Laser tattoo removal works by focusing a powerful laser beam on your tattoo to create a sound wave blast that actually breaks down the pigmentation in your tattoo on a molecular level. The resulting pigment particles are small enough for your body’s natural filtration system to flush out, fading or even eliminating the image from your body.
Our lasers are always on True Flat-Top Hat Beam mode. This ensures an even distribution of energy, minimizing any damage and scarring incurred by the surrounding tissues. We also cater every session to your unique needs to ensure that you get the best possible results.
Most of our clients are very satisfied with their results, but a number of variables affect the final outcome. The laser light is attracted to darker hues such as black, blue and red, making the treatment especially effective on these colours. Lighter inks such as aqua and yellow are closer to skin colour and may not respond as well. Other variables to consider include the types of inks present in your tattoo, whether it was done by a professional or amateur, location, skin type, and how old your tattoo is. Your overall health will affect the end result too, as your lymphatic system ultimately dictates how quickly the pigment particles are flushed from your body.
Your initial consultation will go over all of these factors with you, giving you a clear idea of what to expect. Be prepared to show us your tattoo to ensure the most productive consultation possible.
Laser tattoo removal is not a one-time thing but a process. It requires patience to do correctly. During your initial consultation, we will examine all of the variables above to come up with a comprehensive treatment plan and how much it will cost. We’ll also break the process down to make everything easier to understand.
Precautions are a simple list of the things you can do before your treatment to ensure that you get the best outcome possible. Try to avoid exposing the area to sunlight in the four weeks leading up to your treatment, as the laser is less effective on tanned skin. You can do this by wearing sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 regardless of weather and keeping it covered whenever you are outdoors.
Since your body’s natural lymphatic system is responsible for flushing the pigment out of your system, it is also imperative to set it up for success. Drink plenty of water to help flush away any toxins in your body, and limit your consumption of alcohol and tobacco. We understand that it can be challenging to give up these substances, but our past clients report much better results when they limit them. The reason why is simple: How can your lymphatic system concentrate on removing pigment particles if it’s breaking down drugs?
Finally, we recommend wearing light-coloured, loose-fitting clothing around the area to be treated on the day of your appointment. If you want an anesthetic to numb the area we are working on, please tell us before your appointment. We offer Numb Skin by Dr Numb at the clinic, but it requires a full hour after application for maximum effect. We also advise against using alcohol or drugs the day of your treatment, as they can intensify any pain you experience.
THE TREATMENT PROCESS
The laser that is used for tattoo removal delivers a powerful beam of light to the skin in less than a second, creating a sound wave nearly devoid of heat. This sound wave blasts the tattoo apart, reducing it to invisible pigment particles that the body’s lymphatic system can eliminate without additional intervention.
The laser is attracted to darker areas of the skin (the tattoo) in preference to lighter areas (flesh), minimizing the impact it has on areas outside of the treatment zone. For this reason, it is advisable to avoid spray tans before your treatment as the darker skin coloration may lead the laser beam astray.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Your tattoo can continue to fade for months after your treatment, so do not fret about what it looks like immediately afterward. It is normal for tattooed areas to whiten and appear raised immediately after treatment, but this will not be a permanent look. It will settle within a half an hour.
Once it’s settled, the area around your tattoo may be red and swollen. Again, this is normal. Individuals susceptible to bruising may develop bruises or appear as though their tattoo ink has seeped underneath the skin. Spot bleeding is also common both during and after treatment. We have the tools on hand to dress such wounds if they are necessary.
The area will feel as though you got a sunburn. It may become itchy, but DO NOT SCRATCH IT as scratching encourages the formation of scar tissue. Rubbing and picking have the same effect, so do not view them as plausible alternatives to scratching. The treated area may develop blisters as well. If it does, DO NOT BREAK THEM as doing so increases your risk of infection.
It is important that you keep the area clean and dry during the healing process. Dress the area regularly, and do not allow shower water to hit it directly until you have completely healed. Submerging the area in water at a swimming pool or in the bathtub can cause an infection, so avoid these activities as well.
You can mitigate any swelling with a cold compress. Apply an ice pack wrapped in soft cloth and leave on the treated area for 5-10 minutes at a time. Using a cold compress for longer than this creates a possibility of inadvertently damaging your skin.
If you have any questions about how to manage the treated area after your appointment, please contact us.