Tattoos aren’t always as permanent as they seem. Laser tattoo removal has evolved over the years, and with new picosecond technology, tattoos can be removed faster than ever before. All skin and ink colors can be treated safely with the PicoSure tattoo removal laser.
Many people elect to have tattoo removal of a professionally applied tattoo, but did you know that there are other types of tattoos that often respond very quickly to laser? One example is a traumatic tattoo, where pigment is accidentally placed into the skin. This can be due to trauma from an accident (for example, dirt, or asphalt left in the skin, or an accidental pencil or pen injury). Homemade tattoos using India ink are also quick to respond to laser. Some types of pigment can be more difficult to treat, due to particle size or pigment color. Some tattoos applied with blends of white or fluorescent colored ink can require more treatments. Scar tissue in a tattoo can also make ink more resistant to laser, but it can still be treated with good outcomes after multiple sessions.
The tattoo removal treatment itself is very fast with modern lasers. Patients often arrive early for application of an anesthetic cream. The skin is then wiped clean, and the laser treatment begins. Protective eyewear is provided, and a clinician uses a laser handpiece to deliver short bursts of energy into the upper layers of the skin. The light energy is absorbed into the tattoo ink, then converted to heat and acoustic vibrations, causing particle fragmentation while keeping the skin intact. For the next six weeks, special cells in the skin engulf and destroy the tiny pigment particles causing the tattoo to lighten. Each time the tattoo is treated, it contains less ink than it had during the previous session.
Immediately after laser tattoo removal, patients may notice redness, swelling, or tenderness over the treatment area. An ice pack and cooling gel can be applied to the area to reduce irritation. Most patients have a very comfortable post-treatment phase with little to no special care needed. Rarely, a patient may have some discomfort or visible healing. Choosing an experienced provider in a dermatology office ensures the best outcomes.
Our staff at Golden State Dermatology has been providing laser tattoo removal for over 15 years. We use Cynosure Medlite C6 and PicoSure lasers and can treat all ink colors and skin types. If you are interested in learning more about removing your tattoo, please contact our San Mateo clinic at (650)344-1121 or book your appointment online.