With the right laser, tattoo removal can be safe for a wide variety of people. Of course and ideal candidate would be of fair skin with a dark, but not dense, tattoo who is in optimal health, doesn’t smoke, eats a well balanced diet, and stays active. Although this would be the ideal candidate that does not mean laser tattoo removal won’t be successful on more people.
Laser tattoo removal can be effective and safe on darker skin types. Caution needs to be used to prevent hypo or hyper pigmentation, lightening or darkening of the skin in and around the treated area, as much as possible. This means patients with darker skin types may require more time between treatments than someone with a lighter skin type. More time would allow the skin’s natural pigment to repopulate in the event that hypo or hyper pigmentation developed.
Very dense tattoos can be removed via laser tattoo removal treatments. The more dense the ink is, the more treatments will be necessary for removal. Lighter colors may be a bit tricky to remove as they are going to reflect much of the lasers energy, but given the right combination of wavelengths, even light pinks and yellows can be removed with laser treatments.
photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net by artzenter
Lasers can be used for a wide variety of purposes from scanning bar codes at the grocery store, to playing a CD, to sealing up surgical wounds, and even removing tattoos. To do all these many jobs, lasers need to be calibrated differently. You couldn’t just place your tattooed arm on the check-out scanner and have it remove your tattoo, and a surgical laser would burn right through the ink and potentially damage the skin in the process.
A tattoo removal laser is calibrated very specifically to produce nanosecond pulses of energy. Varying wavelengths are used for different colors of ink. Wavelengths are attracted to colors on the opposite end of the visible light spectrum. The tattoo ink absorbs these energy pulses which cause it to heat up and shatter. Imagine a potato in the microwave. If you’ve forgotten to pierce the skin, it will heat up and shatter (explode). So back to tattoo ink…Once all the ink has been shattered, the laser’s job is done. The shattered ink is then removed from the body by your immune system; sounds simple enough.
Now many of you may be thinking, “Wow! That’s it. One zap with the laser and my tat will be gone forever.” If only it were that easy. Janet and the rest of the Vanish staff would LOVE for this to be a one and done process, but unfortunately it is a multi-step process. The laser works through the ink in layers. Setting the laser too high would result in unnecessary trauma to the skin as well as potentially too much shattered ink than the immune system can handle at one time. Both could result in unsightly scaring, and nobody wants to trade an unwanted tattoo for a scar shaped like the unwanted tattoo.
On average, 5-10 treatments is needed to remove a tattoo. Sessions are spaced approximately 4-8 weeks apart. This allows your skin ample time to heal and your immune system the ability to flush away a good deal of shattered ink before more is shattered with another laser treatment. We’ll make every effort to get you the best possible results in the least amount of time and treatments necessary. Remember, we get just as excited as you do when that tattoo fades away. We want you to be totally satisfied with your results. Don’t hesitate to ask questions when you have them.
photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net by chaiwat
This is a question we hear a lot in the summer. With cooler temperatures coming in, this may not be something you’re thinking about, but then again maybe you have a gym membership with access to an indoor pool, or perhaps you like nightly soaks in the hot tub, you enjoy luxurious bubble baths, or maybe you’re just curious. Regardless, we're sure you'll find this article informative.
The biggest risk with laser tattoo removal treatments is secondary infection. Infection from the treatment itself is virtually unheard of as the laser is hot enough to kill any germs or bacteria that may exist on the skin. Now don’t worry, the laser is not burning your skin off in order to remove ink. The heat is applied for such a short amount of time, nanoseconds, that it literally heats up and cools off before the skin is permanently damaged.
So back to the risk of secondary infection; when the treated area is exposed to bacteria it is possible to develop an infection after laser treatments. Bacteria and other germs are around us every day. Limiting our exposure to such germs and bacteria is how we avoid illness and infection. When avoidance is not possible, we make sure to wash our hands, maybe take vitamins to boost our immune system, and drink plenty of fluids to quickly flush away potentially hazardous germs and other toxins. Well, after laser tattoo removal treatments you want to really limit the amount of germs and bacteria that the treated area comes in contact with. A swimming pool, hot tub, or even a bathtub can be teeming with germs and bacteria. Also soaking a wound can keep it too moist to heal properly. Scabs can become gummy and fall off before they are ready leaving the wound underneath exposed for longer than it should be.
In most cases after laser tattoo removal, there or four days is all the time needed for the outer skin to heal enough to return to water activities. If your tattoo is full of color, especially reds or yellows, more time may be necessary as these colors tend to blister after treatment and blisters do tend to take longer to heal.
As always if you have any questions or concerns about your treatment, healing, etc feel free to talk to our certified laser specialists. They are always willing to make sure you are fully confident in your laser tattoo removal process.
Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net by photostock
When the decision is made to remove a tattoo, we know you want it gone as soon as possible. Yesterday would be GREAT! Sadly, tattoo removal is a process. On average it takes between 5 and 10 treatments to completely remove a tattoo. Some homemade tattoos can take fewer treatments, while some dense, professional tattoos may take more. Laser treatments are spaced about 4-8 weeks apart in the beginning. Toward the end of the removal process, treatments may be spread further apart.
Why is that much time between treatments necessary? First and foremost, the body needs time to heal between treatments. When you first got the tattoo, it took a few weeks or more for the skin to heal. It will take about the same amount of time for the skin to heal after laser treatment. Also note that the skin often appears healed on the surface, but could still be healing underneath. For that reason, it is best to wait a full four weeks or more between treatments as treating too soon could cause the laser treatments to be more uncomfortable. Also treating over unhealed skin, could increase the potential for scaring.
Second, your immune system needs time to flush out the ink that is shattered during laser treatments. Remember it is your immune system that actually does the removal, but it needs the laser to break up the ink into manageable sized particles. The immune system is also responsible for healing the skin. When the immune system is working on multiple tasks at one time, it tends to work more slowly on “less critical” jobs, in this case that would be removing shattered ink. Allowing more time after the skin appears healed, allows for the immune system to focus more attention to removing the shattered ink. More time between treatments could allow you to see more fading from one treatment to the next.
At Vanish, we understand you want your tattoo gone as quickly as possible. Please keep in mind that when more time is recommended, it is to ensure you see the best results possible. Of course, no one wants your tattoo gone sooner than you, but Vanish staff is a very close second. If your tattoo fades and vanishes with fewer treatments than initially expected, we know you’re going to be so pleased you can’t help but share your experience with others and that’s not only a win for you, but also for us. Who doesn’t love a “win-win”?
As always, if you have any questions or concern about your treatment or the way your tattoo is responding, don’t hesitate to ask. Vanish staff is always ready to answer your questions and make sure you fully understand the laser tattoo removal process.