Tattoo removal can now be effectively reduced with laser treatments. In general, multiple laser treatments are required to reduce or eliminate the undesired ‘artwork’. From experience, fewer treatments are needed on mature tattoos than on professional tattoos.
For tattoo removal the laser is scanned over the entire area to be treated. The laser light is absorbed by the ink, heating and destroying it. In addition, the bursts of laser energy damage the ink in a way similar to how ultrasonic devices damage kidney stones. This type of laser treatment is called “photoaccustic”, meaning light plus ultrasonic damage. It is one of the most effective means to treat undesired tattoos.
What are realistic expectations? To begin, it is important to note that every individual and their tattoo are unique, and no exact tattoo removal can ever be guaranteed. In general, it is reasonable to expect two to ten treatments. On rare occasions, it may be recommended to cease treatments when only a ‘ghost’ image of the tattoo remains. The skin texture after having a tattooing and then tattoo removal is somewhat altered. Often the texture is basically smooth; however, it is expected that there will be some imperfections in the texture.
The imperfections are caused by the trauma from the ink (a foreign substance) being placed in the skin, and then being heated and broken up with the laser. In general, the heavier the ink application, the more likely the irregularities in the skin after your tattoo removal treatment. Uncommonly, scarring may result. Every person is evaluated individually, and each subsequent treatment takes the previous results into consideration before proceeding with the next treatment.
Before, During and After Protocol:
Before a tattoo removal treatment:
• There is absolutely no tanning / UV exposure of the area to be treated for three weeks before and after every tattoo removal treatment.
• If the tattoo is in a hairy area, please shave off the overlying hair.
• If there are no allergies to freezing, it may be helpful to apply a topical freezing gel to the area. This freezing should be applied thickly one hour before treatment
During a tattoo removal treatment:
• A consent form will be reviewed – your questions are welcomed and will be answered.
• A documentation photo will be taken.
• A cold air device or ice pack will be used to help numb and protect the area.
• The laser will be used on the tattoo – it will feel like a hot pin prick and will make a popping noise.
• There may be some redness, blistering, and tiny pinpoint bleeding at the tattoo removal area.
After a tattoo removal treatment:
• Avoid tanning/UV exposure for three weeks.
• Gently wash the treated area twice daily and apply a recovery ointment (four to six times daily) to keep the region moist and supple.
• Re-treatment can be done at one-month intervals.
• Report any difficulties to the Clinic immediately – we are here to help you.
Call for your personal consultation or if you have any additional questions.
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