You may not realize it, but 36% of Americans aged between 18 and 29 have at least one tattoo. That’s nearly 20 million people with tattoos just in that age group alone.
Sadly, not everybody loves their tattoo for their whole lifetime. 17% of people who have tattoos go on to regret getting them.
The good news is that you don’t have to keep your tattoo forever. Thanks to techniques such as tattoo laser removal, it is possible to remove unwanted tattoos from your body.
Read on as we take a look at what to expect during the tattoo laser removal process.
How Tattoo Removal Works
Laser tattoo removal works by focusing a high-intensity light beam, known as a laser, at the tattoo.
This heats up one part of an ink particle, causing it to expand and break away from the cooler part. The process splits the ink particles into pieces that are small enough for your white blood cells to safely remove.
So whilst the laser does the work of splitting up the ink particles, it’s actually your immune system that removes the ink itself.
What Does It Involve?
Having laser tattoo removal performed is relatively straightforward.
You’re given a pair of protective glasses to ensure that the laser doesn’t come into contact with your eyes. You might also have an anesthetic cream applied to your skin.
Your practitioner may test the laser on your skin to determine the optimum power to use for the most effective treatment. They will then use the hand-held laser on your tattoo, targetting just the areas where there is ink.
How Long Does It Take?
The total amount of time the procedure will take will depend on the size of the tattoo as well as how much ink there is.
A typical session can last anything from ten to thirty minutes. You may require multiple sessions to cover the full area of your tattoo. It is also likely that you will have to return for further sessions to completely remove the tattoo, as it may not be completely removed after your first treatment.
You should find that your tattoo will become lighter each time you have the treatment as more and more of the ink gets removed from your skin.
Does Laser Tattoo Removal Hurt?
It is one of the most common questions about the procedure: how painful is tattoo removal?
Some people have described the sensation as being similar to having a rubber band snapped against your skin. Whilst this doesn’t sound too horrific, it’s important to remember that this will be done over and over again. You shouldn’t find the experience any more painful than when you had the tattoo done in the first place.
You will probably be left with red skin that may be a little raised or swollen. You may also find that there is some bleeding as your treatment progresses. Your skin will also be more sensitive to the sun after treatment, so it’s important that you are diligent with your sun care.
Does Tattoo Removal Leave Scars?
The process of laser tattoo removal itself shouldn’t leave any scars.
However, you may find that as your tattoo fades, you find that there was some scarring beneath the tattoo itself. This is scarring that occurred during the process of having the original tattoo which has now been uncovered.
It may be possible to have scarred skin resurfaced after your tattoo removal is complete.
Are There Other Side Effects?
Having your skin treated with a laser will inevitably have an effect on your skin. There may be some side effects after treatment, but these should not be permanent as long as the proper procedures have been followed. This is why it is always important to use a trusted practitioner.
Side effects can include tender skin, blistering, bleeding that leads to scabs, light bruising, and redness. There can also be either hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation where patches of skin appear either darker or lighter than the surrounding skin. If this is the case, you should wait until the skin has returned to its usual coloration before continuing the process.
How Many Treatments Will I Need?
The number of treatments you will need will depend on the size of your tattoo and the amount of ink used.
It is important to allow your body to heal in between sessions. It is recommended to leave a number of weeks in between each round of treatment. If you have a large tattoo that you want to completely remove, it may be as much as a year before the ink is completely eliminated from your body.
Speak to your practitioner and ask them to give you an estimate of how long they believe the process will take. But remember that each tattoo is different, so this will be their best guess.
How Long Does Recovery Take?
After a session of laser tattoo removal, you should find that any blisters, peeling or scabs should have within one to two weeks.
By six weeks, your skin should have fully healed and almost ready for another treatment. Any time between six to eight weeks is usually a good time to book in your next session. Your practitioner will be able to advise you on when is the best time to start your next treatment.
Are You Looking for High-Quality Tattoo Laser Removal?
If you’re looking for safe and effective tattoo laser removal then we’re here to help.
We use an advanced laser, the Fotona StarWalker ASP (Adaptive Structured Pulse) which uses ultra-short pulse technology to penetrate below your skin without harming the surface. The four different wavelengths break tattoo ink into tiny, pulverized pieces that your immune system can clear away.
We also offer other services, including chemical peels, skin tightening, laser hair removal, and breast augmentation. If you’re looking for a tummy tuck or a PRP injection, we can offer those too.
If you would like to know more about the services that we offer, or you want to book an appointment then please get in touch today.