If you liked your tattoo at first but now wish you had never gotten it at all, you’re not alone. Luckily, getting rid of an unwanted tattoo forever is entirely possible with laser tattoo removal.
Laser tattoo removal can erase even the biggest and darkest of tattoos. Let’s explore how laser tattoo removal works, how you can be prepared, and what the typical experience of treatment will be like.
How Laser Tattoo Removal Works
Laser tattoo removal is designed to target certain pigments within your skin’s dermis layer, which is where tattoo ink resides. The pigments in tattoos absorb light and fragments, which is how your eyes are able to comprehend the distinct colors and shadings in tattoos.
Most laser tattoo removal technicians use a Q-switch laser to perform the procedure. The Q-switch laser creates gentle pulses of high power. Every distinct type of Q-switch laser is created to target a specific spectrum of color at a specific wavelength.
This laser has a precise beam that instantly fragments the pigment within tattoos upon impact and poses minimal risk of damage to the skin tissue.
Preparing for Your Appointment
Make sure to consult your physician before seeking laser tattoo removal. Your doctor will be able to walk you through your tattoo removal options and assist you in choosing the best one for your needs.
Additionally, a doctor can thoroughly evaluate your medical history to make sure that any potential risks are reduced. Make sure to take before-and-after assessment photos so that you can evaluate the success of your tattoo removal process.
Once your laser tattoo removal session is scheduled, you should reduce your exposure to the sun for up to four weeks before your appointment, as more tanned skin can be at higher risk of poor reactions to the treatment.
Smokers should consider quitting before their treatment because the effects of smoking can slow down the healing process and increase the risk of complications.
Avoid taking ibuprofen or aspirin before your appointment; however, Tylenol or other non-aspirin pain medications are safe.
Keep the treatment area free of any makeup, lotion, or perfume, and wear loose-fitting clothing on and around the area. Make sure that you’ve had a nourishing meal and drink plenty of water before you arrive, as laser tattoo removal can cause lightheadedness.
The Process of Laser Tattoo Removal
The number of treatments you will need will depend on the age of your tattoo, as well as its type, size, and depth of pigment. Your laser tattoo removal technician will be able to determine what course of treatment is best for you.
Your technician will apply a topical anesthetic to the area before beginning to avoid discomfort. You’ll wear protective eyewear during the procedure to shield your eyes. Generally, treatment sessions only last several minutes in total. You may experience minor redness or swelling for the next few days.