Laser Tattoo Removal

Tattoos don’t have to last forever

We all make mistakes, some more permanent than others. While getting that tattoo might have seemed like a good idea at the time, maybe today it just doesn’t fit with your lifestyle. Wouldn’t it be great if you could turn your tattoo into a distant memory?

What if you could restore your skin to its natural state with the most advanced lasers available for tattoo removal?

In the past, tattoos were permanent, and removing them could only be attempted through painful, often scar-inducing surgical procedures. But it’s a new day in tattoo removal. You’ll love watching your tattoo fade away, and your skin restored to its natural state with laser tattoo removal.

The Reflections difference — experienced physicians, multiple lasers

Safe and effective tattoo removal comes down to a skilled physician choosing the right laser wavelengths for your skin type and the color of your tattoo. At Reflections, our expert physicians use every laser wavelength on the market today and are adept at choosing the ideal combination of lasers to provide the best possible results.

tattoo-gallery-barUnlike some other facilities limited by a single device, we have invested heavily in laser tattoo removal technology and will expertly tailor a treatment approach that uses the ideal wavelength for your tattoo color(s), your skin type and your treatment goals. We use only the most advanced, FDA-approved lasers available today for tattoo removal.

tatoo-offer-25Experience the Reflections difference — a team dedicated to perfecting the craft of using lasers to obtain the best results for our patients. It’s why plastic surgery and dermatology offices send their patients to us, and why tattoo parlors refer their clients our way when they are looking to wipe the slate clean and rethink their ink.

How does laser tattoo removal work?

The most common lasers developed specifically for use in tattoo removal use a technique known as Q-Switching. Q-Switched lasers produce short pulses (billionth of a second) of intense light that pass through the top layers of the skin and are selectively absorbed by the tattoo pigment. This laser energy causes the tattoo pigment to fragment into smaller particles that are then absorbed by the body’s immune system.

The laser we use depends on the colors in your tattoo and your skin type, as different laser wavelengths are better absorbed by different colors of ink and are safer for certain skin types.  For green tattoos that prove resistant to Q-Switched lasers, there’s a new class of tattoo removal lasers called “picosecond” devices (such as the Cynosure PicoSure) that can be used these types of stubborn ink.

Treatment typically includes four or more sessions, spaced apart by six to eight weeks. Your number of treatments will depend on the type and color of ink used in your tattoo, how much of it was used to create your tattoo, and how deeply it was injected into your skin.

So many options — what’s right for me?

Check out this infographic about tattoo removal motives and methods

Check out this infographic about tattoo removal motives and methods

We’ve performed thousands of tattoo removals, and know which lasers will work best with your tattoo and skin type.

RevLite Q-Switched Nd:YAG laser is a powerful multiple wavelength system used to treat stubborn multi-color tattoos. RevLite delivers energy through the epidermis faster than the skin can react, allowing it to administer a precisely controlled amount of energy into the tattoo ink while minimizing injury to the treatment area. This system is used for patients with both light and dark skin.

Medlite C6 is an industry standard laser for multi-colored tattoo removal, with four unique wavelengths. Medlite C6 offers our patients a great, consistent results with no downtime required. It can be used for all skin types and is the safer choice for people with darker complexions.

Alex TriVantage® has pumped-laser technology renowned for it’s superior ability to treat tattoos that include greens, blues and black. Alex TriVantage is a proven way to treat multicolor tattoos across a broad range of patient skin types.

Sinon Ruby Q-Switched laser is ideal for removing black, blue and green pigments. Ruby is a great option for patients with lighter skin and is frequently used for faded tattoos and those that resist treatment with other devices.

The Fraxel Re:Store Dual laser can be used during tattoo removal to help rejuvenate the treatment area, allowing our doctors to use more aggressive laser settings for a faster result. It has also been thought that the Fraxel laser energy helps to breakdown the ink pigment under the skin, regardless of the color of that ink, aiding in the removal process.

RapidTat (R20) protocol for fewer tattoo removal sessions

Some of our patients choose our RapidTat protocol, which lets you condense four laser tattoo removal sessions into one office visit.

Frequently asked questions about laser tattoo removal

What do I do to prepare for laser tattoo removal?

Avoid tanning the skin before laser tattoo removal. Also, avoid applying makeup or cover up to the area before treatment. We recommend avoiding the use of aspirin before laser tattoo removal, instead choosing non-aspirin products, like Tylenol or ibuprofen for minor aches and pains prior to the procedure. Notify your physician if you are prone to keloid scarring to determine if you’re still a candidate for laser tattoo removal.

