Laser removal is no longer a large and expensive commitment. Gone are the days with treatments resulting in scarring and minimal results. Today there is a better way with laser tattoo removal. Modern technology selectively targets tattoo pigment through a process of selective photothermolysis. It can be described as the laser breaking up the ink into smaller particles so your body clears it from the skin. It is the safest and most effective way to remove a tattoo today.
This technology is leading the way in improving tattoo removal results. Let’s take a moment to learn how laser tattoo removal works.
The Innovation: Q-Switch Lasers
The gold standard of lasers used in tattoo removal are the Q-switched lasers. A technology which allows the laser to only hit you for nanoseconds at a time. This is long enough to only shatter the tattoo ink, but not enough to burn or damage your skin. The time of laser to tattoo lasts only seconds. Other alternatives pose unnecessary risks, such as excision, which surgically removes the tattoo and is a serious medical procedure performed by medical practitioners only.
Does it hurt and what can I expect?
A common concern is how much laser tattoo removal hurts. With full disclosure, the impact of the laser’s powerful pulse of light doesn’t feel great. However, the laser session is brief and lasts a short amount of time. To help with this a strong numbing cream can help alleviate discomfort.
The energy from the laser causes some of the tattoo pigment to ‘frost’ and surface to the top. This is a temporary result of the tattoo, but signifies the pigment has been targeted correctly. Most of the tattoo pigment remains in your skin, though over the next 6-8 weeks your body’s circulation system removes the shattered ink particles.
Your skin looks normal after about a week, but the ink clearing process continues in the weeks to follow. Just as it takes artists time to lay down ink for a dark tattoo, it takes multiple treatments for the laser removal.
How many sessions do I need to remove a tattoo?
The number of sessions depends on many factors. These can include:
- Who did the tattoo? Amateur or professional?
- Where is it located on your body?
- What colours are in the tattoo?
- Your skin type
It’s best to let a trained eye take a look at it first so you know what to expect. In general, it takes anywhere from 6-15 sessions to fully remove a tattoo. You can achieve great fading results for a cover up, between 3-6 sessions
And, since this is a topic that comes up at every consultation, our following posts will focus on this assessment. Having patience and acknowledging that safe tattoo removal is a slow process is very important.
Laser Tattoo Removal Works
Laser Tattoo Removal works, but you need to thoroughly understand the process. Do your research to make sure you are being treated with an appropriate laser and by a trained laser operator. There are plenty of working professionals in Toronto who regret getting a tattoo in their younger years and now there are a myriad of options.