What is Tattoo Removal?
Laser tattoo removal is a nonsurgical way to break down the pigment colors of an unwanted tattoo, making it less noticeable or removing it altogether. At Seattle Skin and Laser we have two different laser technologies to use depending on your specific tattoo. The PicoSure (great for greens/blues) and an Nd: YAG from Hoya ConBio (perfect for reds/black). Our specifically designed lasers target the ink within the tattoo and break up the pigment of the tattoo with a high-intensity light beam. The body then slowly breaks down and absorbs the pigment. Tattoos fade after each treatment as the laser breaks down the ink and the body’s lymphatic system removes the ink. Over the course of a series of sessions, the targeted tattoo will gradually fade.
The color used to create your tattoo also has an impact on how easy or difficult it will be to remove. A tattoo made with many different colors is usually more difficult to remove than a tattoo made with just one color. Some ink colors are more difficult to remove than others. Black, red, dark orange and dark blue tattoos are the easiest to remove. Green, purple, brown, light orange, light blue, yellow and green colors may require more visits.
We can also fade certain areas of your tattoo. Some may choose this option if they are not wanting to completely remove the tattoo but simply want to reduce the darkness in certain areas. If you are interested in getting another tattoo in the area where another tattoo exists, we can fade the entire area to help prepare for your new tattoo. Most tattoo artists don’t need the tattoo to be completely removed in order to apply new ink.
What to expect during treatment
Tattoo lasers are designed to penetrate deeply enough to attack the color particles of the ink, but not so deeply as to create permanent tissue damage. Prior to your treatment, a numbing agent can be prescribed to help minimize the discomfort. Once the area is numb, the laser will be used in the targeted areas creating the tattoo to look frosty. This is only temporary and should fade within a few hours. After each treatment, you should notice a gradual fade. Multiple treatments are generally necessary for complete removal.
Results and Recovery
Following your tattoo treatment, an ice pack should be applied to the treated area to soothe the skin. You may experience some normal side effects such as blistering, burning, redness, and swelling that should subside within a week. Icing the treated area for the first 24 hours helps to minimize these side effects. Results from laser tattoo removal are permanent.