Tattoo Removal FAQs

Does Tattoo Removal hurt?

Technology of the past could be quite painful; however, the new technology of Q-Switch lasers has vastly improved the experience. Clients tolerate laser tattoo removal treatments very well and say that the laser treatment feels like being snapped by a rubber band. Some describe the treatment feels similar to getting a tattoo with the advantage of laser tattoo removal being much quicker. Since everyone has a different tolerance, we make every effort on making the treatment as comfortable as possible. We can provide topical numbing agents (lidocaine) to help lessen the discomfort.

What Does Tattoo Removal Cost?

There are many factors involved in determining the price; a person’s skin type, how many ink colors,the type of ink used, how many square inches,where it is on the body, and the person’s overall health, so it is more complicated than most people think. We do provide FREE consultations. At that time you will be given a cost per treatment and the number of estimated treatments necessary to remove your specific tattoo. Treatments start as low as $79.00.

If you are the scientific type, a great guidline to give you a general idea of the number of treatments you may need is linked here -The Kirby-Desai Scale. The number of treatments determined by the Kirby-Desai scale is then multiplied by the square inches of your tattoo and in turn determines the cost to remove your tattoo. You measure a tattoo by adding the length plus the width.

Will my tattoo be removed completely?

Yes, in most cases. Our patients have a greater than 90% success in fading all of their tattoos.However, it is very important to know that over 300 tattoo inks are in use worldwide today, none of which are regulated by the FDA. Not knowing which tattoo ink, how deep, or how much was used, makes it impossible to predict the degree of removal on any given tattoo.

What Type of post-care treatment is necessary after laser?

The skin site should be left dry for at least 24 hours and cared for like sunburned skin. It is important to drink extra water to speed the flushing of the ink. Care should be taken in the first few days following treatment to avoid scrubbing the area, and abrasive skin cleansers should be avoided. A bandage or patch may help to prevent abrasion of the treated area. You should avoid exposing the treated area to the sun, as this may retard healing. During the course of treatment it is recommended that patients cover the area with a sun block with a level of 30spf or higher.
We space treatments 4-6 weeks apart. Your body needs time to heal properly and flush the ink out.

Am I a candidate for laser treatment?​

If you are in good health, and you do not have a history of Keloid scarring, you are likely a good candidate for Laser Tattoo Removal. However, because of the risk of damage to skin pigment, we will not treat tanned skin and will postpone treatment until any sun-tan has faded.

How many laser tattoo removal treatments will I need?

Most professionally applied tattoos take from 5 to 15 treatments to remove completely. Homemade tattoos usually take less. If you just want your tattoo lightened for a cover-up, then it will take significantly less treatments (2 to 5 usually). The number of treatments depends on the age of the tattoo, the density of the ink, the type and amount of ink used, color of the ink, the depth of the ink in the skin, the location of the tattoo, and your skin type.

What type of tattoos can be removed?

All amateur, professional and multiple tattoo inks are treatable. The effectiveness of the laser is dependent upon the age, location, depth, and type of tattoo, as well as on the density of the pigments.Patients with previously treated tattoos may be candidates for the Candela systems. Tattoos that have not been effectively removed by other treatments may respond well to Candela laser therapy, providing prior treatment did not cause excessive scarring or skin damage.
• Professional tattoos • Homemade tattoos • Partial removals • Cover-up tattoos • Fades for cover-up preps

How safe is it? Are there side effects of Laser Tattoo removal?​

The Candela laser is safer than traditional methods because of its unique ability to electively treat the tattoo. It will eliminate the tattoo or pigment while leaving the surrounding skin undamaged. The treated area will turn red immediately after the procedure. There can also be mild swelling or tenderness, crusting, and itching. Statistically, less than one patient in a thousand is at risk for pin-point scarring as a result of this treatment. Lightening (hypopigmentation) or darkening(Hyperpigmentation), of the area are also rare and should resolve in a few months if either occurs.

What results can I expect at my appointment?

Tattoo removal is perrformed by a trained, certified professional. First, the tattoo is cleansed and photographed. The skin’s reaction to the laser is tested during the first visit to determine the most effective treatment. The laser settings are customized for your specific tattoo and maximum effectiveness. The patient is asked to wear eye protection. We guide the laser over the surface of the tattoo, breaking apart the underlying ink. Laser treatment usually does not take more than a few minutes, depending on the complexity, size and color(s) of the tattoo. With our Q-Switch Laser, a tattoo the size of a quarter takes approximately 1-2 minutes to treat (this could take significantly longer with less advanced laser technology). The degree of discomfort varies with each person, many patients tolerate the removal procedure without topical anesthetic and report the treatment as feeling similar to numerous rubber band snaps. After each laser treatment the skin is cooled, and the area is covered with ointment and a protective dressing.

How do I prepare for my laser treatment?

Prior to your laser tattoo removal treatments, avoid sun-exposure in the treatment area for a minimum of 3-4 weeks prior to treatment. Do not use sunless tanning creams for 7 days prior to treatment, avoid use of tattoo fading creams for 4-6 weeks prior to laser treatment.

Some additional reading material…

Article: Laser Tattoo Removal and Innovations – Articles from Seminars in Plastic Surgery are provided here courtesy of Thieme Medical Publishers.Seminars in Plastic Surgery. 2007 Aug; 21(3)175-192, Eric F. Bernstein, M.D