Laser Tattoo Removal
In the past, the only way to remove a tattoo was to do a procedure that left a scar in place of the tattoo. The dermatologist now has several lasers available that can remove most tattoos with minimal risk of scarring.
The Q-Switched Ruby Laser produces a bright, red, high intensity light that is delivered to the skin in very brief pulses. The light is then absorbed by and destroys only the tattoo pigment in the skin. The Q-Switched Nd: Yag Laser is another new laser that utilizes a different wavelength capable of removing not only the dark colors but other tattoo colors such as red.
After the laser light has been applied to the skin, it produces a series of spots on the skin that are about the size of a pencil tip eraser. Following treatment, you may get a sunburn-like reaction with blistering in the first 24-48 hours. Pain is minimal and can be relieved by Tylenol. A crust or scab may last 7-14 days and fading of the tattoo pigment takes approximately 4-6 weeks. To prevent complications, you must avoid sun exposure to the treated areas for 6 months. Daily use of a sunscreen with SPF 30 or greater is recommended. Unprotected sun exposure can produce brown spots that can take months to fade (in rare cases it may be permanent) or scarring.
On the average, it takes 4-6 treatments to achieve optimal clearing of a professionally applied tattoo and 2-4 treatment sessions to remove an amateur tattoo. The cost per treatment ranges from $150-$400. In general, a pretreatment evaluation is required to determine the likelihood of successful treatment as not all tattoos respond equally. For a complimentary consultation, please call Tracy, our cosmetic consultant and licensed aesthetician.
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