The latest technology for Laser Tattoo Removal
Decorative tattoos have a history dating back at least 5000 years. The desire to remove them has probably existed for just as long. Early attempts to remove tattoos have had less than desirable results. The use of dermabrasion, saltabrasion and Argon or CO2 lasers unfortunately left unsightly scars in place of the tattoo. The advent of Q-Switched lasers has permitted the removal of most tattoo inks with a very low risk of scarring. The Q-Switched Nd:YAG laser is the laser of choice in this class of laser. The laser can significantly lighten or remove a wide variety of tattoo inks.
How does the Laser Remove the tattoo?
A laser is a device that is designed to produce one or more specific wavelengths of light. Tattoo ink is removed by using this specific wavelength of light that passes into the skin, but is absorbed by the ink. The rapid absorption of light energy causes the tattoo ink to break into tiny particles which can then be removed by the body’s natural filtering systems. The laser provides maximum tattoo removal while leaving the surrounding skin unharmed.
Our San Diego laser tattoo removal treatments have improved significantly over the years, making it easier and less painful to remove tattoos. However, it is important to note that complete tattoo removal can be difficult in some cases, especially for people who have dark skin or multicolored tattoos, in which the tattoo will be lightened rather than fully removed.
Lasers use a powerful burst of energy to shatter the pigments, or inks, within a tattoo into tiny particles which are then easily removed.
Tattoo Removal options at Laser Cliniqúe
1. Fading for Covering Up Tattoo
If you have a tattoo that you would like to have covered with another tattoo, then fading the current tattoo will prove beneficial. The existing tattoo won’t fade completely, but it will be light enough that your tattoo artist can cover it easily with a tattoo of your choice.
2. Accident or Trauma Tattoo Removal
Accidental and traumatic tattoos are common in people who have been victims in a vehicular accident. There are many substances that can create a traumatic tattoo — asphalt, sand, grass, etc. The tattoo forms when a foreign substance penetrates the skin and the skin itself heals over the substance. Tattoo removal can greatly reduce the appearance of accidental tattoos in as little as one to two treatments.
3. Partial or Custom Tattoo Removal
Are you interested in changing the appearance of your tattoo, such as the removal of a name? If this sounds similar to a goal you are striving to reach, then partial tattoo removal is an excellent option. Instead of removing the entire tattoo, the lasers will only treat the specific parts you want gone. This option is also ideal for tattoos that are distorted, too large or have too much shading.
4. Eyebrow Tattoo Removal
Many people have second thoughts after getting their eyebrows tattooed. Fortunately, even though this tattoo is a form of permanent makeup, it can be removed. Not everyone is a candidate for eyebrow tattoo removal, so it is through a thorough assessment that we can determine whether or not you are a good fit.
Laser Tattoo Removal Gallery
Tattoo Removal FAQ'sWhat type of tattoos can be removed? How many treatments will it take to remove a tattoo? Does the laser remove colored tattoos? Will the tattoo completely disappear? Is the laser tattoo removal process painful? How does the body remove the ink that has been broken down by the laser? What side effects are common with this procedure? Does laser tattoo removal cause scarring? What type of post-treatment care is necessary?
Tattoo Removal FAQ's
What type of tattoos can be removed?
The laser can remove professional, amateur (homemade), traumatic and surgical tattoos.
How many treatments will it take to remove a tattoo?
On the average, professional tattoos require at least 6-9 treatments, while amateur tattoos require much less, all spaced approximately six to eight weeks apart. The number of treatments depends on the amount and type of ink used, and the depth of the ink in the skin.
Older tattoos can usually be removed with fewer treatments than newer tattoos. Certain colors (dark blue, black and red) are more easily removed, while other colors (pink, purple, orange, and brown) are somewhat more difficult to remove. The most difficult colors to remove, and the ones that require the most treatments, are yellow and green.
Location of the tattoo is another factor in how many treatments will be required to remove it. As tattoo removal depends on the body’s ability to flush away the shattered ink, tattoos in areas of the body with less circulation (fingers, toes, ears, and nose) may take longer to remove.
Does the laser remove colored tattoos?
Dark (blue, black) and red inks will resolve the best. Oranges and purples usually fade as well. Green and yellow inks are the most difficult to remove, and additional treatments are needed to produce significant fading.
Will the tattoo completely disappear?
Greater than 80-90% fading of the tattoo may be accomplished. However, it is important to know that there are numerous types of tattoo inks in use worldwide today, none of which are regulated by the FDA. Not knowing which tattoo ink was used, or how deeply it was applied, makes it impossible for our founder and physician P. Alexander Ataii M.D. to predict the total level of success on any given tattoo. You will need repeated sessions to lighten the tattoo, and it may not be possible to completely remove all the ink. Bright, multicolored tattoos are the most difficult to remove and frequently require the most sessions.
Is the laser tattoo removal process painful?
The laser emits light in very short pulses. The impact of the energy from the powerful pulse of light is similar to the snap of a small rubber band on the skin. The majority of patients do not require anesthesia, depending on the size and location of the tattoo. Injectable anesthesia and anesthetic creams are available if needed.
Many patients find that the feeling with tattoo removal is similar to or slightly more comfortable than getting a tattoo. One major difference is that a laser tattoo removal treatment can be done in much less time than a tattoo application.
How does the body remove the ink that has been broken down by the laser?
When the laser breaks down the tattoo ink, the body’s immune response will send fluid to the area to flush the ink away. There will probably be some swelling and redness in the area. Small ink particles will be naturally flushed from the body over a period of days, weeks, or months.
What side effects are common with this procedure?
After a laser treatment, most patients will experience some swelling, redness, and minor blistering of the skin. This is temporary and the skin will heal. Dr. Ataii will provide detailed aftercare instructions to assist you after your treatment.
Does laser tattoo removal cause scarring?
The frequent scarring caused by older tattoo removal methods is now a thing of the past. Modern lasers and state-of-the-art technology have greatly minimized the risk of scarring with this procedure.
What type of post-treatment care is necessary?
A restorative ointment and a dressing can be applied to the area immediately after treatment for up to one week. Occasionally, there will be pinpoint bleeding and blistering associated with the treatment. The treated area should be kept clean. Follow your physician’s instructions exactly as to what to do during the days following the procedure. A shower can be taken the next day, although the treated area should never be scrubbed. If a scab forms it is vital that you do not pick it or scratch it.
How do I get started?
P. Alexander Ataii M.D. and his staff will be happy to discuss this procedure with you. Please feel free to make an appointment for a consultation to discuss your specific needs at our San Diego area medical spa.
Meet Dr. Ataii
Medical Director of Laser Cliniqúe
P. Alexander Ataii M.D. is the Medical Director and Founder of Laser Cliniqúe in San Diego. He is a skilled skin care specialist who focuses on all aspects of the skin both diagnostic and cosmetic.View Bio