Having second thoughts about your tattoo? You’re not alone. Every day people are having second thoughts about their tattoos. What once seemed like a good idea just doesn’t fit your new image and you wish it would just go away.
You’re not alone. Every day people are having second thoughts about their tattoos. What once seemed like a good idea just doesn’t fit your new image and you wish it would just go away.
Medical lasers use an intense beam of light to significantly lighten or completely remove your tattoo. Different wavelengths of light treat different colors of ink. When the ink particles of your tattoo absorb the light from the laser, they are broken up into tiny fragments. These fragments are then absorbed through your body’s natural cleansing mechanism. This cleansing process generally takes a few weeks. Larger ink particles may require multiple treatments.
Some patients say they feel a slight sting, like the snap of a rubber band on the skin, followed by the feeling of sunburn. Many treatments do not require anesthetics. However, some patients feel more comfortable with a local numbing agent like ice or anesthetic cream. For others, a local anesthetic injection may be beneficial.
The number of treatments required for maximum improvement depends on the size, location, depth and color of your tattoo. Treatments should be placed 4 to 8 weeks apart to allow your body to remove the maximum amount of tattoo pigment. Treatment sessions usually take from 10 to 30 minutes.
Most patients will see improvement in their tattoos. The improvement can be quite dramatic. However, large or heavily pigmented tattoos applied by a professional tattooist can require several treatments for optimum results.
Right after your treatment, your skin may have a white discoloration and the area around the tattoo may be reddish and could have some swelling. This is normal and will disappear slowly over time. Maximum treatment results take about 5-6 weeks.
Hypopigmentation, or whitening of the skin, may occur and can be permanent. But, in most cases, normal skin tone should return within 6-12 months following your last treatment session. Since the ink used in tattooing is not regulated, some patients have only partial clearing even after several sessions.