In our culture where self-expression and freedom are valued, more and more people are getting tattoos. In fact, according to Harris Interactive, 21% of Americans had at least one tattoo in 2012—that’s one and a half times the 14% who had a tattoo in 2008. However, this means there are also more people who may find themselves falling out of love with a past tattoo. Perhaps their tastes have changed, or it’s caused difficulty in their careers, or it just never turned out the way they wanted it to in the first place. Fortunately, laser tattoo removal has come a long way toward erasing tattoos more thoroughly and easily than before. If you’re considering tattoo removal, the first step is educating yourself, so we’ve tackled some of the biggest and most common questions patients have about laser tattoo removal.
How does laser tattoo removal work?
Contrary to popular belief, laser treatments don’t actually pull the ink out of your skin. Instead, the beams of light break up the ink into tiny particles, which allows your body to naturally absorb and eliminate the ink. Different types of lasers are used to target different colors, which is why multicolored tattoos can be more difficult to remove than those with fewer colors.
How many tattoo removal treatments will I need?
To determine how to remove your tattoo, we use the Kirby-Desai Tattoo Removal Scale. During this process, we assign point values based on six qualities: skin type, location of the tattoo on your body, color(s) of the tattoo, size of the tattoo, amount of scarring present, and whether or not the tattoo is layered. The total number of points reflects how difficult your tattoo will be to remove and determines the number of sessions you’ll need.
Does laser tattoo removal hurt?
Every patient has a different sensation level, but for maximum comfort, we can use numbing cream or recommend an over-the-counter pain reliever. Just be careful to follow your instructions closely, because some pain relievers can cause you to develop bruises from the laser treatments.
Is laser tattoo removal safe?
If your laser treatments are performed by a qualified medical professional who is using the right equipment and settings, there is a low risk of adverse effects. Be sure to ask what you should expect after your treatments, and be upfront with your provider about any health conditions, because tattoo removal can be less safe for those with compromised immune systems or for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
How much does laser tattoo removal cost?
Just as the Kirby-Desai tattoo removal scale tells us how many treatments you’ll need, it also allows us to calculate your treatment costs. At Laser Lights Cosmetic Laser Center, tattoo removal costs can range from $125 to $500 per session, depending on how long each session will take.
Is tattoo removal permanent?
Yes! Because the ink particles are eliminated from the body and are not a substance that occurs naturally, your tattoo will not reappear after it has been removed.
Overall, tattoo removal is a treatment that can allow you to get back the skin you want, or to make room for a new tattoo that better suits you and your personality. However, that doesn’t mean it should be taken lightly. Be sure to work with a professional who’s experienced in laser tattoo removal and to follow all their pre- and post-treatment instructions to achieve the best possible results. To start discussing your laser tattoo removal treatment plan, schedule a consultation at Laser Lights. Or, for more helpful information, special offers, and the latest news in aesthetic treatments, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.