Are you rethinking your ink? Many people get a tattoo only to regret it later due to poor artisanship, bad placement, or wrong coloring/shading. Fortunately, laser tattoo removal safely targets the ink beneath the skin without causing adverse side effects. The PicoWay laser is a dual-wavelength device that delivers intense energy in ultra-short pulses to a wide spectrum of tattoo ink colors.
What is Laser Tattoo Removal?
A tattoo is the result of pigment being inserted into the dermal layer of skin. Laser tattoo removal targets this pigment by producing a burst of light that is selectively absorbed by the tattoo pigment. This light energy causes the pigment to fracture into smaller particles that are then removed by your body by natural processes.
What Can I Expect from Laser Tattoo Removal?
Tattoo removal requires multiple treatments so the pigment can continue to break into smaller and smaller particles. Black pigment absorbs all laser wavelengths and is the quickest to treat. Other colors selectively absorb laser wavelengths and require more sessions.
Laser tattoo removal is a tolerable, safe procedure. The patient wears eye protectants to shield from the laser light. The PicoWay laser hand attachment is placed firmly on the tattoo and they physician activates the laser. Smaller tattoos require fewer pulses whereas larger tattoos require more. Patients describe the pulses as feeling like a rubber band snapping against the skin. Following the session, an ice pack is placed on the area. A healing ointment is applied along with a gauze pad. During the following treatment sessions, the tattoo becomes lighter and lighter until it’s indistinguishable.
Recommended Pre-Treatment Instructions
Avoid sun tanning and tanning beds 2-4 weeks before (and after) your tattoo removal session to allow your treatment to be more effective and to avoid complicating the healing process. Target area must be free of lotions, sunless tanning products, sunblock, and makeup. Discontinue using any photosensitizing medication such as Accutane for at least 6 months prior to your scheduled treatment and throughout the healing process. Avoid waxing and using chemical depilatories (hair removal cream) for at least 2 weeks before your appointment. Shaving is allowed. We do not recommend laser tattoo removal if you are pregnant. If your health status changes prior to treatment, please update our staff.
What Happens After Laser Tattoo Removal? Aftercare Instructions
After laser tattoo removal treatment, the target area may experience redness, pinpoint bleeding, swelling, and what looks like “frosting.” Treat the area delicately the first 7 days. You can apply a cool compress and take Tylenol to ease any discomfort. Apply healing ointment 2-3 times a day and protect the area with a non-stick gauze pad until the healing process is complete. You can clean the wound in the shower, allowing water to run over the wound and then pat dry. Once scabs form, allow them to fall away on their own – do not pick, scrub, scratch, or rub them off. If the wound crusts over, don’t touch it; avoid shaving or picking at the area. Although rare, some blisters may appear; do not pop or pick at them. Once the blister pops, cover the skin with a healing ointment and gauze to prevent scarring. Avoid swimming pools and hot tubs until the wound completely heals. Physical exercise is allowed but avoid perspiring for at least 2-7 days after treatment. Avoid sun exposure or apply a thick layer of 30+ SPF sunblock with zinc oxide, reapplying every 2 hours.
Are There Any Side Effects to Laser Tattoo Removal?
Most patients don’t experience side effects to laser tattoo removal. However, it’s possible to experience hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation, where the skin appears darker or lighter than the surrounding skin following treatment. There is a slight chance that the treated area becomes infected. It’s possible that a scar forms at the target area, however the PicoWay laser is known for its ability to avoid scarring.
Disclaimer: Remember, each patient is different. Results will vary.