What To Expect From Laser Tattoo Removal
There are a lot of things you need to factor in to your decision when you are considering if laser tattoo removal is right for you, we encourage you to do the research and shop around. You will find that we not only have very competitive pricing but also provide a relaxed and professional atmosphere that welcomes everyone.
- Set your expectations
Treatment is successful on most clients, but individual results cannot be guaranteed. During our free consultations, we will give you an honest assessment of what you can expect. Different types of inks, professional or amateur artists, location, your overall health, skin type and age of the tattoo will all affect your results.
- How it works – One treatment is not enough
The laser is not a magic wand. It will not make your tattoo disappear before your eyes. Tattoo removal is a slow process and takes patience to obtain the results wanted. The laser is the just the first step. It targets the ink molecules and shatters them into smaller molecules. Your body does the rest. The, now smaller, particles of ink will be removed by your body and flushed out through your lymphatic system. After each treatment, your body will continue to flush those particles for up to 9 months. We assess each tattoo during the initial consultation to give you a general estimate of the number of sessions, however we cannot predict exactly how many sessions it will take. Appointments/sessions will be scheduled 6-8 weeks apart to give your body time to flush out enough of the shattered particles so that we can target the bigger ones.
- Laser tattoo removal can be painful
For most people there is an element of pain involved with each laser session. We utilize the cooling power of a Zimmer cryo-cooler before, during and after the treatment to help relieve some of the discomfort. The pain only lasts as long as the removal session which can be from 1 to 20 minutes, depending on the size of the area being treated. Unlike the pain associated with getting a tattoo, the pain subsides relatively quickly. We do offer lidocaine shots for $50 a treatment if you decide to go pain free.
- The tattoo will turn a frosty white color during the treatment
We call this ‘frosting’ – it is caused by carbon dioxide being released because of laser penetration. The white frosting is usually evident during the first few treatments, but once more ink gets removed during later sessions, it might not appear.
- After the session, these are the most common side effects:
>SWELLING is normal and can spread slightly beyond the treatment area. Swelling can be reduced by elevating the area and resting. Icing the area can also help to alleviate the swelling. Just ensure you wrap the ice pack in a cloth and don’t leave it on for more than 5 minutes at a time to avoid freeze burn.
>REDNESS usually occurs immediately after a treatment and can last for up to 2 weeks. Minimal to moderate pinpoint bleeding may occur directly after treatments and is mostly bleeding that is within the skin. Redness will usually be accompanied by tenderness of the area. It will feel like a sunburn and should be treated like one.
>BLISTERING is not uncommon, especially on newer tattoos, and ones that are ink heavy. It is also common in people who have sensitive skin. It is recommended that you do not pop the blisters, as they are protecting the skin underneath and stop infections from happening. If you pop the blisters, the area can get infected. The blisters contain both water and the ink, and so they often take on the color of the tattoo, which can be alarming if you are not expecting it. They might not look pretty, but they are an excellent sign that the healing process has begun.
>ITCHINESS is very common and you should avoid the urge to scratch it, as this can cause scarring. You can take an over the counter antihistamine to help alleviate the discomfort or use hydrocortisone cream.
>SCABBING, CRUSTING & DRYNESS usually happen once the blisters subside, however if you did not get any blisters, this can occur not long after the treatment. The crusting can make the ink look darker, which alarms a lot of people as they think it means the treatment has not been effective. Do not pick or scratch any scabs as this can cause scarring.
>BRUISING can occur in people who bruise easily, but is also dependent on the location of the tattoo. If you bruised when you got the tattoo, then there is a very fair chance that you will bruise after your laser session. If the area is bruised it will probably be tender to touch, and you should avoid any strenuous activity which may impact the area.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to call one of our friendly certified laser technicians.