Most people who get a tattoo are happy with the results when they first get it, but many later regret their decision and look for ways to remove it. Whether they no longer like the design of the tattoo, or no longer feel the tattoo reflects their current lifestyle or the moment it reminds them of, the good news is that today it is much easier to remove a tattoo than it was in the past.
Through the refinement of laser technology, removing tattoos have become a straightforward process. The following FAQs answer some of the most common questions that are typically asked about laser tattoo removal.
Why Choose Laser Tattoo Removal?
The reason why Dr. Green recommends laser treatment to remove tattoos is because it is the safest, least painful and most effective method of treatment.
Historically for tattoo removals, dermabrasion, cryosurgery or surgical procedures were required, which meant incisions and stitches. But now there is a non-surgical option via laser tattoo removal, which can provide better results than could be achieved in the past.
How Does The Laser Tattoo Removal Process Work?
In simple terms, the laser uses high energy bursts of light which break down the various pigments which make up a tattoo. Unfortunately, the laser cannot remove all the pigments in one treatment and so a series of treatment sessions are required to completely remove a tattoo.
Different colored tattoos require different wavelengths of lasers to treat them. That is why Dr. Green utilizes the Candela Alex-TriVantage laser because it targets all colored tattoos because of its multiple wavelengths.
Can a Tattoo Be Completely Removed?
The answer to this question is unfortunately dependent on the individual. Generally, for black or dark tattoos, these can be completely removed. Some color tattoos are harder to remove than others. Dr. Green will provide you with a full appraisal of whether your tattoos can be completely removed or not.
How Long Does Laser Tattoo Removal Take & How Many Treatments Are Needed?
The length of time it takes to remove a tattoo is dependent on a number of factors including the size of the tattoo and various colors used in the tattoo. Black tattoos are easier to remove than multi-colored tattoos for example. On average, a treatment session will be around twenty to thirty minutes in length and an average of six treatment sessions are usually required.
Does Laser Tattoo Removal Hurt?
Most individuals report that laser tattoo removal is relatively pain free, depending on individual tolerance. There will likely be some discomfort and generally the sensation can be likened to the feeling of an elastic band snapping on the skin. Dr. Green numbs each patient with both topical and numbing medication. In fact, the pain levels associated with tattoo removal are similar to that of getting the tattoo initially, though the removal procedure generally does take longer.
How Soon Before I See Results?
You will see almost immediate results and some fading of the tattoo pigmentation with every treatment session, however a fully ‘cleaned-up’ tattoo will take several sessions to complete.
Can All Tattoos Be Treated?
All tattoos can be treated to some degree, but some tattoos are harder to treat than others. Overall, brighter and more colorful tattoos are the hardest to treat and more laser treatment sessions will be required for those versus smaller single-color tattoos.
How Long Do I Have to Wait Between Treatments?
The skin needs time to heal after each treatment, therefore we generally recommend waiting 6 to 8 weeks between each treatment to ensure good recovery and the best possible outcome.
How Much Does Laser Tattoo Removal Cost?
Costs are determined by a few factors, primarily how many treatments are required to complete the procedure. The size of the tattoo and the color pigmentation used within the tattoo will determine how many sessions will be required. The best course of action is to get an initial consultation where Dr. Michele Green can provide you with comprehensive advice for your own particular case.
Should I contact a Dermatologist for Tattoo Removal?
The procedure is regulated on a state by state basis, many of which allow laser operators to work with limited hands-on training. Due to the lack of regulation, it is even more important to work with a Board Certified Dermatologist and/or Doctor such as Dr. Green. Just like you wouldn’t go to just any tattooist to get your tattoo – you should make sure to pick a safe option for removing it too.
Are There Other Treatment Methods Available?
There are a number of different treatment methods available out there, from tattoo removal creams to dermabrasion (view details of each here). However, Dr. Green strongly recommends using the laser treatment option for tattoo removal.