Does laser tattoo removal hurt?

Advanced tattoo removal lasers are much faster and less traumatic to the skin than previous technologies, making the treatment much more comfortable. The impact of the energy from the laser’s powerful pulse of light has been described as similar to getting snapped by a thin hot, rubber band. With each subsequent treatment, the discomfort fades.

Methods for anesthesia vary from a Zimmer air chiller, topical, or injectable anesthesia.

What will I look and feel like after the treatment?

The treatment will leave the skin mildly red and may result in pinpoint bleeding or blistering. One may notice a temporary whitening of the tattoo and swelling of the skin in the region. Over the next few weeks, the body’s scavenger cells remove pigment residues. One begins to notice lightening of the tattoo approximately two weeks post treatment and this will continue for two to three months.

Following treatment, the doctor will apply an antibacterial ointment and dressing to the area. The skin should be kept clean with continued application of ointment as directed. A shower or bath the day after treatment is okay, but the treatment area should not be scrubbed. Your skin might feel slightly sunburned for a couple of days and the treated area may remain red for a few weeks. If the skin forms a blister or scab, this should be handled gently. After healing, the tattoo color will gradually and continually fade.

How many sessions will I need?

Several laser tattoo removal treatments are normally needed to reach an endpoint — the number of sessions depends on the amount and type of ink used and how deeply it was injected, but can vary anywhere from four to ten, or even more. Six to eight week intervals between sessions are required to allow pigment residue to be absorbed by the body.

We don’t generally know which of the over 500 tattoo inks available today were used to create the tattoo and sometimes the pigments undergo chemical changes after the tattoo is placed. Even two identically colored tattoos may be derived from very different colors and types of inks.

The easiest tattoos to remove are ones with containing black ink. In contrast, the hardest are the multi-colored tattoos, especially containing floral and pastel colors.

Can you guarantee that all the ink will be removed?

No, the extent of the ink that can be removed depends on many factors, including the physical nature of ink used, its color, how much was injected into your skin, and how deeply it was placed.

Can multiple lasers be used in the same visit?

Yes, we it’s the most efficient way to clear a tattoo, but a multiple-wavelength session is best left to experienced physicians.

Can I have a new tattoo placed over where the old one was?

Yes — some of the most flattering referrals we get are from tattoo artists who send their clients to Reflections when they wish to revise their artwork. They choose us because we send their clients back with their skin in great condition.

What are the possible side effects?

Side effects of laser procedures are generally few but may include hyperpigmentation, or the darkening of the skin at the treatment site, and hypopigmentation, where the treated area lacks normal skin color. Other possible side effects include infection of the site, textural changes in the skin and permanent scarring. Treatment of tanned skin increases the complication rate and should be avoided. The use of advanced lasers designed specifically for your skin type and the color of your tattoo and the experience of your physician factor into the risk of complications.

If I get a tattoo, what should I know?

Go to a reputable practitioner who is using advanced and sterile instruments and choose a facility that is clean and up to date. Try to choose as few colors as possible and gravitate towards dark green, black and blue. Avoid pastel colors, yellow, orange, and white, as they are harder to remove. Consider having the tattoo placed in an area that is easily coverable with clothing in case you regret the decision later.

How does one choose a provider for laser tattoo removal?

There are several factors that will help ensure that you choose the right physician and facility for laser tattoo removal. First, make sure that the practitioner is indeed a physician. Next, ask the practitioner if he owns or rents the technology he will be utilizing. A physician who rents or uses a hospital-based system normally doesn’t perform enough treatments to warrant purchasing the lasers, leaving the possibility that they are inexperienced. Rental lasers may also be improperly calibrated and result in bad outcomes. Make sure the technologies are indeed lasers (sometimes the term is used loosely) and are new.

Choose a physician who owns several tattoo lasers and has the full complement of wavelengths to treat all tattoo colors. If this is not the case, it may compromise care and result in inadequate removal of the tattoo pigment or even scarring.

Lastly, choose a physician who focuses their entire practice on laser and aesthetic medicine, and not one who has a different area of interest and uses lasers part time. Look around the office carefully. Make sure it is clean and up to date. Look for other lasers used for hair removal, skin rejuvenation, acne, rosacea, skin resurfacing and acne scars, etc. This demonstrates experience and dedication to the field, which can make a big difference in the quality of care you receive.

Be transformed — both inside and out

Our goal at Reflections is to leave you not just looking better, but feeling better too. No matter what laser tattoo removal approach you choose, you will love seeing your skin restored to its natural state and feel transformed, both inside and out!

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