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Laser Tattoo Removal: How It Works and What to Expect

Vanity Compound | Huntington Beach, California

Regrets are a natural part of being human, but few things are worse than having to face the object of your regret every day, like in the case of an unwanted tattoo. It’s common to want to modify or remove a tattoo — whether due to youthful impulsiveness, a faded or poorly done design, or a change in how you want to present yourself. Laser tattoo removal offers an effective solution to erase unwanted ink. At Vanity Compound, we’ve helped numerous clients like you get rid of tattoos they no longer want so they can have a fresh start.

What Is Laser Tattoo Removal?

Laser removal tattoo treatment is a revolutionary and effective way to get rid of unwanted tattoos. Before lasers were used for this purpose, you had few options for getting rid of a tattoo:

  • Topical creams
  • Cover-ups
  • Surgical excision

Topical creams might claim that they can fade tattoos, but they generally fall short. And while you can cover up an unwanted tattoo with new ink, what if you don’t want a tattoo at all? 

Before laser treatments, you were left with surgical excision, an invasive procedure that involves cutting away the tattooed skin and leaving behind noticeable scars. Unlike these options, laser tattoo removal is a non-invasive but effective way to eliminate tattoos, making it the preferred choice for millions of people.

How Does Laser Tattoo Removal Work?

So how does laser tattoo removal work? The power behind laser tattoo removal lies in the science of the laser. We use the PicoWay laser system, which was developed specifically to remove tattoos and dark spots on the skin. This system emits high-intensity beams of light into the deep layers of the skin where tattoo ink is deposited. The light beams are absorbed into the tattoo ink, breaking it down into tiny particles.

Laser beams used for tattoo removal are carefully calibrated so that energy is only absorbed by tattoo ink and does not affect the surrounding skin. This means that laser tattoo removal should not affect any part of your body besides the pigmented skin.

Once the laser light has broken the tattoo ink into smaller particles, it’s time for your body to do the work. Your immune system takes over by sending white blood cells to the area, which absorb the tiny particles and transport them into the lymph nodes.

Once ink particles reach your lymphatic system, they will be gradually eliminated from the body. Multiple sessions of laser tattoo removal are usually required because of the gradual process of ink removal.

Is Laser Tattoo Removal Painful?

One of the most common questions we receive from our clients should not surprise you: Is laser tattoo removal painful? Laser tattoo removal feels similar to other laser procedures like laser hair removal. We take steps to enhance our patients’ comfort, including:

  • Applying a topical anesthetic to the treatment site before the procedure
  • Calibrating the laser according to the specific pigment of the tattoo, which minimizes the risk of damage to your skin
  • Recommending over-the-counter medications you can take before or after treatment to maintain your comfort

We can confidently say that you can expect to feel much more comfortable during laser tattoo removal than you did while receiving the initial tattoo.

What to Expect From Laser Tattoo Removal Treatment

When you begin the journey of laser tattoo removal treatment, patience is of utmost importance, as you will likely need multiple sessions to achieve optimal results. The number of sessions will depend on factors that include:

  • The size of your tattoo
  • The colors and the type of ink used
  • How deep the ink is in your skin
  • Your own immune response

The number of sessions also depends on your goal: Are you trying to fade the tattoo for cover-up work, or do you want to get rid of it completely?

In most cases, clients can expect anywhere from two to twelve sessions. For those trying to fade their tattoos, two to four sessions usually do the trick. For complete removal, you can expect between five and ten treatment sessions.

How Long Do Tattoo Removal Services Take?

The length of each session will depend on similar factors, especially the size and color of the tattoo. Each pigment of ink absorbs light differently. We adjust our lasers to precisely target a specific pigment. This means we have to readjust the laser settings for each color, which can add time to the procedure.

Suppose that you have a small tattoo that was done only in black ink. In this case, your sessions may only take 10 or 15 minutes. But if you have a large, colorful tattoo, your sessions could last up to an hour.

Keep in mind that these are general estimates; the actual length of time will depend very much on the specifics of the tattoo and how your body responds.

Because your body’s immune system is key to the tattoo removal process, you can expect to wait six to eight weeks between sessions. This waiting period gives your body time to eliminate the broken-down ink particles and allows your skin to heal. It’s important not to rush this process, as hurrying can cause skin damage.

Laser Removal Tattoo in Huntington Beach, CA

Laser tattoo removal is a powerful way for you and your skin to start fresh! Your journey will begin with a consultation with us at Vanity Compound. We can set realistic expectations and make sure you understand each step of the process. To learn more about tattoo removal services and to schedule a consultation, contact us today.

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