What Does Recovery Look Like From Laser Treatment
Another common question we get at Dermatology and Skin Cancer Institute is about what to expect when recovering from tattoo removal. After each laser treatment, patients experience some redness and sensitivity in the area. People compare the feeling of having a bad sunburn, followed by a slight scabbing. It is important to follow any aftercare instructions as given by Dr. Saxena precisely in between each appointment. We will discuss how frequently to schedule each session to allow enough time for healing.
During the recovery process, it is essential that patients manage their expectations. Although laser tattoo removal is an effective treatment, the results are not always perfect. For instance, tattoos located farther down the arms and legs may be difficult to remove since they are further away from the heart due to circulation issues. You can also prep your immune system for treatment by eating healthy, nutritious foods and following an exercise regime. Immune-boosting foods like those with Vitamin C keep your body healthy and ready to heal.
Does This Treatment Hurt
No, this treatment is not significantly uncomfortable. In fact, many patients compare the sensation of this treatment to the sensation of getting the tattoo in the first place. Others compare this treatment to snapping rubber bands. If you have pain sensitivity, you may want to take Tylenol about an hour before your treatment.
How Many Tattoo Removal Sessions Does It Take On Average 10
Removery has treated over 120,000+ tattoos and has refined tattoo removal protocols. With years of experience, we are confident in stating that most tattoos can be removed in about 10-12 treatments. However, there are some exceptions and considerations when choosing full tattoo removal.
This client achieved full removal in 9 sessions, which is less than the average of 10-12. Some other clients require 12+ treatments and we will explain why in this article.
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Know That The Process Could Leave Scarring
If, like me, you want your ink completely removed, you should know that the skin that is left might not be flawless. While the risks are nowhere near as big when you are treated by a removal specialist or medical professional, your skin pigment can be lightened. Which, again, is all the more reason to refer back to the first point on this listgo to a qualified doctor or specialist.
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What Will My Recovery Period Be Like
This is a very safe, gentle treatment, and you will have a short recovery period. In fact, your skin is likely to recover from your treatment in a couple of days. You dont need to take time off from your job. Instead, you can quickly return to your exercise routine, hobbies, and other activities.
However, you should follow some easy aftercare rules while your skin is healing. In particular, you should avoid excessive sun exposure during this time. We may also ask you to apply a healing ointment to your treatment area for a few days.
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Erase Your Ink With Laser Tattoo Removal
Getting rid of your unwanted tattoos has never been faster or easier. Depending on how you respond to the treatment, our lasers can deliver visible results within a few months. After one or two years, most people are clear of their unwanted ink for good. Thats all the time it takes to achieve a lifetime of freedom from your old tattoo.
How The Laser Breaks Down Ink
Removery uses the PicoWay laserthe gold standard for laser removalto remove tattoos. This laser has a photoacoustic effect that gently targets the ink using sound energy rather than heat. Its incredibly short pulses last for one trillionth of a second, making the process of tattoo removal extremely gentle compared to any other type of removal treatment.
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Tattoo Removal Before And After
Yes, you can actually see it working like that! There are plenty of videos online showing you tattoos being removed via laser it isnt a big secret in the industry at all. In fact, if a tattoo removal specialist doesnt tell or show you the equipment they use and how it works, thats a bad sign. They should always be upfront.
In this picture, you can see how the tattoo fades over multiple sessions. This tattoo was comprised of very thick and heavy black lines, which are actually one of the easiest and quickest colors to remove. After four sessions, you can see that the tattoo is really fading away.
This highlights the importance of multiple sessions. If you can only pay for one or two sessions, youll likely be unsatisfied with the results. You need to commit!
Your Tattoo Can Be Fully Removed In Just 16 Minutes
Ok, so it will be spread over one year with a two minute treatment every 8 weeks, but in total the treatment will take approx. 16 minutes. A fair bit faster than actually getting your tattoo! This is based on a tattoo approximately 7cm square.
Even if you have a much larger tattoo, such as a full sleeve, we can split your arm into four sections and treat every two weeks, therefore keeping to the same timescale of one year.
We treat the same tattooed area every eight weeks even though we can treat after six weeks safely. This is because we need to give your body a chance to digest and dispose of the ink. If we interrupt that process then we arent letting your body do its job.
The PicoSure Laser that we use at Zapp Laser Studio is the fastest, safest and most effective laser in the world for tattoo removal. It is up to 3 times faster than a standard Q-Switched laser at removing your tattoo, can treat all colours and on average will take just 8 treatments. It fires at ten shots per second which means that treatments are much quicker than other lasers which mostly fire at just one shot per second!
