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What You Need to Know About Laser Tattoo Removal

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What You Need to Know About Laser Tattoo Removal

Recent statistics show that 4 in 10 Americans over the age of 18 have at least one tattoo, and another 20% are considering getting ink. This trend doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon either. Among young people, this percentage is already high, as 38% get tattoos before they turn 30.

Though everyone knows that tattoos are meant to last forever, the majority of people regret getting at least one of their tattoos at some point. An astounding 78% of people wish they hadn’t gotten tattooed. The good news is that laser tattoo removal has made it possible to make the permanent ink actually disappear with minimal side effects.

How Does Laser Tattoo Removal Work?

Thanks to laser innovation, tattoos are no longer permanent. Specialized lasers remove tattoos by effectively breaking up the pigment with high-intensity light beams. Different pigments absorb the laser wavelengths in varying degrees, meaning that some tattoos are easier to treat than others.

The devices used for removing unwanted tattoos are called Q-switch lasers or ultra-short pulse lasers. They are very hot, work within in a very narrow frequency, and are extremely fast. The speed and heat of the lasers enables them to break up the tattoo ink embedded in the skin. This process, known as photothermolysis, is also utilized for laser hair removal.

Then, in the months following treatment, the body is able to remove the smaller particles of ink which remain. This is why clients tend to see improvement and the tattoo naturally becomes less visible over time.

How Many Treatments Are Required?

There is no quick answer to this question. The effectiveness of laser tattoo removal is different for each client. It’s impossible to predict exactly how many treatments will be needed to make the ink disappear completely, but generally it requires 6 – 12 sessions.

The number of laser treatment sessions needed to remove a tattoo depend on these factors:

  • The laser used for removal; newer, more advanced lasers will be able to target the tattoo ink with greater precision.
  • The laser technician’s skill; technicians with more experience in tattoo removal are generally better at directing the laser to problem areas.
  • The client’s skin type; tattoo removal is more effective for lighter skin types.
  • The number of layers of ink; tattoos that were touched up or covered up will take longer to treat.
  • The location of the tattoo on the body; ink in areas closer to the heart is easier to remove than when it’s on the extremities.
  • The color of the ink; black tattoos absorb the laser better than lighter colors and, therefore, break up faster.
  • The method of application; professional tattoos are usually more difficult to remove because they usually apply more ink at different depths in the skin. Plus, professional pigment is more durable.
  • The amount of pre-existing scarring; raised scars left from the tattoo process can make laser removal more complicated.
  • The client’s general health; because removal relies on the body’s natural ability to flush out foreign substances, his/her general wellbeing is an important factor. Fit, non-smoking clients with a strong immune system will see better results.
  • Follow up care; clients will heal faster following laser treatments if they follow aftercare instructions closely.

How Much Time Is Needed Between Sessions?

Again, this depends on each individual client. The time needed to heal between the laser treatment sessions and allow the body to remove the ink particles from the skin usually ranges from six to eight weeks. For best results, allow a minimum of six weeks and up to three months before treating the same tattooed area again.

What Tattoo Colors Are More Difficult to Remove?

Ink pigments respond differently during the laser removal process. This is because removal works when the color in the ink absorbs the energy from the laser. Some of the more difficult colors may require specialized laser devices for successful removal. Black and blue hues respond better to laser treatment. While pink, orange, yellow and white are more difficult. Red and green pigments also tend to be harder to break up. Don’t be surprised if the ink changes color during or following laser removal treatment.

What Should You Look for in a Laser Tattoo Removal Clinic?

When you’re searching for the right clinic to remove your tattoos, get well informed about your options before making the final decision. You should ask the clinics that you’re considering what types of lasers they utilize for removal. It’s better to trust clinics that have newer laser devices which are specially adapt for the type of tattoo that you have. Look for a treatment center with certified, well-trained laser technicians who have extensive experience with tattoo removal. You should also ask about the type of local anesthetics and numbing agents that they use. The removal process tends to be more painful than the original tattooing process.

Laser Service Solutions

We are your complete laser provider. Laser Service Solutions has new and pre-owned equipment for sale and lease. Our technicians provide service and repairs and we have an extensive inventory of spare and replacement parts to keep your laser working well.

Laser Service Solutions offers affordable solutions for the latest laser technology, repair services, and parts for clinics across the country. Contact us at (856) 853-7555 or email our office directly at info@laserservicesolutions.com.

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  • Ryan Koenig