What seemed like a good tattoo can often turn out to be not what you wanted later in life. They can become stretched and deformed, discolored, or just not in keeping with your current lifestyle. Laser technology allows for the safe removal of unwanted tattoos.
Tattoos have been around for centuries, but in recent years, their popularity has skyrocketed. And as the popularity of tattoos has increased, so has the number of people wanting removal. Several years ago, the removal of a tattoo often caused an even more unsightly “scar”, but with today’s Q-switched laser technology, tattoo removal has become safer and much more effective. Paul M. Friedman, M.D. in Houston, Texas has removed hundreds of unwanted tattoos by using Q-switched laser technology. These devices allow for removal with minimal risk of scarring.
Our Laser Tattoo Removal Patients Results
New Technology for Laser Tattoo Removal
Dr. Friedman uses the Q-switched ruby laser and the Q-switched Nd:YAG laser. These lasers significantly lighten and can even fully remove many inks. They are especially effective for removing blue, black and red ink. Most patients require a series of treatments.
In addition to the Q-switched ruby laser and the Q-switched Nd:YAG laser procedures, our practice also offers the advanced PicoSure™ Laser Tattoo treatment. The PicoSure™ is known for its effectiveness and its ability to reduce the appearance of tattoos in fewer treatment sessions. Learn more about the PicoSure™ laser here.
The Laser Tattoo Removal Process
Pulses of light energy from the Q-switched laser are directed onto the skin to break up the ink. Over the next few weeks, the body’s “scavenger cells” remove the ink particles.
Tattoo Removal FAQ’s
- How does the laser work?
- What kinds of tattoos can be treated?
- Does tattoo removal hurt?
- How many treatments will I need?
- What happens after treatment?
- Will I have any scarring from the tattoo removal process?
- How much will it cost?
- How long does each session take?
- Are there any side effects?
Q: How does the laser work?
A: Today, lasers are the most effective method of tattoo removal. They work by targeting the ink with pulses of highly concentrated laser energy, breaking the ink into tiny particles, which are then cleared away by your own immune system.
Most people require anywhere from 6-16 tattoo removal treatments. The number of treatments depends upon the ink that was used to create the tattoo. There are no standardized inks. They all vary and may even have fluorescing agents and additives to prolong their color and intensity, requiring more treatments to effectively lighten the tattoo.
Q: What kinds of tattoos can be treated?
A: Tattoo’s color, depth, and the chemical composition of the ink all affect how it responds to laser light. Black, red, dark orange, and dark blue tattoos will usually respond relatively quickly to treatments. However, green, purple, brown, light orange, and light blue colors may require more treatments. In general, most tattoos can be successfully treated, given a sufficient number of treatments.
Q: Does tattoo removal hurt?
A: Since the laser light selectively targets the undesired ink or pigment, other tissues remain largely unaffected, and therefore most patients report little discomfort. Many people compare the sensation of the pulses entering the skin to the snap of a rubber band. If such “snaps” are too uncomfortable, we do offer topical anesthesia, but this is usually not necessary.
Q: How many treatments will I need?
A: While it is true that lasers are used to break up the ink in tattoos and remove them, it is not possible to remove a tattoo in one session. Depending on the size and location of a tattoo, it may take several sessions of laser therapy to completely remove a tattoo. A consultation with a physician who specializes in tattoo removal can easily provide the answers you need.
Q: What happens after treatment?
A: Immediately after laser exposure, the treated areas may become whitish-colored and swell slightly. This subsides in about 30 minutes. The swelling may last longer, but can be reduced by cooling the skin with an ice pack. The tattoo or pigmented lesion will fade over the next few weeks.
Q: Will I have any scarring from the tattoo removal process?
A: Scarring is minimal, sometimes non-existent, but this can vary depending upon many factors.
Q: How much will it cost?
A: Depending on your tattoo, you may need anywhere from 6-16 sessions. Treatment costs vary and increase with tattoo size.
Q: How long does each session take?
A: Depending on the size and location of the tattoo or lesion, each treatment usually takes about 10 to 30 minutes. Some faint tattoos and pigmented lesions will fade completely after only one treatment, though most may require five treatments or more. Treatments are spaced six to eight weeks apart to give your body sufficient time to fully eliminate loosened particles of ink or pigment.
Q: Are there any side effects?
A: Side effects are rare. When side effects do occur, they are usually mild and confined to the treatment target.
Schedule Your Laser Tattoo Removal Consultation
If you have a tattoo that you no longer want, Paul M. Friedman, M.D. in Houston, Texas and New York can remove it for you with the latest in tattoo removal technology. Please contact our office today to schedule your initial consultation.