Immediately after your appointment, you may notice your tattoo turning a frosty white color. This frosty appearance is caused by a release of carbon dioxide that occurs from the laser penetrating the skin; it is normal and temporary. In the following eight hours to three days, you may also notice peeling or blistering. This can be resolved through using antibiotic ointments and bandaging the area. We will send you home with appropriate aftercare instructions.
You will need to book more than one session to completely remove your tattoo. Sessions should be booked 6-8 weeks apart in order to allow your body’s immune system to remove the fractured pigment particles. Complete removal can take from 3 to 12 sessions, depending on the size of your tattoo and its color.
Who Is This Right for?
Laser tattoo removal is ideal for anyone who has a tattoo that they no longer want, for any reason. This includes:
- tattoos that have aged poorly and no longer look like the original design
- tattoos that healed improperly and can’t be fixed with a touch-up session
- tattoos that you regret for any reason (for example, ex’s names)
- tattoos that need to be lightened so they can be covered up with new ink
If you have open sores, inflammation, or skin infection of any kind, you will not be eligible to receive this treatment. After your skin conditions have cleared up, you may become eligible for tattoo removal. If the tattoo you want removed is new, you’ll need to wait until the tattoo is at least one month old before you can undergo tattoo removal. This treatment may not be appropriate for anyone who is immunocompromised.
Have Your Tattoo Removed
While it’s true that there are tattoo removal creams now available on the market, these are simply skin-bleaching creams that have been repackaged for a different demographic. Not only are they harmful for your skin, they are also ineffective, as they are not able to penetrate the deeper layers of the skin where the majority of your tattoo’s ink is located. Laser is the only effective, non-invasive removal process available for dealing with unwanted ink.