This is an in-depth article about laser tattoo removal and how it works. By the end of this, you will have known about all the risk factors, procedures, and can anticipate and manage your expectations. Also, contact our clinic for more information personalized to your personal constraints.

What is a tattoo

A tattoo is a form of body modification where a design is made by inserting ink, dyes, and pigments, mostly permanent, into the dermis layer of the skin to change the pigment. (Wikipedia)

Tattoos are permanent markings on the skin made using ink and needles. Once the ink is deposited into the second layer of skin (known as the dermis), the wound scabs over and the skin heals to expose a design under the new layer.

Tattoos tell a story and can be written in any language. If you are creative enough, a tattooist can tell your stories on a living canvas.

People believe tattoos have the artful ability to speak volumes. Many people choose to remember those they love or honor traditions and life events with a tattoo.

Humans have been tattooing for cosmetic and ritual purposes since at least the Neolithic era. Today the practice is safer by the use of non-reactive pigments; sterile, disposable needles; and sterile work conditions. If proper sterilization methods aren’t applied, the ink may cause inflammation, and infection by the ink or the tattooing needle is an ever-present danger.

Why people want to get rid of their tattoo

For history, people have believed that tattoo is a permanent form of art. They think that once you get a tattoo, it becomes a part of you.

However, modern science has made it possible for us to be able to imagine getting rid of a tattoo. These are the common reasons why people want to get rid of the tattoo they already have:

a) Removal of the tattooed name of your ex-partner.
b) Your goals and purpose in life changes. Your tattooed mantra or quote means little to you now.
c) You want to be enlisted in the army.
d) Your career demands you to look and be more professional.
e) A badly done tattoo or a misspelled character.
f) Ladies want to remove their tattoo before their wedding.

There is nothing wrong with getting a tattoo and there is nothing wrong with removing it either. This article will go in great depth to explain the science behind laser tattoo removal, what you need to know before booking a session, and everything in between.

How does laser tattoo removal work

A tattoo is nothing but a heavy metal (the ink) inserted deep into the human skin, the dermis.

Whenever a foreign substance enters the human body, the immune system comes in an instant state of defense. The white blood cells will try to engulf the ink particles. Since a white blood cell is minuscule in size compared to the ink particles, the ink cannot be removed. This is what makes a tattoo incredibly difficult to remove for your body. This is also why the tattoo is permanent.

However, the white blood cells slowly deplete the tattoo with time, although we are talking about an incredibly long period of time here. Thus, tattoos of old people look faded and lose their sharpness.

This is exactly where the laser tattoo removal procedure comes in. Basically, the laser tattoo removal procedure concentrates an appropriate pulse of an intense laser beam on the tattoo. The tattoo disintegrates the ink. Consequently, tattoo particles get even smaller. The white blood cells can then engulf the ink particles, mix them into the bloodstream, and ultimately dump them into the liver.

The liver is the ultimate destructor of toxic elements in the body. Any substance that does not help the human body in some waste is considered toxic by the immune system. As a result, the liver then forces the ink particles to the excretory system.

Essentially, the laser does not remove the tattoo. It is actually removed by the human body, or more precisely, the human immune system. The laser only works as a catalyst.

Is laser tattoo removal painful?

The tattoo hurt when it was being made. And it will hurt during removal as well.

The whole point of using a laser beam is to have an intensely strong source of energy and disintegrate something that is deep inside the skin. Thus, it is going to hurt a bit.

Some say that it feels like a bee sting. However, most people overestimate the pain than is necessary. Most people who remove their tattoo report lesser pain than anticipated.

That being said, your treatment provider will properly access your condition and work with due diligence to ensure you are not exposed to any serious, real health risks.

How to prepare for a laser tattoo removal procedure

  • If you’re a smoker, think about quitting. Cigarette smoke slows healing and increases the risk of complications.
  • Avoid sun exposure by using sunscreen. Minimize outdoor activities. It is better to cover-up for four weeks prior to your first laser tattoo removal session.
  • Your treatment provider might give you anesthetic before the procedure. Talk to him/her about the complications and be open about your medical history.
  • Avoid taking aspirin and ibuprofen: They will make the skin bruise after treatment.
  • Make sure the area to be treated is clean and free of lotions, perfumes, and cosmetics.
  • Regardless of the type of treatment to be performed, hydration is very important before and after surgery for safe recovery.

What are the possible side effects?

Laser treatment is safer than other tattoo removal methods like Excision, Dermabrasion, and Salabrasion. This is because the laser treatment selectively treats the pigment in the tattoo. Thus, the side effects are minimal.

Nevertheless, these are the possible complications:

a) Your tattoo removal site is prone to infection.
b) There is a slight chance to get a permanent scar after the removal.
c) If done by an inexperienced professional, the tattoo may not be completely removed. In many cases, certain colors may be more effectively removed than others. Blue and black tattoos, for example, respond well to laser treatment.
d) Hypopigmentation is a possible problem. Basically, for some people, the skin area that is treated is paler than the normal skin tone.
e) Hyperpigmentation is another possible complication that leaves the affected skin darker than the rest of the skin.
f) If your skin was already scarred while applying a tattoo. it will remain scarred even after removal. In many cases, the scar is only visible after treatment because the tattoo was previously shadowing it.

Most side effects of the tattoo removal procedure are temporary. If done with a diligent treatment provider, one will avoid numerous long-term effects.

How to choose your laser tattoo removal expert

It’s important to choose your treatment provider based on:

  • Education, training, and certification
  • Experience with laser tattoo removal
  • The success rate in the past and client satisfaction
  • Your comfort level with him or her

Why trust us

Here at our clinic, we have an FDA approved picosecond laser for tattoo removal. The effectiveness of laser tattoo removal is highly dependent on the quality of the laser used. It also depends on the number of pulses that the device imparts in a given time period.

According to intensive research, the picosecond laser device has proved to be the most efficient. Also, the FDA approved picosecond laser causes minimum injury and damage.

Some treatment clinics might use cheaper devices, which are obviously cheap because of their depleted quality. Treatment done from such devices might leave a permanent spot and rashes. One might also get blisters from getting treatment by these low-quality laser beams.

There is another kind of laser tattoo removal device called the ND YAG laser. ND-YAG takes 1-3 days of downtime. However, the picosecond laser that we have only has a downtime of 2-4 hours. Also, since the picosecond has a shorter pulse duration, the heat has no time to spread. All energy will go to the target tissue directly, and it will hurt little at the skin surface.

What to expect and What not to expect

Laser tattoo removal is effective – most of the time. However, the procedure might not be effective on all skin types and all complexity of the tattoo. Also, tattoos of some color are difficult to remove than the others. In our experience, black tattoos are easier to deal with than multi-colored ones.

Sometimes, the procedure will only make the tattoo fade to something less visible. Your treatment provider will do the best they can do give you maximum efficacy from the treatment. They will take the process slowly, via multiple sessions just to ensure the white blood cells can act on the ink entirely. However, if it is only the particular tattoo that you do not like, you can modify the tattoo and change it to another type of art.

For some reason, if the tattoo can’t be removed, your treatment provider can at least make it difficult to be seen, which will make it look like there is no tattoo on the skin unless viewed in detail

Your best laser tattoo removal plan is waiting for you

Contact us at XXXXX or YYYYY.