Laser Tattoo Removal
Thanks to significant advancements in laser technology, laser tattoo removal is more effective than ever. At Schweiger Dermatology Group, we’ve removed and lightened numerous tattoos resulting in incredibly positive results and much happier patients.
Typically, laser tattoo removal takes about twelve sessions to get rid of the ink entirely. It begins with breaking up the pigments associated with your tattoo.
High-intensity laser beams are passed in short pulses to the second layer of skin where the tattoo pigment resides. The laser beam is absorbed by the pigment colors in the tattoo (without impacting the skin) to break down the ink into smaller cells. The ink is then broken down over time by the white blood cells within your body and flushed out of your system through the liver. Since black ink absorbs all laser wavelengths, it is the easiest to remove. Tattoos with different colors will need laser beams at different wavelengths to remove them.
Laser Treatments for Tattoo Removal
Our dermatology providers offer two treatment plans: single pass removal and the R20 method.
Single Pass Removal
The Quality-Switched (Q-Switched) laser is the gold standard laser used in a single pass per office visit for tattoo removal. Typically, 8-20 passes are needed for complete tattoo removal. Subsequent visits are scheduled 6 weeks apart.
The Q-Switched laser uses short, high-powered pulses to target the tattoo ink under your skin, and it breaks up the pigmentation into tiny particles. Your body’s immune system then flushes out these particles. Local anesthesia is applied to the skin pre-treatment to make the tattoo removal process as painless as possible. The procedure lasts around 10 minutes.
R20 Method for Fast Tattoo Removal
The R20 is the fastest tattoo removal option that can be done in one or two in-office treatments. Past removal treatments could take up to 2 years to clear a tattoo altogether. But now, our dermatology providers can effectively accomplish almost complete tattoo removal in only one session. Sound impossible? It’s not.
R20 Technique for Tattoo Removal
Rather than using only a single pass of the Q-Switched laser to remove tattoos, Schweiger Dermatology Group’s “R20” method of completing four treatments in 20-minute intervals during one office visit allows the laser to reach greater depths.
In clinical studies, one treatment was nearly sufficient to clear a tattoo of black ink. The passes of the laser are done with 20-minute breaks in between to allow for the tiny bubbles on the surface of the tattoo to disappear. Four passes in total are completed in one visit with the R20 technique, which is often enough to clear an unwanted tattoo entirely in just one visit.
In larger tattoos, we suggest starting with only two passes per office visit. The R20 method is effective and safe without any increased risk of side effects.
PicoSure Laser for Hard to Remove Tattoos
One of the best lasers we offer is the new PicoSure laser from Cynosure. This breakthrough advancement in laser technology erases tattoos with fewer treatments and better results than ever before. Even previously treated tattoos that failed to clear from a different laser can be removed. PicoSure targets unwanted ink more effectively than some other lasers. The PicoSure laser successfully removes notoriously hard-to-remove ink colors, such as blue and green. Some of the benefits of the PicoSure laser include fewer treatments, improved recovery time, and quicker results, all thanks to PicoSure’s cutting-edge picosecond technology. Speak to your Schweiger Dermatology Group provider to see if the PicoSure laser is suitable for you.
Your Laser Tattoo Consultation
During your consultation, your dermatology provider will evaluate the size, color, age, skin tone, and area of the tattoo to be removed and will recommend the best laser treatment and technique for your tattoo removal.
It is important to note that some tattoos with multiple colors may be difficult to remove entirely, even after numerous sessions. This is because some colors respond better than others to laser treatment. However, laser treatment is still the best option for tattoo removal since it selectively treats the ink in the tattoo and does not hurt the skin itself.
The total cost of laser tattoo removal depends on several factors that your dermatology provider will discuss with you.
Recovery from Laser Tattoo Removal
After-treatment care includes soothing the treated area with topical ointments and protecting the skin from direct sunlight.
Healing time can take 4 to 8 weeks.
Patients typically return to work or their normal activities immediately following their treatments.