- Claire Uy
No regrets: Answering 5 Burning Questions About Laser Tattoo Removal
Updated: Aug 5, 2021
People get a tattoo for a whole lot of different reasons - a memory, a milestone, for aesthetic purposes, etc. BUT, when you regret getting a specific art piece on your body for some reason, you might want to cover it up or just have that tattoo lasered off your skin like nothing ever happened.
How? Well, we’re here to answer 5 common questions about laser tattoo removal before you decide to undergo the treatment:
1. How much does Laser Tattoo Removal cost?
Pricing is a big factor for clients if they will even start the laser removal process.
This may be a shock to you but it costs a few times more to get a tattoo removed compared to having a tattoo done in the first place. However, you have to take note of the fact that this is a service that requires highly specialized equipment and done by a trained professional.
Good news for you though! You have the option to place a request at your trusted clinic to provide packages so you can save money and also commit to the required multiple sessions.
2. How long will it take for the tattoo to be removed?
Yes, you read that right on the last answer to the 1st question. You do need multiple sessions to remove a tattoo.
Tattoo Removal is a process that relies on the body’s ability to eliminate ink from the skin so don’t plan to have it removed days or weeks before an important event. Keep in mind that it may take months or even a year for the body to completely eliminate the ink. It’s important to remember this so you know that you’re not being misled during your sessions.
Sessions are usually set a minimum of six to eight weeks apart to give the skin enough time to heal and allow the body’s immune system to flush away the ink. Having sessions too close together can cause damage and lasting side effects.
Ultimately, you cannot know precisely the number of sessions you need for a tattoo to be fully removed. Other clients are done with just 3 or 4 sessions, while the rest need 8 or 10, or even more than that. Results will depend on the thickness of the ink, tattoo layering, location on the body, and color of the ink.
3. Does it hurt?
Laser Tattoo Removal does involve some level of pain and discomfort. It is a removal process after all. That said, some say that it hurts less than expected although the process is excruciating for most.
A common description is the sensation of a rubber band snapping against the skin which is relatively manageable but numbing the skin with topical numbing creams, lidocaine injections or ice packs will make the tattoo removal more tolerable.
4. Are there side effects?
We’ll get straight to the point. The most common side effects are:
It’s better that you’re well informed of possible side effects aren’t shocked the next day when you’re skin is sensitive and showing signs of any of these side effects. Nevertheless, all of these are temporary as long as all proper protocols are followed and you observe the provided aftercare as well.
Redness, tenderness, and swelling typically subside within a day or two following treatment. Blisters, scabs, and blistering usually appear within 24 hours of treatment; they may look alarming but this is completely normal and may take up to a week or longer to heal.
In terms of scarring, it’s very uncommon when the proper laser protocols and patient aftercare is utilized. But, if the tattoo already features scarring, expect that to remain. Just make sure not to pick or scratch the area treated.
Your role is also important in making a good outcome. Permanent side effects are completely avoidable. Improper aftercare or incorrect protocols pose a risk.
Alright, then! If you’re convinced that you’ll finally try to have your tattoo removed, you most likely want to know...
5. How does it even work?
Honestly, this is one of the least common asked questions on this list. Most clients are concerned about the results – not how the laser achieves them. But, we’re here to discuss a gist of how Laser Tattoo Removal works.
“Each pulse of the laser sends light energy into your skin. We use different wavelengths of laser light to treat different colors of ink in your tattoo. As the light energy is directed into your skin, it is selectively absorbed by the tattoo ink particles trapped in the dermis of your skin. When the ink particles absorb this energy, they instantly shatter into tiny fragments. Once the laser has broken the ink into smaller pieces, your body's immune system works to remove the ink over the following weeks, flushing it away from the tattooed area. We see the result of this as the tattoo lightening in appearance. Each additional laser treatment breaks down more and more ink until the tattoo can no longer be seen.”
Think of this as an investment. Once the tattoo is gone, it's gone forever. If you don't like your tattoo, it's a worthwhile expense. Book an appointment for an assessment.
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