Laser tattoo removal has emerged as the gold standard for erasing a tattoo that you no longer want. The laser works by targeting ink particles and breaking them up into smaller pieces that can be flushed out naturally by the body’s lymphatic elimination system.
The number of sessions required depends on several factors including the size of the tattoo, the depth of the ink in the tattoo, and the colors in the tattoo. Older tattoos used traditional colors while newer tattoos incorporate various shades and color combinations. The creativity of today’s tattoo artists in achieving different shades of colors can make treatment slightly more challenging. While the color black is traditionally treated with a certain wavelength for elimination, today’s “black” may actually incorporate some red and blue in it. Unfortunately, there is no good way of knowing how your colors were designed until we start to break it down. Thus, in order to achieve optimal results, multiple sessions (usually 5-8) are required. Treatment sessions are often booked 6 weeks apart. This gives the treated area time to heal and the tattoo time to fade.
Tattoo removal can be slightly uncomfortable and everyone’s perception of pain varies. Prior to your tattoo removal session, a numbing cream is applied to the area as well as cool compresses. The doctor will then clean the area and initiate treatment. Depending on the colors in your tattoo, he will start by targeting the darker colors first (blacks, blues, greens) and address lighter colors (reds, oranges, and yellows) in later sessions.
After your tattoo session, recovery is similar to when you first got your tattoo. The area should be kept moist with a protective ointment and covered. You should minimize exposure to sunlight. Change the dressing frequently to keep the area clean and reduce the risk of infection. There can be damage to the tissue in the area treated. Never pick at these scabs. Allow them to heal naturally. The tissue needs to be fully healed prior to your next session.