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It Hurts But It’s Bearable
When discussing pain with patients, it’s important to share that while they may experience some level of discomfort, the pain is relatively manageable and tolerable. It may take some tough love to encourage patients concerned about sensitivity.
The vast majority of tattoo removal providers offer some form of soothing to the skin during the treatment. Offering skin numbing during the procedure allows your practice to stay competitive, provide better patient care, and have higher patient satisfaction.
What To Do If You Have Problems
If you have problems with healing, rashes or skin pigmentation changes, contact the clinic where you were treated.
Speak to the person who treated you if you have any complications that need medical attention. If this is not possible, speak to a GP or go to your local A& E department.
Page last reviewed: 18 September 2019 Next review due: 18 September 2022
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How Painful Is Laser Tattoo Removal
Laser tattoo removal isnt a painless procedure, as those who have gone through it will attest. The actual treatment is about as painful as getting your original tattoo, though in some cases, people may experience more discomfort. Laser tattoo removal may not be very pleasant, but its certainly manageable.
The healing stages also have their fair share of pain. Laser treated skin feels like a sunburn for up to a week or more and needs to be handled with care. As we already mentioned, you can use a cold compress to alleviate some of the immediate pain.
If the area continues to bother you, you can take acetaminophen, but not aspirin. Aspirin increases the possibility of bruising, scarring, and bleeding. Also, make sure you keep the area covered for the first few days after treatment.
Consider A Doctor Or A Tattoo Removal Specialist
I’d previously had one tattoo zapped at a spa , where an aesthetician used an outdated heat laser that ended up burning and scarring my skin. This time around, I got my treatments done by John F. Adams, M.D., at the New York Dermatology Group, where everything is done under medical supervision. I suggest you find your own removal expert by asking friends, influencers, or even by stopping people that you see with removal in processwhich, yes, I have done.
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What Are The Alternatives To Laser Tattoo Removal
There are a few alternatives, such as dermabrasion, excision, cryosurgerya form of dermatologic surgery to freeze away the unwanted tissuechemical peels, and tattoo creams. None of these options are as safe or as reliable as laser tattoo removal, according to theJournal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery.
Noninvasive methods include covering an old tattoo with a new tattoo, or concealer specifically formulated as tattoo cover-up, such as the Dermablend Tattoo Coverage Set.
Whatever option youre considering, its smart to check with your doctor before you do it and find a reputable provider, rather than just going with the one offering the best deal.
Choosing A Tattoo Removal Treatment
When you hear how long it will take to have your tattoo removed, you may consider other treatment options such as dermabrasion or surgical excision. And depending on your tattoo, those may be a better option for you.
However, lasers, also known as laser surgery or laser rejuvenation, are the preferred option since they offer minimal side effects, according to the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery. Basically, it is considered safer than the other options because it has a reduced risk of infection, less scarring, and can be done on an outpatient basis. Let’s not forget: it isn’t surgery, so less bloodshed.
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What Happens If You Leave A Tattoo Bandage On Too Long
Leaving the bandage on may seem like a sound way to ensure that your tattoo is safe from infection and other forms of potential harm. However, this theory is a bit misguided.
Leaving the bandage on for too long can actually result in infection.
This is why it is crucial to regularly change the dressing if you keep your tattoo wrapped for an extended period of time. If the wrapping becomes compromised or there is an abundance of blood or plasma inside the wrapping, it may be necessary to change it more frequently.
Keeping your wrapping on for too long without changing it or giving your skin time to breathe can have adverse effects. As mentioned above, it can cause infection by keeping the area too moist, and keeping your wrapping on for too long compromises the healing process.
Without the proper exposure to oxygen, your freshly tattooed skin takes longer to heal.
This elongated healing period can actually put you at a higher risk of infection. This is because the moisture of the area prohibits your skin from creating a new, protective barrier.
Are You A Good Candidate
If you want to remove a tattoo for any reason, then you are very likely a good candidate for our laser tattoo removal treatments. A consultation will determine if this treatment is an ideal match for your goals, such as the amount of removal you want to accomplish, the size and color of your tattoo, and other factors. Those who are good candidates for this laser treatment include those who want to remove tattoos for any reason, including:
- Job prospects
- Tattoo no longer has meaning
- Skin injury
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Are You A Good Candidate For Laser Tattoo Removal
As with most cosmetic treatments, there are factors that can make some people better candidates for tattoo removal than others. Things like skin color, general health, and age can play a part. However, our experienced team of dermatologists is expert at finding solutions for nearly anyone who desires this treatment.
