Have a tattoo that you just don’t love anymore? Perhaps it has now lost its meaning to you, or you’ve moved on from that part of your life. Or perhaps the original artwork was subpar, botched, or poorly designed.
No matter the reason, many individuals such as yourself turn to laser tattoo removal as a way to wipe the slate clean.
In this guide, we’ll cover what to consider before moving forward with a tattoo removal procedure, including the benefits, and potential risks associated.
What Should you Consider Prior to Treatment?
The Age of Tattoo
Newer tattoos are generally harder to remove than older tattoos. Because your body is still becoming used to a freshly placed tattoo, it is suggested to wait for laser removal treatment on a new tattoo in order to avoid unexpected complications. The typical wait time is usually cited as being around 8 weeks or more after receiving a new tattoo.
Laser Type & Equipment
Different lasers provide different results depending on your skin type as well as the type and placement of your tattoo. Recently, there has been a rise in the use of lasers with a picosecond pulse versus lasers with a nanosecond pulse. The main difference between these two types of lasers is the duration that the laser’s energy is directed onto the skin.
A picosecond laser will have a duration of every one trillionth of a second whereas a nanosecond laser will pulse every one billionth of a second. While picosecond lasers generally produce faster results while also being less painful, the cost of procedures utilizing them are usually more expensive than those employing a nanosecond laser.
In addition to the type of laser, be sure to double-check the equipment the tattoo remover uses. Ask questions about the procedure, costs, process, healing time, side effects and what to expect so that there are no surprises along the way.
Talk with a dermatologist before moving onto a laser removal treatment. Since every individual has different skin and different health conditions, your laser tattoo removal treatment plan should be discussed with your dermatologist so you know which plan to best move forward with prior to treatment.
The tattoo remover will also have a consultation session with you; this is usually the longest part of the tattoo removal process. During your consultation with a tattoo remover, they will not only take into consideration your general health, the location of the tattoo, and your skin type, but also go into detail about expectations of the procedure depending on the pigments used in the tattoo you want to be removed.
Local Tattoo Remover
Finding a reliable, highly rated local tattoo remover is important for both convenience and safety, as well as comparing prices.
Most removers will provide a free consultation. Be sure to take advantage of this. Not only will they be able to answer your questions, but you’ll also be able to learn more about their experience, customer outcomes, and receive advice specific to your unique situation.
Multiple Sessions are Required
Unfortunately for both you and your wallet, tattoo removal is a process. It would be highly unlikely that any tattoo could be completely removed after the first treatment alone. When considering the cost of your tattoo removal, be sure to confirm whether the price is for an entire removal, or for each individual session.
Benefits of Laser Tattoo Removal Treatments
While it takes multiple sessions to complete a laser tattoo removal treatment, the sessions themselves only last for a few minutes and are over fairly quickly, leaving you to go about the rest of your day with no required downtime.
As compared to other forms of tattoo removal, laser tattoo removal treatments do not require grinding or abrasion of the skin in order to remove pigment or decrease shading. Laser treatments work by breaking apart the ink particles of a tattoo so it is easier for your body to process and excrete them naturally as waste products.
Once you finish all the steps of a laser tattoo removal treatment, the treatment is permanent. You don’t need to take extra steps besides following the self-care instructions provided to you post-treatment.
Risks of Laser Tattoo Removal Treatments
Side effects — Similar to when you get a new tattoo, there may be some swelling and pain after the procedure. Hypopigmentation is also possible, a condition in which the skin treated turns lighter than the surrounding untreated skin.
Your tattoo may not be completely removed. Generally, blue and black tattoos have better results for complete removal, whereas tattoos with a variety of colours may be more difficult to completely erase.
Although rare, scarring can occur if you are prone to scarring or if you do not follow the tattoo remover’s instructions after treatment. Sometimes scarring that appears during laser tattoo removal treatment is due to pre-existing scarring, meaning that the scar was created during the tattooing process, but was previously covered up by the tattoo’s ink.
Regardless of your reason to seek laser tattoo removal treatment, be sure to follow the tattoo remover’s instructions post-procedure, and to follow your dermatologist’s advice and recommendations.
Tattoos are an important part of personal expression, and while your way of expressing your individuality may change over time, it is important to protect your health in the process.
Have More Questions About Laser Tattoo Removal?
Call or reach out to our team today. At Chronic Ink and Tattoo, we’ve helped countless individuals with all aspects of planning, designing, getting, and yes, even removing tattoos.
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