Tastes and interests change over time. Perhaps the tattoo you were so eager to get a few years ago no longer has the same emotional resonance as it once did. Maybe it even serves as a reminder of a past you’d like to forget. Whatever the reason, you don’t have to live with a tattoo that you don’t love anymore.
Tattoo removal has advanced considerably over the years, and laser removal is more effective than ever. At Holladay Dermatology & Aesthetics, we’re proud to offer the cutting-edge enlightenⓇ laser to our Wasatch Front patients.
Before you have that ink removed, here’s what you need to know:
How laser tattoo removal works
Laser tattoo removal targets the pigment in the tattoo ink, breaking it down and encouraging your body’s lymphatic system to naturally carry it away. A number of factors can contribute to the effectiveness and duration of the tattoo removal process.
You may need 3-6 treatments depending on the size, age, color, and depth of the ink of the tattoo, and we typically recommend an eight-week interval between treatments. This gives your skin time to heal before the next treatment. It can take more than six months to get rid of the tattoo completely, but you will notice your tattoo fade a little after every treatment session.
Colorful tattoos are more challenging to remove than darker ones. During the removal process, the tattoo ink in your skin is broken down by high-intensity light energy, and dark colors absorb more light. Therefore, it’s natural that they will disappear faster than lighter ones.
Pain and discomfort
Laser tattoo removal is actually less painful than getting the tattoo itself. Most people describe the discomfort as similar to that of snapping a rubber band against the skin. For more sensitive skin, we apply a topical anesthetic to ease any discomfort. We also recommend that patients use ice packs to reduce the discomfort after treatment.
What sets the enlighten laser apart
While other tattoo removal laser systems feature only nanosecond (one billionth of a second) pulses, the enlighten laser offers both nanosecond and picosecond (one trillionth of a second) pulses. Operating at that astounding speed, these pulses run under high intensity and can remove tattoos more efficiently in fewer treatment sessions.
The enlighten system also offers a range of customizations to accommodate the precise wavelengths, spot sizes, and energy levels needed to remove your tattoo. This means the enlighten laser can remove tattoos of all colors and all depths in your skin.
Because the laser system targets pigment in your skin, it not only removes unwanted tattoos, but it can also improve the appearance of pigmented lesions in your skin.
What to expect after laser tattoo removal
You are free to return to your normal activities immediately after the treatment, but just like after you got your tattoo, you will need to practice proper skin care after your laser tattoo removal. Apply a topical antibiotic and keep the area protected for two days after treatment. You should also keep the area covered and protected from the sun.
You may notice some redness after treatment, and small blisters may appear after about 48 hours. Your skin will also peel away in small bits after a few days. Complete recovery may take 1-2 weeks depending on the location and size of the tattoo.
If you’ve got a tattoo that you’d like to see gone, call Holladay Dermatology & Aesthetics in Holladay, Utah, or book an appointment online today.