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Laser Tattoo Removal – What You Need to Know

Jun 22, 2021

Do you have a tattoo from your younger years that you now regret? Fortunately, a tattoo doesn’t have to be forever. Thanks to advanced laser technology, virtually any tattoo can be safely and effectively removed. Here’s what you need to know if you’re thinking of undergoing laser tattoo removal.

How Laser Tattoo Removal Works

When a Q-switched laser is applied to the skin, it targets and breaks down ink pigments in the skin. Different wavelengths treat different colors. As the laser enters your skin, tattoo ink particles selectively absorb the light energy and shatter into tiny fragments.

Now it’s up to the body’s immune system to remove the ink over the coming weeks. Each additional laser treatment breaks down more and more ink, lightening the tattoo until it’s completely gone.

Laser Tattoo Removal Costs

In general, it costs about ten times more to remove a tattoo than it cost to have it applied. Also, keep in mind that multiple treatments are required to remove a tattoo completely, so the price per session is not the total cost. Just remember—once a tattoo is removed, it’s gone forever. If you don’t like your ink, tattoo removal is a worthwhile expense.

Length of Time to Remove a Tattoo

Are you hoping to have your tattoo gone before you get married or enlist in the military? Be aware that it may take up to a year or more to achieve the final results. After all, treatments should be spaced six to eight weeks apart to allow the skin time to heal and eliminate ink between sessions, and you may need five to eight treatments total.

It’s also important to have realistic expectations. Stubborn tattoos may merely lighten rather than disappearing completely. Scarring from the tattoo process, which the ink has kept hidden, may also become more visible once the tattoo is removed.

Pain Associated with Tattoo Removal

The myth that tattoo removal is unbearably painful is not valid. In fact, most patients say it feels about the same as having the tattoo applied. Some compare the sensation to snapping a rubber band against the skin. Laser tattoo removal isn’t entirely comfortable, but it’s certainly bearable, thanks to numbing cream applied to the treatment area.

Laser Tattoo Removal Aftercare

Be prepared for blisters and scabs to appear in the treatment area. These are an important part of the healing process, but you must avoid picking at them, or scarring could occur. Follow your dermatologist’s aftercare instructions for the best results. This may include applying therapeutic ointment three times a day for three days following treatment and bandaging the area to protect it from clothing.

It’s critical to seek laser tattoo removal from a licensed dermatologist. Arlington Dermatology uses the Q-switched YAG/KTP setting on the Spectrum Laser for tattoo removal purposes. The dual wavelengths make it possible to eliminate an assortment of tattoo pigments. If you’re ready to say goodbye to your ink, please call us at 847-392-5440 to schedule tattoo removal in Rolling Meadows.