Laser Treatments Need Time To Work With Your Body
Getting laser treatments is the safest and most complete way to get rid of your tattoo. With each session, the wavelengths blast some of the ink particles into fragments that are small enough for the macrophages to eliminate. Your body needs some time after every session to go through its clearing processes. By continuing your sessions, you will ultimately see your tattoo fade away.
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Will This Treatment Leave A Scar
No. Laser removal only removes the pigment of the tattoo and will not scar the skin. However, many people are surprised to learn that poorly-done tattoos leave a scar on the skin from bad tattooing techniques in this case, sometimes scars from the tattoo are revealed by removal treatment. If you have a scar as a result of a poorly done tattoo, there are other treatments you may consider after laser removal to heal the scar, such as laser skin resurfacing.
The Color Of Your Piece Too
The hues of the tattoo can make things challenging, says Dr. Reese: If the tattoo is a blue-black, pretty much any laser will be able to clear that. If its other pigments, say, reds, purples, blues, and oranges, then it can take longer, but the PICO is going to have an edge in clearing it with less sessions. Its all about matching the wavelength of the laser matches the tattoo color.
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How Does Tattoo Removal Work
You will need a specialized laser to remove tattoo ink from under the sink heres how it works. In the laser tattoo removal process, the practitioner guides the laser over the tattoo.
This laser shoots pulses of light energy that penetrates the skin. The tattoo ink absorbs the light energy, heat up, then break into fragments. Your immune system will then flush the particles of the tattoo ink out of your system.
What Are These Treatments Like
To start the session, the tattoo is cleaned and a photograph is taken of it. Then there is a laser hand device that glides over the top of the tattoo. This hand device can emit either a pulsed light or a steady light. The color and size of the tattoo will determine how long the treatment will take. The bigger the tattoo, and the more color and detail it has, the longer it takes to complete this treatment.
For example, if the customer has a tattoo that is about the size of a quarter, the treatment can be done between three and five minutes. If the tattoo is bigger, then it will take that much longer. The tattoo removal specialist can discuss the estimated amount of time it will take to remove your tattoo.
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Prepare For Your Tattoo After Care In Advance
You’ll need things like Aquaphor, bandages, and even clothes that don’t rest on your tattoo. Yes, I actually bought shirts that didn’t have material where my neck/back tattoo is. At first, I was cutting tags out, but when tagless cotton tees still made the spot hurt and itch, I figured keyhole backs were a good investment. If you have tattoos on your ribs or feet it might be best to plan your sessions accordingly.
It also helps to apply a thin coating of antibiotic ointment or healing moisturizer three times a day, like from Aquaphor or Kiehl’s, for the first three days of the healing process.
What Are The Potential Risks And Side Effects Of Tattoo Removal
The most common risks are scarring or the ink turning a different color.
A more serious risk is an infection, such as a staph infection. You can mitigate this risk by going to a reputable provider, like a dermatology office, where they follow strict protocols for cleanliness.
People with olive or brown skin may find it more challenging to remove a tattoo, and they may be at a higher risk for complications like blistering, infection, and scarring.
Lasers are attracted to dark pigment in the tattoo ink, and they can also be attracted to the pigment, or melanin, in the skin. This can cause burns, hyperpigmentation , or hypopigmentation .
Hyperpigmentation can be treated with skin lightening creams, but to avoid triggering these side effects in the first place, most laser specialists use lower energy settings on people with brown or deep skin tones.
If you had any allergic reactions while getting your tattoo, you can also have an allergic reaction to its removal. The particles of pigment that are broken up get carried to the lymph nodes, which spread the reaction and can trigger anaphylaxis .
Research published in JAAD Case Reports even shows the potential for allergic reaction from tattoo removal without an allergic response to the tattoo itself, though this is very rare.
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How Many Sessions Will It Take
The number one question for all patients is how long to remove a tattoo? Most people need six to eight sessions to remove a tattoo although it depends on its size, the colors, and your skin type. For instance, large tattoos can take up to 10 sessions and tattoos further way from the heart take longer because of reduced circulation.Your body may take over a year to completely eliminate the ink as the skin needs time to heal between treatments and for your immune system to flush the ink away. The minimum you should wait is six weeks between laser sessions.
You cant squeeze treatments together as it can permanently damage your skin so listen to your tattoo removal practitioner. If youre still worried about the question how long does tattoo removal take?, know the average tattoo will take at least eight months to remove. During the process, you must drink plenty of water, exercise, and massage the treated area once its healed. Adopting a good aftercare routine will give you the best results.