Laser tattoo removal can effectively fade an unwanted tattoo for cover-up purposes or completely eradicate it. Multiple treatment sessions are necessary to achieve optimal results.
Common side effects immediately following treatment include redness, swelling, bruising, and itching; these should resolve within a week.
Please take care not to pick at scabs or blisters that appear, as doing so could result in scarring and pigment discoloration. Instead, follow all aftercare instructions carefully.
How Does It Work?
Laser tattoo removal uses a quality-switched (Q-Switched) laser to break apart ink particles below your skin, flushed away naturally by lymphatic system drainage. Furthermore, a Q-Switched laser applies a local anesthetic to make tattoo removal as painless as possible.
As long as an experienced physician administers your laser tattoo removal treatment, the laser should not cause damage to nerves or other underlying structures. You may feel some heat or sensation similar to having a band-aid ripped off during treatment – although these sensations should be mild and subside quickly afterward. Unlike other cosmetic procedures, laser tattoo removal does not interfere with fine motor skills, so you can resume daily activities immediately following it.
After treatment, the tattooed area may display white discoloration or appear reddish or swollen; this is entirely normal and will fade gradually over the following two to three days. We apply antibacterial ointment from Neocutis and an elastic gauze bandage to minimize infection and promote healing in this way.
Avoid rubbing the treated area, as this may lead to permanent scarring. Furthermore, pick scabs or crusts that form because this could also lead to infection and scarring. Finally, it would be prudent not to shower or bathe when blisters are present as they could burst under pressure and become infected with bacteria from water sources.
Your body will require multiple treatments to remove its tattoo altogether. Some ink colors require more treatments than others, and this number varies from person to person. We can determine the number of sessions your specific tattoo requires during our free consultation at our Bronx or Westchester, New York offices; typically, we recommend eight as the minimum requirement. Some patients can achieve complete removal within six sessions.
What Are the Side Effects?
Laser tattoo removal is a safe, effective treatment that can remove unwanted ink stains. Unfortunately, however, it does come with some side effects, such as redness, swelling, bruising, itching, scabbing, hypo- and hyperpigmentation, as well as blistering in the treated area, although these symptoms should subside after following aftercare instructions from your dermatologist.
Laser technology uses pinpoint beams of light to target pigment deposits on your skin, which are then gradually eliminated by your immune system. While complete tattoo removal may take multiple sessions depending on the size and color of the tattoo, your dermatologist will devise a treatment plan that may take months of visits over several months to be successful. At each stop, you must apply an ice pack and non-stick bandage as protection to ensure minimal discomfort comparable to when first getting tattooed. The discomfort experienced from treatment sessions should feel similar to initial pain when getting inked up.
Avoid touching and excessive rubbing of the treated area, as this could increase susceptibility to infection and compromise healing efforts and the effectiveness of treatments. Furthermore, antibiotic ointment should be applied regularly on affected areas to keep them clean.
Blistering is a normal part of the healing process and should appear 8 hours post-laser tattoo removal. Don’t be alarmed when blisters appear, as this is part of their regular course, and they should last 3-14 days before flaking off naturally or picking them off, which could leave permanent scarring behind. To speed up healing faster and encourage the natural shedding of any scabs or crusts that form, Bio Cream from Neocutis contains growth factors that speed up this process by enabling them to fall off when ready.
After laser treatment, itching may also occur as an unwanted side effect. Your body sends signals that something needs healing; once complete recovery has occurred, this itch should go away on its own. Instead of scratching at it yourself, seek advice from a dermatologist as soon as possible to avoid further irritation.
How Long Will It Take?
Laser tattoo removal is a gradual process; like getting an original tattoo design, it takes time to fade or be erased from your body. Though DIY remedies or at-home treatments may speed up this process, professional lasers that break up deeply embedded ink particles produce better results than homemade treatments or amateur hacks.
As lasers target tattoos on your skin, the area will become warm with minimal pain. A topical numbing cream may be applied before your appointment to reduce discomfort, or Dr. Green can administer lidocaine injections if needed. After treatment, the skin may appear reddened and tender; there may even be blistering, which will heal within days, given proper care. To minimize risk and side effects during and after post-procedure, wear sun protection on the affected area and avoid smoking and drinking alcohol before treatment commences.
The number of sessions required to remove or fade your tattoo depends on its size, location, depth and color, and immune system response; most patients need six sessions before seeing significant results.
As soon as each treatment session concludes, your tattoo should gradually fade. Sessions should occur every 6-8 weeks so your skin has time to absorb and release its pigment into the environment – continuing this regimen over a year or more may see your tattoo completely vanish!
Treatment sessions will vary depending on each person, but our goal is always clear: an unblemished finish is our objective. Whether it’s to erase or fade a tattoo for cover-up purposes completely, our team can design an individualized treatment plan to meet these objectives and get you looking your best!
How Much Will It Cost?
Life changes quickly, and while getting a tattoo may seem like a good idea, life may alter your perspective, and you want to remove or fade it later. While painful surgical removal procedures were once your only recourse for eliminating unwanted body art, laser tattoo removal provides a safe and efficient alternative.
Laser tattoo removal is a medical procedure and should only be administered by licensed healthcare providers such as dermatologists or plastic surgeons. While laser treatment has undergone rigorous clinical trials and has been considered safe by the Food and Drug Administration, selecting a reputable board-certified physician specializing in skin laser treatments will guarantee superior results and safety.
Various factors will determine how much laser tattoo removal will cost, including its location and color. Some tattoos can be more challenging to remove than others due to vibrant hues; the size and placement of your tattoo will also impact how many treatments will be required to see the desired results.
Costs vary based on the quality and expertise of laser equipment and specialists, making the price more dependent upon which services you choose. A clinic using outdated or lower power lasers might charge less, while those offering cutting-edge Q-Switched lasers might cost more but provide you with greater chances of removal of tattoos.
Additionally, certain states have more stringent laser safety regulations than others, which can add to the total cost. Season and time of year also play a role; summer months are busier for laser providers so prices might be slightly higher during this period.
We will discuss the sessions required to achieve your desired results at your consultation. It is important to remember that there is no guarantee your tattoo will be removed entirely in this timeframe; picking at scabs, blisters, or crusts that form post-treatment could result in infection, scarring, and pigment changes to your skin – we suggest Bio Cream from Neocutis which contains growth factors initially designed to treat burn patients for optimal healing and infection protection.