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Laser Tattoo Removal

laser tattoo removal

Forty-five million Americans have tattoos, according to Inked. That’s 14 percent of the total population. The percentage is higher, up to 40 percent, for adults between the ages of 26 and 40.

That’s a lot of people with ink—which is precisely why there’s also a lot of conversation tattoo removal.

According to a 2015 article in the Smithsonian, “As a result, more people with tattoo regret are doing something about it; in the last decade, the tattoo removal industry has grown 440 percent.”

Can tattoos be removed?

Yes. Tattoos can be removed with specific laser procedures targeted at breaking up and fading the tattoo ink – without damaging the surrounding skin in the process. Unlike acids or physically removing the tattoo by cutting, there is minimal damage to surrounding tissue, which reduces scarring and other indicators that an unwanted tattoo was present.

Tattoo removal is no easy, one-and-done, visit to a dermatologist. It’s a commitment to multiple laser treatments, usually spaced out at four to six-week intervals, if complete erasure is the goal.

During the course of treatment, the patient might experience a number of different skin reactions ranging from redness to swelling or blisters to a temporary raising of the tattoo.

How does laser tattoo removal work?

Here at The Dermatology Specialists, we use very short pulse-durations of a Q-switched laser to break-up and quickly remove the tattoos you’re tired of wearing.

Using our dual KTP/Nd-Yag laser, we can handle almost any color (sorry, white tattoo wearers). Reds and yellows respond to our 532 wavelength while darker colors are reserved for our 1064 frequency.

The Q-switch allows us to reach peak powers that target pigment while sparing surrounding living tissue. The tattoo pigment particles heat up and break down into smaller particles; these minute particles are targeted by the body’s own immune system and removed.

Because the energy is selectively absorbed by the tattoo pigment, surrounding tissues are not usually affected and there is usually no lasting damage to the skin. That means an industry-lowest incidence of any pigmentation changes or scars on your skin after the ink’s been removed!

How long does it take to remove a tattoo?

The procedure duration for laser tattoo removal depends on the size and color of your tattoo but generally ranges from 2-30 minutes. Since this is such a delicate procedure, it may take a few sessions before your tattoo is removed completely.

Typically, you can see a 20% reduction in pigment intensity with each session spaced 4-weeks apart.

The larger your tattoo and the deeper the pigment, the more sessions it will take to remove completely, but it is possible over time.

Does tattoo removal hurt?

Pain level depends on each individual, however, there is some discomfort that comes along with something like laser tattoo removal.

Most patients can describe the discomfort as painful, but bearable, with comparisons to rubber bands snapping on your skin or bacon grease splashing you.

As always, make sure to discuss any pain concerns with your provider so we can ensure the best course of action to make you feel comfortable.

How much is tattoo removal?

The price to remove a tattoo varies based on the following factors:

  • Tattoo size
  • Tattoo color
  • Age of tattoo
  • Skin type

To get the most accurate cost for a tattoo removal procedure, we recommend scheduling a consultation at one of our offices.