By Dr. Corey Hartman
We get tattoos for many different reasons—personal expression, cultural tradition, or even just for fun. Of course, there are just as many reasons to want to remove these tattoos as there are to get them. And now, thanks to modern technological advancements, tattoos don’t have to be forever anymore.
At Skin Wellness Dermatology, we use PicoSure® laser—the world’s first picosecond laser—to remove no-longer-wanted ink from your body quickly and effectively. So, how does it work? We’re here to answer some of your most frequently asked questions.
How Does Laser Tattoo Removal Work?
When you got your tattoo, ink was injected deep into the dermis layer of your skin. The ink’s depth is what makes it permanent—so to remove it, we use a laser that can reach the dermis layer and break up those pigments.
The laser sends pulses of light that last one picosecond each—that’s one trillionth of a second—down into your skin. That energy is powerful enough to shatter the pigments but fast enough not to harm the surrounding tissue. Once the pigments are broken into tiny fragments, your body’s immune system whisks them away as a waste product.
Is the PicoSure® Laser Effective?
You may have heard about different tattoo removal methods like topical creams. At Skin Wellness, we use PicoSure® lasers because they’re safe, time tested, and immensely effective.
The PicoSure® laser works by “shattering” tattoo ink with PressureWave™ technology, delivering laser energy that specifically targets tattoo ink without harming the surrounding tissue. PressureWave is the secret behind tattoo treatments with PicoSure® that sets it apart from other lasers and other removal methods.
The PicoSure® laser has several advantages over other methods, including:
- Effective for use on multicolored pigments
- Perfect for hard to remove black ink
- Works on stubborn, previously treated tattoos
Perhaps best of all, the PicoSure® ultimately requires fewer treatments than other similar laser or topical methods.
Am I a Good Candidate for Laser Tattoo Removal?
The PiscoSure® laser method is safe for all skin tones, from dark to light. Because of its rapid pulses, it doesn’t overheat cells in darker skin. This means people of all skin types can remove their tattoos without the same hyperpigmentation or scarring risks that come with other methods like skin resurfacing or surgical removal.
Because the removal process relies on your immune system to clear away the ink particles following treatment, certain health conditions or medications may not be conducive to tattoo removal. During your consultation, be honest and open about your health concerns so we can help you make the right decision.
What Should I Expect from the Removal Process?
Sessions can take as little as 5 minutes or up to 1 hour, depending on a few factors about your tattoo:
- Size and complexity: larger and more professional tattoos typically take longer to treat.
- Colors: black pigments are quickest, while reds typically take the longest.
- Location: we take our time around sensitive areas to ensure maximum comfort.
Some patients feel mild discomfort during the procedure, but generally report that it’s much less painful than getting the tattoo in the first place. Any redness or warmth should ease within 24 hours, and you can return to your daily activities straight away.
How Long Will it Take to Remove My Tattoo?
Most amateur tattoos can be removed in 2–4 sessions, while professional tattoos take about 6–12. Ultimately, the exact number of sessions required depends on the size, colors, and complexity of the tattoo, as well as your body’s own natural reaction. Scheduling a consultation can give you a clearer idea of what to expect.
Laser Tattoo Removal: A Safe and Effective Option
Our lives change, and with them, our tastes, priorities, and aesthetic goals change, too. If you’re looking for a way to realign your appearance with those inner transformations, laser tattoo removal is a safe and effective solution.
Schedule a Tattoo Removal Consultation Today!
We may not be able to change the past, but we can at least get rid of the souvenir. If you have a tattoo that isn’t serving you the way it used to, Skin Wellness Dermatology is here to help. With two convenient locations in Chelsea and Homewood, the start of your skincare journey is only steps away. Visit us online or call us today at 205-871-7332.