Because no two tattoos and no two people are exactly alike, visible results vary widely from patient to patient. Typically patients will notice a result within a few days to a few weeks after their first treatment. It is possible for the tattoo to appear darker for the first few days to few weeks as this is an indicator that the ink was broken up by the laser and is now small enough to move closer to the surface of the skin. Some patients will notice that their once “crisp, clean” tattoo begins to blur and fuzz similar to what we see in much older tattoos. Again, this is due to the fact that the laser’s energy has broken up the ink and allowed it to move beneath the surface of the skin. Still other patients will see a near immediate fading effect. This is very possible, especially if the person’s immune system is very active. Another explanation may be that the shattered ink has been able to move away from the surface of the skin. Regardless of what you see those first few days, before you return to the clinic for your second treatment, it will be obvious, especially in “before and after” photos, that the ink has been broken up and that the immune system has been busy removing the unwanted ink from the skin.
Below is an example of a tattoo before and about 1 month after the first laser tattoo removal session.