Laser Treatment for Tattoo Removal/Fading need to knows.
What is Laser Tattoo Removal?
Laser Tattoo Removal is a medical laser treatment to remove or fade unwanted ink from the clients' skin. Some tattoos fade easier than others due to application or inferior ink brands. In addition, the diversity of the inks being used out in the market may impact how easily the tattoo can be removed.
With so much that is unknown about the type of ink, how much was used, or how deep it is, it can be difficult to precisely estimate the number of treatments a patient’s unique tattoo may require to be completely removed from the skin.
How does Laser tattoo removal work?
At Jack's Shack we use the TLS LS9 pure violet diamond Q-switch, which is the gold standard for tattoo removal. This laser delivers powerful energy at a rapid speed, breaking up the tattoo ink into tiny particles. The body’s immune system sends in special cells to process these cells and carry them away, fading the tattoo.
It has 4 wavelengths of laser to effectively target and remove all colours of ink. Some colours are more difficult to remove than others such as blue and green. Tattoos with these colours may require additional treatments for optimal results. Some colours, such as white and pink, simply cannot be removed. They may fade but total elimination isn’t likely. The TLS LS9 pure violet diamond Q-switch laser can be used safely on all skin types and ethnicities.
The best results are achieved removing black ink tattoos on all skin types (very fair to very dark). Tattoos that contain various coloured inks are best removed on patients with light skin. For patients with darker skin and tattoos with various colours, the colours will fade substantially but we will NOT be able to remove all the colour.
What are the risks/side effects?
Days following laser tattoo removal treatments, it is not uncommon for the tattooed skin to exhibit tissue or skin reactions that can cause itching and irritation. The reactions could be different each time, this is okay and normal. Some normal skin reactions include:
The treatment site appears unchanged or appears brighter.
The area appears white, pink, or red.
The treatment site has pinpoint bleeding, blistering or red, yellow, or clear discharge and swelling.
Preparing for laser tattoo removal
Two Weeks Before the Treatments
It is recommended for those individuals with light skin and coloured ink to wear a high SPF sunscreen to prevent tanning or sunburn on or around the tattoo. It is also advised for anyone having tattoo removal to avoid spray tanning 3 weeks before each session.
The Day Before the Treatments
Patients will need to shave the treatment area the day before (or day of) each tattoo removal session.
What to expect during the procedure
The area where the tattoo is located will be cleansed with a disinfectant wipe.
Once the laser begins pulsing, it quickly moves over the ink. Each treatment lasts a matter of minutes, or seconds for small tattoos.
The tattoo will “frost”, meaning a hazy color will form over the tattoo. This will dissipate in about 20-30 minutes. Some people may also notice swelling of the area and possibly even pinpoint bleeding.
Getting laser tattoo removal is not a painless procedure, but the treatments are very fast.
The sensation of laser hair removal like a rubber band snapping the skin. Tattoo removal is similar, only the rubber band would be stretched a little further before snapping the skin and with practically no pause between encounters. We also have patients say the pain level is about the same as getting a tattoo.
Laser tattoo removal treatments are very fast — a fraction of the time it took to get the tattoo originally. Most treatment sessions typically last no more than 30 seconds, and larger tattoos take no more than a few minutes to treat.
As a rule, tattoos can take between 5 to 15 sessions to remove. There are many factors that are taken into account in order to determine the number of treatments you will need to remove your tattoo. The age of the tattoo, the colours present and the tattoo location are just a few of the factors that determine how many treatments you will need.
Depending on your skin type, you can expect to return for subsequent visits every 6-8 weeks.
Laser tattoo treatment recovery times
Once a patient’s laser tattoo removal treatment is completed, we will apply vaseline and a bandage to protect the area. We will also provide patients with an ice pack to apply. Patients should ice the area off and on for the first hour, no more than 3-5 minutes at a time. We will include detailed instructions on how to care for the treated tattoo at home as well.
To promote healing, patients should limit physical activity and sun exposure for the first 24 hours. If the body gets too overheated, it can cause the tattoo to blister. Showers can be taken but only if they are lukewarm and use mild soap.
You may also apply Vaseline, Aquaphor, or hydrocortisone cream to moisturize the area as it heals. Vitamin E ointment is helpful too, as it helps to restore damaged skin cells. And, you should wear sunblock (SPF 25+) any time you go outside. Sun exposure is one of the worst things for the skin after laser removal.
Patients can leave the studio and return to work immediately after the procedure.