That tribal tattoo you got on your left forearm probably felt like the cool thing to do in college, but now laser tattoo removal seems like the better option, especially since that big job interview is just around the corner. You don’t want to spend more time covering up your embarrassing tattoo than you do on your daily commute. It’s time to seriously consider laser tattoo removal. But where to start?
Laser tattoo removal can seem like a daunting process. You’ve probably heard that the treatment is expensive and it takes a long time to successfully get rid of your unwanted ink. But when you weigh the benefits versus the downsides, having clear, tattoo-free skin wins every time. The most compelling reason to get laser tattoo removal is that it completely—and permanently—rids of your tattoo.
There are two different laser tattoo removal treatments available; it’s just a matter of finding the right one for your time and budget. The gold standard laser used in tattoo removal is called the Q-switched (quality-switched) laser. Using short, high-powered pulses, the Q-switched laser breaks up the pigment in the tattoo into tiny particles, which are then naturally flushed out by your body’s immune system. As far as the actual procedure itself, a topical anesthesia will be applied to the skin pre-treatment to make the tattoo removal process as painless as possible. The procedure lasts around ten minutes. When it’s over, you can return to your regularly scheduled activities—there is no downtime. Expect to return for about six more visits to get ideal results.
If you’re in a hurry to say goodbye to your tattoo, there’s a faster new laser tattoo removal method, called the R20 Technique, which has received a lot of buzz lately. The R20 Technique can remove a tattoo in just one office visit, as opposed to the six visits typically required. This new technique uses the same Q-switched laser, but it allows for twenty-minute breaks in between each pass of the laser. Read more information on the new R20 Technique .
One thing to keep in mind is that it’s hard to say exactly if 100% of your tattoo can be removed. It all depends on the pigments used in your tattoo It’s also important to note that the ink colors that show the best results with laser tattoo removal are black, brown, red, dark blue and tan, while tattoos that are mostly yellow or light blue are harder to remove. The success of your removal will also depend on size and placement of your body art.
Are you from somewhere outside the New York City area but are still dying to have your ink disappear ASAP? Don’t fret! We just launched our Fly in for Clear Skin program, where we jet our patients to our Manhattan office and put them up a nearby hotel. Get more information on Fly in for Clear Skin here.
Contact our office now to make an appointment for laser tattoo removal consultation with Dr. Eric Schweiger or one of our other skin specialists.