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Laser Tattoo Removal Procedure, Benefits, and Risks

Nearly 30% of people in the U.S. have at least one tattoo. Almost half of all millennials have one. But not all of them are happy about their decision. As many as 25% of those with a tattoo say they regret getting it.

How Much Does It Cost?

The cost of dermabrasion varies depending on the size and coloring of your tattoo.

What’s Laser Removal Like?

You can get laser tattoo removal at an aesthetic clinic. A laser technician will numb the tattooed skin with a local anesthetic. Next, they’ll apply the laser to the skin. The skin may bleed, blister, and swell following each procedure. (

Who Should Get Surgical Removal?

Surgical removal is a very effective method for getting rid of an unwanted tattoo. It’s often less expensive than some of the other options. However, surgical removal will leave a scar, so it’s usually preferred for small tattoos. (Source: www.healthline.com)

What’s Dermabrasion Like?

During a typical dermabrasion session, a clinician will chill or numb your skin with a local anesthetic to reduce any pain. They’ll use a high-speed rotating abrasive device that sands off the top layers of the skin to let tattoo ink escape.

Who Should Use the Cover-up Method?

A cover-up can be a cost-effective, quick option for disguising the tattoo you already have. This method is a good option if you don’t like the design of your tattoo but wouldn’t mind another tattoo. (Source: www.healthline.com)

1. Consider a Doctor or a Tattoo Removal Specialist.

I'd previously had one tattoo zapped at a spa (I was living in small-town Canada where there weren't plastic surgery offices or dermatologists), where an esthetician used an outdated heat laser that ended up burning and scarring my skin. This time around, I got my treatments done by John F. Adams, M.D., at the New York Dermatology Group, where everything is done under medical supervision. I suggest you find your own removal expert by asking friends, influencers, or even by stopping people that you see with removal in process—which, yes, I have done. (Source: www.glamour.com)

2. It Will Take Months—If Not a Year or More.

Tattoos don't just disappear after a once-over with the laser. (I wish!) “A complete tattoo removal takes a minimum of 2 1/2 years on average,” says Bethany Cirlin, tattoo removal specialist and owner of Clean Canvas More Art. “Laser treatments should be scheduled three months apart from one another so you get the most out of each treatment. This allows your body to break down as much of the tattoo as it can while also giving your body the opportunity to heal completely before your next session." (Source: www.glamour.com)

3. It's Expensive.

If you have your procedures done by a doctor, the bill for each visit can run you hundreds of dollars. Brace yourself: The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery estimates the average cost per session at $463. But see point number one for why it's worth it. Your tattoo removal cost can also will vary based on the size, color, and age of your tattoo. (Source: www.glamour.com)

4. All Ink Can Be Taken Out.

Contrary to the old belief that light, colored ink was hard to remove, Adams assured me that all hues will now disappear—no matter your skin tone. (FYI: The previous explanation was that, similar to laser hair removal, the laser would solely be attracted toward dark colors, like black.) With PicoSure technology, he says you can even get out yellows and greens, which were previously the most stubborn. (Source: www.glamour.com)

5. Lather up on the Sunscreen Prior to Your Sessions.

“Once you know you're unhappy with a tattoo on your body, immediately start using a zinc oxide sunscreen on it,” says Cirlin. “The most common reason people can't get lasered is because their tattoo has had sun exposure. By using a zinc oxide anytime you're outside, you'll help protect your tattoo, which will allow you to get lasered regardless of the season." (Source: www.glamour.com)

6. Make Sure to Block Out Your Schedule.

While some laser sessions are quick and easy, not all are. Mine have been taking about 45 minutes because we take before photos, clean the areas, inject them with lidocaine for freezing, laser them, ice them, and then bandage them. Oh, and sometimes a weird side effect happens where I taste metal when the laser hits my skin. Adams says it's a sensation that some people experience when the lidocaine is hit by the laser and that it's totally normal. (Source: www.glamour.com)

 

