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What seemed like a good tattoo can often turn out to be not what you wanted later in life. Tattoos 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 PicoWay laser technology and options such as the DESCRIBE® Patch, tattoo removal has become safer and much more effective. Houston dermatologist Paul M. Friedman, M.D. has removed hundreds of unwanted tattoos by using advanced laser therapy. These devices allow for removal with minimal risk of scarring.

Our Laser Tattoo Removal Patients Results

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*Individual Results May Vary

New Technology for Laser Tattoo Removal

At Dermatology & Laser Surgery Center, we use the PicoWay laser for tattoo removal. This laser can significantly lighten and even fully remove many inks. It is especially effective for removing stubborn blue and green ink. The PicoWay is known for its effectiveness and its ability to reduce the appearance of tattoos in fewer treatment sessions.

Learn more about PicoWay.

The Laser Tattoo Removal Process

Pulses of light energy from the PicoWay 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, and signs of the tattoo should gradually diminish. Laser tattoo removal treatment sessions are performed as outpatient procedures right here at our practice.

DESCRIBE® PFD Patch for Tattoo Removal

The DESCRIBE® PFD Patch is an innovative technique that can offer patients a faster and more effective tattoo removal experience, dramatically reducing the number of office visits required to reduce the appearance of a tattoo. This option involves a silicone patch infused with Perfluorodecalin (PFD) liquid, a non-toxic substance that works to reduce the tattoo inks. The DESCRIBE® Patch is designed to serve as an adjunct to laser tattoo removal therapy, ultimately helping to facilitate reduction of tattoo visibility and minimize the number of laser treatment sessions necessary for optimal results. The PFD solution and the patch are placed on the targeted area before the application of the laser. The patch allows the laser energy to be increased in each session while still safely treating the tattoo. This can make it possible to effectively reduce signs of the tattoo in fewer treatment sessions. In addition, the DESCRIBE® Patch can protect the skin from the laser’s heat, resulting in less discomfort during the procedure. With the DESCRIBE® Patch used in conjunction with laser tattoo removal techniques, many patients can experience a more convenient and less lengthy treatment process, ultimately seeing the best results in a shorter amount of time.

Dr.Friedman is truly a genius and artist in the form of a masterful Dermatologist. I was given a chance to shadow Dr.Friedman this past month, and it was a wonderful experience. I was able to watch a variety of procedures including a laser tattoo removal, laser hair removal, injectables, and fraxel. Dr.Friedman is extremely knowledgeable, skillful, and experienced, and he was able to inform me on exactly what he was doing and why. His work is impeccable, and I would recommend Dr.Friedman to any patient looking for expert advice in regards to dermatology and laser surgery. His office is beautiful and equipped with up to date laser surgery equipment. In addition, his staff is extremely warm and welcoming! I had a great time shadowing Dr.Friedman!

Anisah Khan

March 04, 2014

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Tattoo Removal FAQ’s

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.

The number of treatments needed 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: 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. The application of the DESCRIBE® PFD Patch may also help minimize discomfort.

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.

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: Treatment costs vary and increase with tattoo size. With the use of the DESCRIBE® Patch, fewer sessions may be necessary.

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 three 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.

Please contact Dermatology & Laser Surgery Center today for more information on laser tattoo removal, or to schedule a consultation.