Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How is laser tattoo removal done?
A: Short pulses of high-intensity light are delivered into area via the laser. The pigments used selectively absorb the light, while the surrounding skin tissue remains unharmed. In the next few weeks, the ink will continue to break down into completely harmless small particles, which your immune system removes from your body.
Q: How is the shattered ink removed from your body?
A: There are two critical processes involved. The pigment can absorb energy from the laser and fracture apart. At the same time, the fast pulse (6/ billionths per second) and energy emitted from the laser causes the particles to break apart, much like a cube of sugar breaking apart. Once that is complete, the body takes over. To assist in flushing away the ink, it moves fluid to the area. You will notice mild redness and swell due to the body’s immune response.
It’s important to understand that this isn’t an overnight event. As the next few days and even weeks go by, you’ll require further sessions as the body will continue to flush away the broken down molecules.
Q: How long should I expect to spend for each treatment?
A: This depends on how intricate the body art is and the number of colors used, but it rarely takes more than a few minutes for each treatment. Usually, you can be in and out in around 15 minutes.
Q: How many treatments does it typically take to complete process?
A: This is a fading process that involves a series of treatments that usually occur four to six weeks apart. It’s important to understand that black ink tends to be removed more quickly than other colors because it is better able to absorb the light. The amount, color, and depth and the location on your body largely determine how long it takes to remove your tattoo. In most cases, your treatment will be completed in six to twelve sessions.
Q: Will you completely remove my tattoo?
A: For the most part, they can be completely removed.
Q: Does it hurt?
A: According to most patients, the laser treatment feels similar to being snapped with a rubber band, with the discomfort similar to having a tattoo applied. At our clinic, we attempt to make the procedure as comfortable as possible by using a Zimmer chill unit, which decreases discomfort.
Very few places use the Zimmer Cryo 6 cooling system. By cooling the skin before, during, and after the treatment, the reduced thermal temperature decreases pain.
Q: Do I need to do anything to prepare for the procedure?
A: Before a laser procedure, doctors highly recommend using non-aspirin medications to treat minor pain. Using ibuprofen and aspirin can result in bruising after the treatment.
Q: Should I expect to scar?
A: We use a Q-switched laser to perform each session without scarring. This means that the laser pulses so quickly without harming any live tissue. Much like running your palm quickly over a candle, there is not enough time for your skin to get burnt. Be aware that blistering, redness, scabbing, and swelling can occur after treatment is completed.
Q: I want to lighten one of my tattoos. Can you do this?
A: Yes. Most artists highly suggest that customers have existing tattoos lightened before covering it with a new one. This is done to decrease the chances of the art reappearing significantly. Typically, this takes three to six treatments.
Q: Is this a safe process?
A: Yes, laser treatment is both a safe and highly effective. However, it can only be performed by a certified technician skilled in laser usage.
Q: Will my insurance pay for my sessions?
A: In most cases, insurance companies consider this to be an aesthetic or cosmetic procedure. At present, this procedure is not covered by health insurance. If you have a Medical IRA, Health Savings Account (HSA), or other Medical Flexible Spending Account (Medical FSA), you can use these funds to pay for the procedure. We do offer interest-free financing. Please call for further information.
Q: What are some risks?
A: Risks like blistering, itching, swelling, and scabbing occur to pretty much anyone who receives this treatment. These are normal and are often part of the process until your area is fully healed. Also, the level of pain, infection, and soreness effect all patients equally, regardless of skin tone. To reduce risk, be sure to follow our aftercare instructions.