Tattoo regret is common, but you don’t have to live with it. Overseen by board-certified physician, Dr. John Hilisnki, we offer safe, professional tattoo removal in our San Diego Medpsa.
Why Get Laser Tattoo Removal?
Tattoos have exploded in popularity—to the point that over 1/3 of all Americans between 18 and 40 have at least one tattoo.1 And this trend is seemingly becoming more and more popular in recent years. Unfortunately, there is also an increasing number of people out there who regret getting one or more of their tattoos and have the desire to get them removed. One of the most effective methods at getting rid of a tattoo is with a highly sophisticated laser that specifically targets the unwanted pigment within the skin.
Which Laser Is Best For Tattoo Removal?
There are a variety of different lasers that can be used to help reduce the appearance of a tattoo. We have chosen the gold standard Q-switched YAG/KTP laser that is considered one of the best in the tattoo removal industry. This laser utilizes dual wavelengths so that it can treat a wider variety of tattoos. The Q-switched has a 1064 nanometer (nm) laser for darker ink and a 532 nm laser that is better for brighter colors.
How Does Laser Tattoo Removal Work?
In simple terms, the pigment within the tattoo absorbs the light energy emitted by the laser. As the pigment heats up, it causes microfractures within the ink—resulting in tiny fragments under the skin. These ink fragments are then slowly absorbed away by your body’s immune system and bloodstream. As this process unfolds, the tattoo becomes less visible.
What To Expect After Your Laser Tattoo Removal Session
Your skin will look frosted or white immediately following laser tattoo treatment. This frosting effect will last for several minutes. Shortly thereafter you might see some inflammation in the form of redness and swelling. This inflammatory phase, which may be accompanied by some tenderness, typically resolves over the first few days. In many cases, some blister formation is seen within 24 hours of laser tattoo removal. Do not pick at the blisters or the scabbing. The subsequent crusting should fall off within the first 7-10 days. To help optimize healing we recommend keeping the area moisturized with Aquaphor or Vaseline while also avoiding sun exposure.
How Many Tattoo Removal Treatments Will I Need?
It is very difficult to predict how many laser sessions will be required to fade your tattoo away. That is because every tattoo is so different with variables such as age, size, depth and color combination having a significant impact on response to the laser. For instance, many amateur or homemade tattoos have predominantly darker pigmentation, which may respond favorably to the laser in as few as 2-3 sessions. In contrast to these, more professionally done tattoos, which likely have more complexities, can take upwards of 7-10 laser sessions before they really fade away.
Interval Between Laser Tattoo Removal Sessions
Because it can take weeks before the tiny ink fragments are fully absorbed by your body, the interval between laser tattoo removal sessions is 6-8 weeks.
Costs Of Laser Tattoo Removal
It has been said that the costs to remove a tattoo with laser treatment can be upwards of 5-10 times the cost to get the tattoo originally. That is because so many repeated sessions may be necessary to help fade away certain types of complex, colorful tattoos.
The Describe® Patch For Laser Tattoo Removal
One significant advance in the area of laser tattoo removal is the Describe® PFD Patch. The PFD is short for perfluorodecalin, which is a biologically compatible liquid that helps speed up the process of getting a tattoo removed with a laser. Keep in mind that not all practices use the PFD patch. The patch is a silicone rectangle infused with the liquid PFD that can be applied to the area being lasered. In essence, it interacts with your skin surface to allow more passes with the laser per office visit. So, for instance, without the patch we can traditionally make a single laser pass over the tattoo before it turns white and we have to stop. With the patch, however, we can make up to four (4) passes during that one visit. Plus, the patch helps the laser reach deeper ink particles within the skin which is especially helpful for some older tattoos. The bottom line is that the PFD patch can help us get rid of a tattoo more quickly. On top of all this, the patch helps reduce discomfort and inflammation from the laser treatment.
Contact us to learn more about laser tattoo removal or to schedule your appointment and restore your natural skin.
1 Ispos. Available: https://www.ipsos.com/en-us/news-polls/more-americans-have-tattoos-today Accessed May 23, 2023
Dr. John Hilinski has either authored or reviewed and approved this content.