laser tattoo removal
During the procedure, two key processes break up the ink - the pigment in your tattoo will absorb the energy from the laser and break apart; also, the incredibly fast pulse and energy of the laser will cause the ink to shatter like a sugar cube breaking apart. Some colors (light blue, light green, and teal/turquoise) are difficult to remove completely and patients should expect that no more than 70-80% of this ink can be removed unless the tattoo is very old (20 years or more). Once the ink is broken down by the laser, the body will respond by moving fluid to the area to help flush away the ink. This immune-response will be obvious to the patient in the form of some swelling and redness in the area. Over the next days and weeks the ink will be flushed away. This process does not occur overnight. Removing a tattoo takes a number of sessions. Skinologie requires all tattoo removal patients to come in for a consultation before scheduling the first session.
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A few simple guidelines before your treatment can make a difference between a good result and a fantastic one.
- Avoid the sun 4‐6 weeks before and after treatment until your physician allows it.
- Your provider may ask you stop any oral or topical medication or other skin care products 3‐5 days prior treatment.
- Do not tan at least 2 weeks prior (natural sunlight or tanning booth), as you may develop hypo‐pigmentation (white spots) and this may not clear up for 2‐3 months or longer.
- The use of self‐tanning skin care products must be discontinued at least 1‐2 weeks prior to treatment. Any residual self‐tanner must be removed prior to treatment.
- Shave areas to be treated the day prior to or on the day of the treatment (if applicable) and wash all areas to be treated with soap and water prior to arrival at the facility.
- To minimize any discomfort, we recommend that you take Acetaminophen 500 mg 90 minutes hours prior to the procedure, although this is not mandatory. Pain medications such as Motrin, Aspirin and Aleve should be avoided 3 to 7 days before treatment due to the increased risk of bleeding.
- No Retin-A or other Retinols should be used before any treatments.
Skinologie uses an advanced Q-switched ND:YAG laser that is highly effective at removing a wide range of colored ink with only minimal side effects. This laser is perfect for the removal of dermal pigmentation (i.e. tattoo ink) and is the latest in a string of medical lasers designed to remove unwanted tattoos.
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To maximize recovery time and results, it is important to follow all post-procedure instruction below:
- Immediately after treatment, there should be a slight "frosting" on the area that is treated.
- Redness and edema swelling at the treatment site can occur and may last up to 2 hours or longer. Pinpoint bleeding may also occur.
- An ointment (Aquaphor or Vaseline) should be applied to the treated area and covered with a non‐stick bandage.
- Do not wear restrictive clothing over a treated area for at least 48-72 hours.
- After treatment, the skin will scab over. It is very important not to pick, scratch, or aggressively wash the area. Following these instructions will prevent scarring. The scab should flake off in 7‐10 days.
- Avoid sun exposure to reduce the chance of hyper‐pigmentation (darker pigmentation).
- Use sun block (at least SPF 30+) at all times throughout the course of your treatments on the treatment area.
- There are no restrictions on showering except to wash and dry the area gently, as with any other wound. Do not soak in a tub or go swimming for 48 hours after treatment.