When you got your tattoo, you probably had plenty of people remind you that tattoos are forever. While this might have been true in the past, there’s an increasing number of effective options for removing tattoos safely and effectively. Although these methods aren’t without their risks, a quick internet search can return plenty of excellent before-and-after results for laser tattoo removal. It’s often touted as a miracle cure for unwanted tattoos— and while this can be true, there are some important things to know about what it is, what treatment looks like, and why it’s effective. Here’s a guide to this exciting option.
What is Laser Tattoo Removal?
Laser tattoo removal often gets talked about when the topic of tattoos comes up— usually as a quick fix for a bad tattoo. However, people who haven’t experienced it usually don’t have an accurate idea of what it is or what it can do. On the surface, it seems like something out of science fiction where an unwanted tattoo can just be zapped off in a quick session. Although this would be wonderful, real-life laser tattoo removal can achieve some great results with a package of treatment sessions and even some at-home products, both of which take time and patience. Despite this, laser tattoo removal is still the most effective way to remove a tattoo.
How Does Laser Tattoo Removal Work?
When you think of the term ‘laser’, you might associate it with action movies or playing with a cat. Lasers have a staggering amount of uses in scientific and cosmetic fields, and there are many different types and technologies behind them. Laser tattoo removal uses a technique called Q-Switching. These types of Q-Switched lasers produce extremely short pulses of intense light that can penetrate the skin, where the tattoo pigments absorb it. This is achieved by precisely adjusting the wavelength for specific colors and pigments. For example, black ink requires a different wavelength than red ink because they each absorb different wavelengths.
Once the pigment under your skin absorbs the nanosecond or picosecond bursts of light, the pigment shatters into smaller pieces. This allows your body to dispose of these pieces through your lymphatic system, where it was previously unable to because tattoo pigment particles are too large. This process usually occurs over time using your body’s natural rate of absorption— and it’s safe and effective, since most tattoo pigments are not harmful to your body.
What are the Benefits of Laser Tattoo Removal?
Laser tattoo removal is one of the most effective options available because it produces great results over time without some of the risks of other methods of tattoo removal. Additionally, laser tattoo removal technology is constantly evolving and producing new methods, lasers, and targeted treatments for specific pigments. When administered by an experienced cosmetic physician, laser tattoo removal can be custom tailored to your tattoo for the most effective results. And laser tattoo removal isn’t just for complete removal— many patients who want coverup tattoos can effectively fade an existing tattoo using laser methods.
Are There Other Options for Tattoo Removal?
Historically, surgical removal was one of the “safest” ways to completely remove a tattoo. This isn’t ideal because it comes with a risk of scarring, infection, and can even require a skin graft. In some rare cases, surgical excision can still be preferred, but laser tattoo removal has become the treatment of choice for most cosmetic physicians. Additionally, some patients can find good results with bleach creams designed to fade pigment over time, but this can require daily use for months or years (although you should check with a cosmetic physician about long-term use of these products).
At Reflections, we go to great lengths to warn against other at-home methods that can be extremely dangerous. Methods like salabrasion (deep exfoliation with salt) or burning away the skin can introduce infection and result in permanent scarring. We recommend that you speak with a cosmetic physician and fully explore the risks of these methods if you plan to try them at home.
Why Choose Reflections Center for Laser Tattoo Removal?
Since there are a lot of less-than-safe methods out there, it’s important to select a laser tattoo removal provider that has a reputation for safety and results. At Reflections, we strive to offer the latest and most-advanced laser technologies that are FDA-approved for their safety and effectiveness. Not only this, but we offer a selection of laser systems so that we can treat a variety of tattoo types and colors with fewer treatment sessions. We can also select a laser system for a variety of skin types and tones. During a consultation with our cosmetic physicians, we can tailor a laser tattoo removal package to your unique tattoo using our selection of laser systems.
Will It Remove My Tattoo?
Even though it can seem like laser tattoo removal is an exact science, your results can depend on many different factors. One of the most important is your expected results— while some patients want complete removal, others simply want to fade it for a coverup piece. Additionally, many different factors about your tattoo itself can affect your results. These include things like whether it’s a professional or amateur tattoo, which colors have been used, how it’s layered, its depth, and its location on the body. Location is important for a couple reasons— firstly, thinner or thicker skin can affect some adjustments made during treatment. Secondly, removing a tattoo that is located closer to certain parts of the lymphatic system will fade more quickly. The size of your tattoo can also determine the length of your treatment sessions and cost, which can be important to many patients. Our cosmetic physicians have plenty of experience in laser tattoo removal and can give you the best idea of what to expect from treatment. Although these factors don’t usually have an impact on laser tattoo removal’s effectiveness, they can have an impact on the number of treatment sessions and laser systems.
How Much Does Tattoo Removal Cost?
For many patients, cost is one of the most important factors in laser tattoo removal. That’s understandable, since laser tattoo removal can require quite a few treatment sessions and a lot of patience. The cost of a laser tattoo removal package is very dependent on how many sessions are needed which are, in turn, dependent on things like skin type, pigments, depth, and many other factors. Along with the number of sessions needed, your cost can be dependent on how many laser systems are needed (we can often perform treatments with multiple platforms, which can be a step above less experienced providers). During a consultation with our cosmetic physicians, you’ll receive a full estimate of your costs for a treatment package.
Schedule a Consultation
There are a lot of reasons to consider laser tattoo removal, mostly because it’s one of the most effective methods available in the hands of an experienced cosmetic physician. At Reflections, we strive to be a premier provider of laser tattoo removal so that our patients can achieve safe, effective results that fit their goals and lifestyle. To meet with our cosmetic physicians and discuss your options with our wide selection of laser systems, contact our Martinsville or Livingston offices by calling or filling out our online form. Also, be sure to check out our tattoo removal before-and-after gallery to find excellent results.