Cosmetic Dermatology

Cosmetic Tatoo Removal

Today, cosmetic medical lasers designed to eradicate tattoos range from a single wavelength of light to a broad spectrum of light, the varieties of which are intended to obliterate the ink in the tattoo without damaging the skin. Certain colors of light are absorbed by specific corresponding colors of the tattoo ink. The light energy vaporizes or fragments the ink particles. Your body then absorbs these ink fragments naturally and the color fades over the next couple of weeks. The newest nanosecond lasers for this, known as Q-switched lasers, are specifically useful for tattoo removal.

What is the treatment like?

First, the tattoo is cleansed and photographed. Emitting laser or pulsed light, the laser hand device glides over the surface of the tattoo. The size and color of the tattoo determine the length of treatment time. A tattoo roughly the size of a quarter may take approximately 3-5 minutes to treat. Ice, BLT cream, or Lidocaine injections can be used to numb the area prior to treatment so that there is no discomfort during the procedure. Following the laser treatment, a vigilon dressing is applied to the area to keep it clean and protected to promote healing. We ask that you leave the dressing on for 48 hours.

How many treatments are required?

Size, color, location, and the age of the tattoo determine the number of treatments necessary to effectively complete removal. During the consultation, your treatment regimen will be reviewed and any questions you have will be answered.

What results can I expect?

The results and appearance of the tattoo vary from patient to patient. After each treatment sesson, you will see the tattoo become lighter and lighter. Due to the various levels of professionalism and types of inks used in tattooing, the results and the number of treatments may vary. Typically, multiple treatments will be required and are scheduled 6-8 weeks apart.

Are there any possible side effects?

Some patients may experience redness, swelling, tenderness, crusting, sunburn sensation, or itching immediately following treatment, however it generally doesn't last long.