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About laser tattoo removal

Laser tattoo removal is a simple, laser-based procedure that safely and effectively removes a tattoo(s) that an individual no longer wants. Our laser can remove any sort and style of tattoo, from amateur to professional and from brand-new to decades old. The darker, contrasting colors of the tattoo will absorb the wavelengths of the laser, effectively breaking its colors into fragments. This is done all while protecting the surrounding skin, which does not absorb the laser due to the contrast differences.

Laser Cliniqúe

How does laser tattoo removal work?

Laser tattoo removal uses powerful pulses of light energy, which get absorbed by the darker pigments of a tattoo. Because the laser focuses on the darker and more pigmented areas of the skin and surroundings, laser tattoo removal tends to be a bit less effective in fully removing a tattoo for those who have darker skin or tattoos of multiple colors — yet significant reduction is still very possible. When the laser’s light energy shatters the pigments of the tattoo, the body’s immune response will send fluid to the area to flush the ink away. Small ink particles will eventually be naturally flushed out of the body over a period of days, weeks, or months.

Laser tattoo removal treatment details

A topical numbing agent may be used before treatment to help with any discomfort. Most patients describe the sensation as “prickly”, or like a hot robber band snapping quickly on the skin. In general, laser tattoo removal is no more uncomfortable than getting the original tattoo. 

At Laser Cliniqúe, we use the Q-switched Nd:YAG laser, which is the laser of choice in tattoo removal because it allows for the removal of most tattoo inks, with a very low risk of scarring.

The laser will pass over the skin multiple times, delivering quick pulses of energy into the area to decrease the pigment of the tattoo. After the treatment has been completed, a topical product or cold compress may be applied to help the skin calm down, but this may not even be necessary. The length of the appointment will depend on each patient’s specific tattoo.

Over the course of multiple treatments, the tattoo will become progressively lighter and lighter — until eventually it disappears altogether. 

Before & After

Tattoo removal options at Laser Cliniqúe

Fading for covering up tattoo

Many individuals decide to cover up an unwanted tattoo with a new one. In this case, fading the old tattoo is helpful. The existing tattoo won’t fade completely, but can become light enough that a tattoo artist can cover it easily with another one.

Partial or custom tattoo removal

In a partial tattoo removal, instead of removing the entire tattoo the lasers will only treat specific parts. This option is also great for tattoos that are distorted, too large, or have too much shading.

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, but we invite you to see us for a consultation if you’re interested in this treatment.

Accident or trauma tattoo removal

A completely different type of tattoo is an “accidental” or “traumatic” tattoo. These can occur when a foreign substance such as asphalt, sand, grass, etc. penetrates the skin and the skin itself heals over the substance after a vehicular accident. Laser tattoo removal can improve this condition in as little as 1-2 treatments.

Recovery and home care

After laser tattoo removal, most patients will experience some swelling, redness, pinpoint bleeding, and minor blistering of the skin. This is temporary, and the skin will heal. A restorative ointment and a dressing may be applied to the area immediately after treatment, which will need to be worn for up to one week. The treated area should be kept very clean. A shower can be taken the next day, although the treated area should not be scrubbed. If a scab forms, it’s very important to avoid picking or scratching it.

How many treatments does it take to remove a tattoo?

Professional tattoos typically require 6-9 treatments for removal. Amateur tattoos can usually be removed with 1-2 treatments. Because the laser breaks down the tattoo’s pigment for it to be flushed away by your body, these treatments are spaced 6-8 weeks apart in order to allow your body to “work its magic” between sessions. Ultimately, the number of sessions you’ll require will depend on what type of ink was used, how much of it, and how deeply the tattoo was done.

Here are some helpful pointers:

  • Older tattoos can be removed more quickly than newer tattoos. Oranges and purples usually fade as well
  • Inks of darker colors (black, dark blue, red) are easier to remove than inks of lighter colors (pink, purple, orange)
  • Removing yellow and green inks typically requires the most treatment sessions
  • Areas of the body that have better circulation require a less amount of sessions because the treated ink particles need to be flushed out of the body. This means that the arms, legs, and torso typically require less treatments than the fingers, toes, ears and nose

FAQ

How much does laser tattoo removal cost?

The overall cost of laser tattoo removal is entirely dependent on your tattoo’s size — but to give you an idea, the cost of a single laser tattoo removal session may range from a few to several hundred dollars. You can be given an exact fee in your consultation.

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 like ours at Laser Cliniqúe have greatly minimized the risk of scarring.

Are there any risks with laser tattoo removal?

As with any procedure, there are risks and benefits. The most common side effect is an incomplete removal of the tattoo ink, despite undergoing multiple treatments. It’s impossible to predict which tattoos will respond completely and which won’t, and it’s only once the process has begun that these issues become more evident. Occasionally, the texture or pigment of the treated skin may change, and certain tattoo colors such as white, bright colors, and flesh colors can have a reaction that makes them turn black immediately following treatment. These “black reactions” can be treated with a laser, but this will increase the number of treatment sessions required.

Why choose Laser Cliniqúe for laser tattoo removal?

Laser Cliniqúe delivers among the best laser tattoo removal San Diego has to offer. Founded by Dr. P. Alexander Ataii, M.D. — the Patients’ Choice Award winner from 2007-2020 — Laser Cliniqúe is the highest 5-star reviewed medical spa in Southern California. We provide personalized care and excellent service for each and every patient who walks through our door, and have been doing so since 2005.

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