7. There Might Be Some Pain During the Session.7. There Might Be Some Pain During the Session.

But consider this warning from Cirlin first: “Pain is completely individualized, and if you tell someone that something is going to hurt, they go into it with that expectation. That said at my practive, we offer a topical numbing cream, which helps to take the edge off the procedure." Just know that even with a numbing cream though, your experience may not be totally pain-free. "We also use a piece of equipment called a chiller that uses cold air to help keep our clients comfortable,” she says. It's definitely worth asking for a consultation with your practitioner ahead of time if you're worried about pain. (Source: www.glamour.com)

8. There Might Be Some Slight Discomfort After Your Tattoo Removal Procedure Too.

I would advise that you budget for discomfort for about a week. For me, the sites blister and need to be covered in a salve and bandaged for a few days; then they start to depuff, scab, peel, and regenerate. There is good news though: The more treatments you have, the less after care there is (since there's less ink reacting to the laser). (Source: www.glamour.com)

9. Prepare for Your Tattoo After Care in Advance.

You'll need things like Aquaphor, bandages, and even clothes that don't rest on your tattoo. Yes, I actually bought shirts that didn't have material where my neck/back tattoo is. At first, I was cutting tags out, but when tagless cotton tees still made the spot hurt and itch, I figured keyhole backs were a good investment. If you have tattoos on your ribs or feet (and like to wear bras and shoes) it might be best to plan your sessions accordingly. (Source: www.glamour.com)

10. It Might Be Worth Getting a Cover up Tattoo Instead of a Full Tattoo Removal.

One tattoo removal method that isn't talked about as much is semi-removal—i.e. If you don't want to take your tattoos all the way off, you can simply lighten them enough to get some good cover-up work done. I have a friend who had a bird piece lightened enough to have a tattoo artist ink a lightbulb over the top. I thought it was smart because it meant her new tattoo didn't have to be heavy-handed. (Source: www.glamour.com)

11. Know That the Process Could Leave Scarring.

If, like me, you want your ink completely removed, you should know that the skin that is left might not be flawless. While the risks are nowhere near as big when you are treated by a removal specialist or medical professional, your skin pigment can be lightened. Which, again, is all the more reason to refer back to the first point on this list—go to a qualified doctor or specialist. (Source: www.glamour.com)

1. How Much Does Laser Tattoo Removal Cost?

For most patients, pricing is a big factor in their decision. It's important to have confident yet competitive pricing for your services. We recommend having a clear pricing structure that allows you, the provider, to give a fast and simple answer to the patient's questions about pricing. It's best to have the consultation focused on the value of the procedure, not what you charge. (Source: info.astanzalaser.com)

User Tattoo Removal:

Laser treatment is often safer than many other tattoo removal methods, such as excision, dermabrasion, or salabrasion because laser treatment selectively treats the pigment in the tattoo. And there are very few side effects. However, you should consider these factors in your decision: (Source: www.webmd.com)

Rethinking that ink? If you’re not as in love with your tattoo as you once were, laser tattoo removal is a generally safe (albeit expensive) way to get the job done. (Source: www.self.com)

Tea tree oil has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antiseptic properties. Here are the piercings it’s safe for, how to use it, side effects to… (Source: www.healthline.com)

Reassure your patients that you use proper protocols and a professional-grade system that is safe for their skin. Ultimately, as a practitioner, you'll still want the patient to sign a consent form addressing the risks of the procedure and promote a strong emphasis on personal aftercare outside your practice. (Source: info.astanzalaser.com)

"Each pulse of the laser sends light energy into your skin. We use different wavelengths of laser light to treat different colors of ink in your tattoo. As the light energy is directed into your skin, it is selectively absorbed by the tattoo ink particles trapped in the dermis of your skin. When the ink particles absorb this energy, they instantly shatter into tiny fragments. Once the laser has broken the ink into smaller pieces, your body's immune system works to remove the ink over the following weeks, flushing it away from the tattooed area. We see the result of this as the tattoo lightening in appearance. Each additional laser treatment breaks down more and more ink until the tattoo can no longer be seen." (Source: info.astanzalaser.com)

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