How Laser Tattoo Removal Works

Before and after 1 session images of a patient who successfully underwent R20 Treatment for tattoo removal on the left arm.

Tattoos can be amazing pieces of work that help connect their owner to a special person, place or time. But sometimes our preferences change and we no longer want to have a memory engraved on our skin. Tattoo laser removal methods are the gold standard when it comes to erasing the ink we no longer wish to have on our bodies.  Estimates say that about 10% of the population in America has a tattoo. And of those 10%, approximately 50% would like to have the tattoo removed by laser.

Lasers Are the Wave of the Future

Previous methods of tattoo removal, such as abrading the skin, don’t hold a candle to laser tattoo removal, and in fact they sound barbaric! In fact, past methods of tattoo removal could cause scarring that looks worse than the tattoo that is getting removed. Lasers work in tattoo removal by breaking the pigment up in tiny little pieces. The body then naturally flushes them out of its system. The easiest color ink to get rid of is black, as it absorbs all wavelengths of the laser. The problem with any other tattoo ink besides black is that it needs special wavelengths to properly destroy the pigment.

Tattoo Removal Requires Customization

Just as no two tattoos are exactly alike, laser tattoo removal varies greatly in the way it’s performed. It’s essential to find a board certified dermatologist or licensed healthcare provider to perform the tattoo laser removal. There are many different wavelengths and your provider will need to know exactly which one works the best to remove the unwanted ink on your body. Depending on the age, size, color and shape of your tattoo, as well as the tone of your skin, laser tattoo removal typically requires multiple passes to fully get rid of the tattoo.

Most people describe tattoo laser removal to feel like a rubber band snapping against their skin. While the sensation can be uncomfortable, there is no need for anesthesia. Your physician will determine your threshold for pain and if needed will give you a topical anesthesia ointment or an oral painkiller.

Looking for a Faster Way to Remove Tattoos?

If you want your tattoo gone pronto, look no further than the R20 Method of laser tattoo removal. Pioneered by top New York dermatologist Dr. Eric Schweiger of Schweiger Dermatology, the R20 technique allows for 2-4 passes of the laser-based on the recommendation of your provider. The passes are performed in one session, with a 20-minute break in between each. This is essentially the same as having multiple sessions done in just one office visit. The R20 method is ideal for those who have a big event, such as a wedding or job interview, and need their tattoo removed as quickly as possible.

About Schweiger Dermatology Group

Schweiger Dermatology Group was founded to help make excellent dermatology care accessible throughout the Northeast. In 2010, Dr. Eric Schweiger started the practice with a single location in Midtown Manhattan. When he saw the need for high-quality dermatology care that did not require weeks or months of waiting to see a qualified provider, his vision of a multi-location practice was born.

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