Laser Tattoo Removal- Tackling Myths and Understanding the Basics

Myth 1-Laser tattoo removal is safe anywhere it's offered.

Laser tattoo removal is safe when done by an experienced, licensed medical professional. In the state of California, the medical board and board of nursing require all persons who operate and fire an aesthetic laser must be registered nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and doctors. They cannot be a laser technician or esthetician.

With laser tattoo removal, there are risks of bleeding, infection, and scarring, all of which can be successfully treated, but only under the proper care of an experienced practitioner. You must do your due diligence and check the qualifications of your practitioner.

 

Myth 2-Laser tattoo removal is like a magic eraser. 

Complete removal varies with each individual and it is a process. Some tattoo inks can be stubborn. There is no magic number that is guaranteed for laser tattoo removal.

Laser tattoo removal may take up to 15 treatments each spaced 8-10 weeks apart. Some tattoos partially fade after a few treatments and may leave a faint outline of your tattoo, like a “ghost image.” Lasers break up the pigment molecules into tiny particles for the body's lymphatic system to clear and absorb naturally.

 

Myth 3-Laser tattoo removal is extremely painful.

Laser tattoo removal involves some pain and discomfort. Pain and discomfort are managed through a number of ways.

Many compare the sensation to a rubber band snapping against the skin. Sensitivity varies patient to patient and we offer several solutions to provide higher patient satisfaction. Numbing cream is applied to the treatment area and a powerful cryo machine is used during treatment. The chilling machine blows cold air onto the skin before, during and after treatment.

Other options include Nitronox, a delivery system that provides a gas mixture of 50% nitrous oxide and 50% oxygen. It helps ease discomfort during treatment.

 

Myth 4-Laser tattoo removal will leave a scar.

Many patients fear that laser tattoo removal will leave them with a scar. It is very uncommon for a patient to scar from laser tattoo removal when proper laser protocols and patient aftercare are applied.

We understand that patients want their skin to look as natural as possible after the laser tattoo removal process. If the tattoo already has inconsistencies such as scarring, expect that to remain.

Improper aftercare or incorrect protocols pose a risk so it is important that you choose a practioner that is licensed and experienced.

Myth 5-There are no side effects to laser tattoo removal.

All patients experience some level of side effects to laser tattoo removal. Some side effects are normal and an important part of the treatment process. Some of these side effects indicate that your body is responding to treatment and a typical immune response. Common side effects include:

Redness, tenderness, and swelling typically subside within a day or two after treatment. Blisters typically appear within 24 hours of treatment and are very normal. The blisters can be very large and may look alarming, but don't be alarmed this is completely normal. Scabs, bruising, and blistering may take up to a week or longer to heal.

Hyperpigmentation and hypopigmentation occur when the body's production of melanin is skewed after a laser treatment. With hyperpigmentation, the body overproduces melanin in reaction to the laser treatment, so skin in the treated area is darker than the natural skin tone. With hypopigmentation, the melanin is depleted by the laser treatment and the skin appears bleached. Both hypopigmentation and hyperpigmentation are typically temporary and resolve naturally with time. 

We discuss side effects and aftercare together.

 

In summary:

We want anyone considering laser tattoo removal to have a basic understanding of the tattoo removal process. We want to explain why the process takes multiple treatments and time. Each patient has an individualized treatment plan and protocol as no two tattoos are the same.

In our experience, informed patients are happy patients who are invested in the treatment process.

If you have any questions about PicoSure laser tattoo removal please give us a call 949-577-9179. We are happy to answer any questions or concerns. We also offer individual consultations to best meet your needs and goals.

 

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