If you regret the ink you got when you were younger, you do not have to live with it for the rest of your life. Even better, you don’t need to undergo an invasive procedure to have it removed. An invasive tattoo removal procedure can cause extensive scarring and topical tattoo removal “treatments” can’t penetrate the skin deeply enough to work. Luckily, at Franklin Skin and Laser in Franklin, TN, we offer cutting-edge laser tattoo removal technology.
How Does Laser Tattoo Removal Work?
Tattoos comprise thousands of “permanent” ink particles that your immune system can’t soak up. However, the ink is broken down into even smaller particles as it absorbs the light energy from the laser we use.
Your immune system is strong enough to flush out some of the fragments of the ink particles, lightening the tattoo. Each subsequent treatment results in more ink removal and lightens the tattoo further until the tattoo is completely removed. The number of treatments you will need depends on several factors, including the colors in your tattoo because some colors are more resistant to being broken down than others.
The Breakdown Process
Instead of using a traditional laser with a steady beam of light, we use a laser that emits intense pulses of light. These pulses of intense energy last mere nanoseconds. However, the pulses don’t need to last long because the ink particles are minuscule and the energy is incredibly intense. The particles very quickly absorb enough light energy to break down further and be flushed out by your body’s immune system.
What This Treatment Does to Your Skin
You don’t have to worry about the laser tattoo removal process damaging your skin. Skin cells are far larger than ink particles. Therefore, far more energy is required to break down skin cells than the laser produces. The light pulses only affect the pigments in the ink. Thus, the skin around the tattoo remains completely safe and intact during the treatment process.
Will This Treatment Work On Colored Ink?
While you may need more sessions depending on the color of the ink in your tattoo, laser tattoo treatments can break down both black and colored ink.
How Many Treatments Will I Need?
It is very rare for a tattoo to be removed completely with a single laser session. Since the depth of the ink in your skin varies, the use of multiple wavelengths is required to shatter the particles. Most of the time, it takes several months to remove a tattoo.
At first, the ink located in the upper layers of your skin will be targeted. Once the ink is flushed out from the upper layers of your skin, the light can penetrate the deeper layers of your skin and remove deeper ink.
Your Skin Needs Time To Heal
You may require anywhere from five to 20 treatments scheduled no fewer than six weeks apart to remove an unwanted tattoo completely. Waiting at least six weeks between treatments serves multiple purposes. For example, your immune system can only eliminate the damaged ink particles so quickly.
If you give it enough time to flush out all of the destroyed ink particles, subsequent treatments will be as effective as possible. Also, your skin is given a much-needed break after being exposed to such intense energy. Although it is not targeted or damaged by the laser pulses, it still needs time to heal.
How To Prepare for Laser Tattoo Removal
There are several preparations steps you must take before your laser treatment for unwanted tattoo removal. For instance, you should shower just before you attend your session to ensure there are no topical products, like lotions or oils, on your skin that increase sensitivity to light. Also, you must shave before your session if there is hair in the area targeted for treatment.
What To Expect Before and During Your Treatment Session
During your initial consultation, we will determine whether you qualify for this treatment by discussing your goals, explaining the treatment process thoroughly, and reviewing your health history. We also need to talk about your current health to ensure this treatment is right for you.
Once we determine you qualify, your appointment will be scheduled. During your appointment, we will use an alcohol-based sanitizer to cleanse your treatment area and give you special eye protection to wear. Once you’re ready for treatment, we will pass the laser over the targeted area several times.
How To Care for Your Skin After Your Treatment
You should avoid tanning beds for four weeks following your final treatment. Between treatments, you must avoid tanning beds altogether. For one to two days following your treatment, you must not perform strenuous exercise. Also, you must not play any contact sports for 10 days.
Cleaning your skin after your laser removal session is similar to cleaning your skin after getting a tattoo. The area must be cleaned once daily with a gentle cleanser and patted dry. Also, you must apply a triple antibiotic ointment daily for the first seven days following your laser session.
Laser Tattoo Removal FAQs
How Long Will My Treatment Session Take?
The size of your tattoo will determine how long your treatment session will take. For instance, it will only take a few minutes if you have a tiny tattoo because so much energy is output by the laser so quickly. If your tattoo is medium in size, your laser treatment will take closer to 15 minutes. However, if you have a large tattoo, your session may take between 20 minutes and an hour. The type, color, and location of your tattoo will also affect the length of your treatment.
The darker your tattoo is, the longer your treatment will take because darker colors need to absorb much more heat. Also, your session will probably take longer if your tattoo is in a sensitive area. Finally, your session will take longer if your tattoo is very colorful because different colors absorb different light wavelengths. Therefore, if you have a red and blue tattoo, we must change the wavelength of the laser pulses depending on the color being targeted.
Is This Treatment Painful?
Your laser treatment will not be painful in any way. Your skin will be numbed with an anesthetic throughout the entire treatment process.
Is This Treatment Safe?
Yes, your laser session will be completely safe. We will use an FDA-approved medical-grade laser to remove unwanted tattoo ink during your session.
Do I Have To Worry About Scarring?
No, you do not have to worry about scarring following laser treatments for unwanted tattoo removal. All you have to do is follow all of your post-treatment care guidelines and rest easy knowing your immune system is working hard to eliminate your unwanted tattoo.
Benefits of Lasers for Unwanted Ink Removal
Since the laser used during your treatment emits so much energy so quickly, laser treatments for unwanted tattoo removal are incredibly convenient. You may only need a few five-minute sessions to remove your unwanted tattoo completely if it is relatively new, small, and light in color.
Even if you need a dozen hour-long sessions for complete tattoo removal, you won’t have to take several weeks off from work following an invasive procedure that lasts for several hours. You won’t feel any pain or discomfort for days following this treatment, and you won’t need to go six weeks with extreme restrictions on your activities.
One of the most exciting differences between lasers and surgery for unwanted tattoo removal is the lack of downtime following a laser session. While you can’t play contact sports for a little over a week, you don’t need to take time off from work. Due to the non-invasive nature of this treatment, the only things you really need to think about are wearing sunscreen diligently and avoiding steaming hot water for a couple of days.
Discover Today Whether Laser Tattoo Removal Is Right for You
You don’t have to live with ink you regret for the rest of your life, and you don’t have to undergo an invasive procedure that will result in scarring to remove it. Laser tattoo removal is an effective, precise, safe option that works by destroying the pigmentation in the ink with light energy. Schedule a consultation at Franklin Skin and Laser in Franklin, TN today to find out if you qualify for this revolutionary treatment method.