Tattoo removal is performed using lasers that break down the ink particles in the tattoo. The broken-down ink is then absorbed by the body, mimicking the natural fading that time or sun exposure would create. During the treatment process, the laser beam passes harmlessly through the skin, targeting only the ink resting in a liquid state within.
We recommend at least 8 weeks between removal sessions.
While it is possible to see immediate results, in most cases the fading occurs gradually over the 7–8 week healing period between treatments. Fading may not be noticeable right away, even after two sessions. Think of it as peeling back the layers of ink one by one. The newer, more professionally done tattoos will take longer to see results and more sessions to remove.
The number of sessions isn’t something that can be predetermined during your initial consultation. Treatment with the laser varies from patient to patient depending on the age, size, and type of tattoo (amateur or professional). The color of the patient’s skin, as well as the depth to which the tattoo pigment extends, will also affect the removal technique. It can take up to 15 sessions to remove a tattoo completely.
The amount of time required for the removal of a tattoo and the success of the removal varies with each individual. Factors influencing this include: skin type, location, color, amount of ink, scarring or tissue change, and layering. We will not guess, because in the end, it is just a guess.
There are a handful of symptoms you might see post-treatment. Among them are blisters, swelling, raising of the tattoo, pinpoint bleeding, redness, and/or temporary darkening. Not to worry, though. These are common and usually subside within one to two weeks.
For the next 24 hours: A cold compress and elevation are recommended to help reduce discomfort and inflammation.
Avoid for the next 24 hours: Physical activity, hot showers and saunas.
Avoid for the next 1-2 weeks: Direct sun exposure, hot tubs, pool water and salt water until tattoo is healed.
Keep the treated area clean and dry while it is healing.
Some scabbing, blistering, light bleeding and itching may occur. Immediately after treatment, there may be erythema (redness) and edema (swelling) at the treatment site. This usually lasts 2 hours or longer. The erythema may last up to 10 days.
If you blister, do not pop the blisters.
Do not pick at the scab or allow the skin to become scraped, as this may result in infection and scarring.
You may take only Tylenol to help with discomfort. Please avoid aspirins, ibuprofens and naproxens because they may increase the risk of bruising and/or bleeding.
Shaving should be avoided in the treated area until it is completely healed (5-10 days).
Please apply sunscreen every day to the treated area after the tattoo has completely healed (5-10 days), even if clothing covers the treated area. Sun will travel through your shirt or pants.
No active tan, self-tanner, bronzers or spray tan 4-6 weeks before and after treatment.
Remember: Drink lots of water!
Laser tattoo removal is uncomfortable – many clients say that it is worse than getting the tattoo. The pain is often described to be similar to that of hot oil on the skin, or a “snap” from an elastic band. The procedure is very quick and we use utilize a Zimmer Cryo 6 Skin Chiller which not only minimizes the discomfort, but also results in decreased overall patient skin inflammation and damage. This translates into a more comfortable experience with fewer side effects! Having experienced firsthand the procedure with and without the Zimmer, we can all say that it is much more tolerable with!