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How Soon Can You Start Laser Tattoo Removal?

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Although you might have loved your tattoo at first, it’s not uncommon to later regret certain tattoos. They might reflect a part of your life that you no longer identify with or wish to be reminded about. Sometimes, you’ll know right away that a certain tattoo was not a good idea. Luckily, laser tattoo removal makes those unwanted tattoos no longer permanent and patients can often remove them as soon as they are healed.

What is Laser Tattoo Removal? 

Laser tattoo removal is a safer and more effective form of tattoo removal than creams or dermabrasion. During the laser tattoo removal session, laser energy breaks up ink particles, separating them into smaller pieces that can safely be flushed out of the body through the immune system.

Our team of laser specialists and cosmetic physicians offer a wide range of lasers, depending on the color of the tattoo and the patient’s skin tone and skin type. Some of the most common lasers used for tattoo removal include:

  • PiQo4: effective for many ink colors and safe for dark skin
  • Alex TriVantage: safe for many skin types and most effective for green, black, or blue tattoo ink
  • RevLite Q-Switched Nd:YAG: great option for multicolor colors and safe for all skin tones
  • Medlite C6: a safer choice for patients with darker skin tones
  • Sinon Ruby: ideal for patients with light skin and faded tattoos
  • Fraxel Lasers: remove various ink colors and break up scar tissue

At your consultation, we will discuss your treatment goals and examine the tattoo you wish to remove to determine the best choice of laser for your individualized treatment plan.

When Can You Start Laser Tattoo Removal?

Before starting laser tattoo removal treatment, the tattoo must be completely healed. As Dr. Michelle Ellern says, “that means no redness, no crusting, no flaking, no swelling, no warmth to touch.” Putting a laser on swollen skin or an open wound could cause more damage to the surrounding area so this is an important first step. Most tattoos will be fully healed in 2-4 weeks, depending on their location, size, and your individual healing processes.

Sometimes patients want to lighten a tattoo in order to have a coverup, and in that case, we would like for you to speak with your tattoo artist prior to treatment, so that our doctors will know how light your goal is.

Finally, not all tattoos can be safely removed. White ink is impossible to remove, as is skin tone ink and any ink lighter than your skin tone. Some permanent cosmetic tattoos (like eyebrow tattooing) are also unsafe to remove. These include tattoos that have specific ingredients in the ink used, namely iron ore, which can scar in place when heated by a tattoo laser or oxidize and turn black.

This step-by-step guide can give you an idea about what to expect during the process:

How Long Does Laser Tattoo Removal Take?

Most tattoos will require a series of four or more laser tattoo removal treatments to completely remove the tattoo pigment from the skin. After each treatment, the skin needs time to flush out the ink particles and heal so your laser tattoo removal sessions will be scheduled a few weeks apart. We offer reduced package pricing to make the cost of your tattoo removal a little easier.

Schedule a Consultation

At Reflections Center for Cosmetic Medicine, we specialize in advanced laser treatments and have a deep understanding of how different lasers will work for different types of tattoos. To get started on your laser tattoo removal, schedule a free consultation today at one of our offices in Bridgewater or Livingston, NJ.