While people have become more interested in tattoos in recent times, they also started to seek ways to remove their tattoos. The most common reasons for that are changes in lifestyle or job or just because they do not like their tattoos anymore.
Among a number of homemade and surgical options to get rid of tattoos, the most effective one is laser treatment. That brings us to the question: how does laser tattoo removal work?
Laser treatment does its work by crushing the molecules of your tattoo ink into tiny pieces. The crushed components become absorbed into your bloodstream. Then your body flushes them out by disappearing the ink.
Since a tattoo artist has to inject the permanent tattoo ink granules below your skin’s surface, removing them is a tough row to hoe. You will need several laser therapy sessions to vanish your tattoo for good. Scroll down to dig deep into the method of laser tattoo removal.
How Does Laser Tattoo Removal Work?
Laser beams have concentrated energy bursts to heat the ink lying underneath your skin layer. The ink gets broken down into minuscule particles when it gets the heat. If you have a tattoo with multi-color, you will need multiple lasers running at various frequencies. Your body will eliminate the small ink parts naturally by its immune system.
Will Laser Therapy Remove My Tattoos Completely?
In most cases, laser therapy may not remove your tattoos completely. The performance of laser treatment varies from one color to another.
Some colors do not respond well to laser removal, while sometimes the laser beams cannot reach some pigments lying too deep under your skin. Specific colors are easier and quicker to remove, such as blue and black, because they absorb the light better.
Is Laser Tattoo Removal Procedure Painful?
Yes. The procedure causes people different levels of physical discomfort. For some, it was as painful as having a tattoo done, while others felt someone was snapping rubber bands at their skin.
You can use some type of anesthesia like creams or local injections, considering where your tattoo is and how much pain you can tolerate.
What To Expect From Laser Tattoo Treatment?
How many sessions you will need to remove your tattoo depends on your tattoo color and size. It usually requires three to nine visits, sometimes even more.
The process starts by your scheduling a consultation with a professional. They will discuss the process with you after assessing your situation.
Laser treatment also varies from one patient to another because of their age and tattoo type. The professional takes into account whether a professional or amateur made your tattoo. Your skin color and tattoo pigment depth act as determinants to fix the laser removal technique.
Generally, there are some routine things during a visit where they use the latest laser generation.
- You will have to wear a pair of protective eyeglasses.
- They will test your skin’s response to the laser to figure out the most functional energy for your treatment.
- The treatment requires the placement of a hand-piece on your skin’s surface and the repeated activation of the laser beams over it.
Larger tattoos require more pulses, and smaller ones, fewer. In both cases, you will need to have several sessions. The tattoo will become lighter after each laser treatment.
Why Can I Not Have My Tattoo Removed In One Laser Therapy Session?
Professional tattooists use ink in your skin layers, which is why you cannot have your tattoo removed in a single session. Since the laser breaks the tattoo ink pigments into little particles, it needs some time in between your visits to allow your body to get the ink out.
Also, your skin should get the time so that it can heal because laser treatments often cause swelling and blistering, causing your skin to change its color temporarily.
What Type Of After-Care Guidelines Should I Follow After A Laser Tattoo Removal?
Immediately after each treatment, you will get ice packs to cool the treated location. You will also get advice to apply ointments or topical antibiotic cream. Use a patch or bandage to protect that area.
About showers, you can take one a day after the treatment. But be very careful not to scrub the treated area. You should cover or protect it with sunscreens when you are outside. Also, do not scratch there, for it will cause scars.
How Can I Benefit From The Laser Removal Procedure?
The healthcare-providing person will discuss with you and determine the most effective way to remove your tattoos. Previously, there were several tattoo removal methods, most of which left scars. Some people found them more undesirable than their tattoos.
If you have tattoos previously treated with different methods, you will benefit from laser treatment. The tattoos already treated will give you an immediate response to the therapy if there are not a lot of scars.
Most people treated with laser therapy have experienced the following benefits.
- One can keep up with the procedure as an outpatient. No overnight stays will be necessary in that case.
- The treatment method mitigates the risks of infection and scarring.
- Compared to other options, it is highly safe.
Will I Experience Any Side Effects?
If your doctor refers you to a well-reputed professional, the side effects you may face are minimal. Nevertheless, it is better if you take into account the factors below while making your decision.
- The tattooed site may become infected.
- There is always a little chance that you will get permanent scars due to the treatment. Some people develop them after three to five months of going through the procedure.
- You may also face skin discoloration to some extent. The treated body part may become paler, which is known as hypopigmentation. Or it may become darker, giving you hyperpigmentation.
- Cosmetic tattoos like eyeliner, eyebrows, and lip liner may become darker after the first two or three laser sessions. That may require you to get additional treatments to fade those areas.
However, you should not ever try to get rid of the tattoo on your own. Do not resort to home remedies because they are not that effective. They could also be physically harmful to you.
Then there are other methods to remove tattoos at a tattoo spa or parlor. Although they are safer than DIY remedies, they have their own risks. A trained and professional dermatologist will better consider the overall health condition of yours and guide you toward the safest laser treatment plan more responsibly.
Is It Safe To Choose Laser Tattoo Removal Treatment?
Laser tattoo removal treatments have now become much safer and more effective because of the latest technology. They also have fewer risks than before (assuming you consult a professional).
Laser treatments are safer than other surgical methods like dermabrasion or excision. Excision works by cutting out the tattoos with a scalpel, whereas dermabrasion sands off your skin’s upper layers with different tools. That means they run the risk of leaving you with scars.
Note that this is general advice, and it should not keep you from consulting your doctor. To have a detailed discussion about your case, you should schedule an appointment with an experienced healthcare provider that knows using tattoo lasers.
Do Insurances Generally Cover Laser Treatments For Tattoo Removals?
In most scenarios, it is your personal choice to remove your tattoos, and so insurance companies categorize it under cosmetic procedures. If it is not a medical requirement, most insurance policies will not agree to pay for your tattoo removal.
How Much Do Laser Tattoo Removal Treatments Cost?
The laser treatment cost depends on your tattoo size, tattoo colors, and your area of residence. As per the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic surgery, the average cost of tattoo removal is $463 for each session. The estimates vary from $200 to $400, depending on the patient’s location.
Healthcare providers may ask for full payment at the beginning of the process. If you are thinking of tattoo removal, remember to have a word with the provider to learn about all relevant costs before starting the treatment. That way, you will get a clear idea about the budget.
So, if you were wondering, “How does laser tattoo removal work?” I hope you are not anymore. Apart from learning how it works, now you also know what to experience, what to expect, and what to follow for after-care guidelines. Additionally, you know how much money you should set aside for the treatment.
I hope you have found all the information you were looking for from the article. Thank you for reading, and good luck.