Non-Invasive Cosmetic and Laser Specialists in Irvine, CA

Tattoo Removal

laser tattoo removal in Los Angeles

1. What is PicoSure Laser Tattoo Removal?

PicoSure is an advanced laser technology used for tattoo removal. It uses short bursts of energy (in picoseconds – one trillionth of a second) to target the tattoo ink, breaking it down into small particles that can be naturally eliminated by the body.

2. How does PicoSure differ from other tattoo removal methods?

Traditional tattoo removal methods use heat energy to break down tattoo ink, which can lead to pain and potential skin damage. PicoSure, on the other hand, uses pressure waves that are less likely to cause thermal damage, resulting in a safer and more comfortable treatment.

3. How does the PicoSure laser remove tattoos?

Knowing more about tattoos as well as the limitations of laser light energy, is necessary to comprehend the unique difficulties associated with tattoo removal. The size of the ink particles implanted beneath your skin, the type of ink used in your tattoo, as well as your general overall health all have a direct correlation to how your body will respond to tattoo removal treatments. Your lymphatic system’s efforts will contribute to some fading over time, but tattoo removal can be a lengthy process.

In order to break down tattoo ink into particles tiny enough for lymphatic clearance, laser energy can impart heat and pressure to the deeper skin layers where tattoo inks reside. The majority of laser systems, though, have a flaw. Using a single wavelength, laser light produces a single color of light. Traditional lasers can only effectively transfer heat from a limited spectrum of tattoo ink colors because the transfer of heat energy needs a target that absorbs its wavelength.

How does PicoSure remove all the colors of a tattoo?

One way to transport energy is by heat absorption. Being both a wave and a particle, light can exert pressure on a target while exerting more force at the source. The additional force, which can disperse tattoo ink particles with less reliance on color matching, is enough to harm the skin tissue around the tattoo, though.

The “pico” in PicoSure comes from the “picosecond,” a very little period of time. CynoSure refers to the method used by PicoSure as PressureWave™ technology. This method uses high-energy bursts over extremely brief times. With heat and pressure, PicoSure breaks down a variety of tattoo ink hues into minute particles that are quickly and easily eliminated by your lymphatic system.

Is PicoSure effective on other skin discolorations?

Yes. In the cases of age or sun spots, rosacea, and the redness associated with acne, for example, PicoSure may provide superior improvement in these areas, because of its dual-action warming and PressureWave energy delivery. Much depends on your skin type and any skin pigmentation concerns you may have, just like with any cosmetic laser system. You could require more or fewer treatments than the norm to reach your goals because individual results can vary.

*Individual results may vary

3. How many PicoSure laser treatments will I need?

The number of treatments required varies depending on several factors, including the size, color, type of ink used in the tattoo, and your skin type. However, PicoSure typically requires fewer sessions than other tattoo removal methods. Your treatment provider can give you a more accurate estimate based on your individual case.

4. Does PicoSure tattoo removal hurt?

While pain tolerance varies from person to person, some discomfort can be expected. The sensation is often compared to a rubber band being snapped against the skin. Topical or injectable anesthetics can be used to minimize discomfort during the procedure.

5. Are there any side effects or risks?

Some common side effects include redness, swelling, blistering, and temporary darkening or lightening of the skin. Serious side effects are rare, but can include infection or scarring. Your healthcare provider will discuss all potential risks and side effects with you before the treatment.

As with any medical procedure, there are potential side effects and risks associated with PicoSure laser tattoo removal. Here are a few of the most common ones:

Skin Irritation and Redness: Immediately after the treatment, you may experience some temporary redness, swelling, and minor discomfort in the treated area. This typically subsides within a few hours to a few days.

Changes in Skin Color: Some patients may notice temporary changes in the color of their skin in the area of the tattoo. The skin may appear either darker (hyperpigmentation) or lighter (hypopigmentation) than the surrounding skin. These changes are usually temporary, but in some cases, they can be permanent.

Infection: While rare, there is a risk of infection after PicoSure tattoo removal, especially if the area is not cared for properly after treatment.

Scarring: While PicoSure is designed to minimize the risk of scarring, there is still a small chance that a scar could form, particularly if the treated area is not cared for properly post-treatment.

Incomplete Tattoo Removal: Not all tattoos can be completely removed. Some colors and types of ink respond better to the treatment than others.

Blistering and Crusting: Some patients may experience blistering or crusting of the treated area. These side effects are typically part of the healing process.

Allergic Reaction: Though extremely rare, there’s a risk of an allergic reaction to shattered tattoo ink particles.

Despite these potential side effects and risks, PicoSure laser tattoo removal is considered safe when performed by a trained and experienced practitioner. Also, these risks can be minimized by following the appropriate pre- and post-treatment care instructions. As always, a consultation with a healthcare provider can provide personalized information about potential risks and benefits.

6. What is the aftercare for Picosure Laser tattoo removal?

Aftercare is crucial to the successful healing process after PicoSure laser tattoo removal, and your provider will likely give you specific instructions to follow. However, the general steps include:

Keeping the area dry and clean. Use a gentle, non-alcoholic cleanser and pat it dry (don’t rub) a couple of times a day. Apply a thin layer of an antibacterial ointment, such as Aquaphor or a specialized aftercare ointment recommended by your provider. Cover the skin with a sterile bandage for the first few days to protect it from bacteria and avoid infection. 

Remember, everyone heals at a different pace and has different skin types and reactions to treatment. Therefore, it’s important to follow your provider’s personalized instructions and report any unusual or concerning reactions immediately.

7. How long does the recovery process take?

Recovery times vary depending on the individual and the size of the tattoo, but most people can resume their normal activities immediately after treatment. The treated area should be protected from the sun and kept clean to promote healing.

8. Will the tattoo completely disappear?

PicoSure is one of the most effective tattoo removal technologies available and can significantly lighten or completely remove many tattoos. However, certain colors and types of tattoo ink are more resistant to treatment. Your provider will be able to give you an idea of what to expect based on your specific tattoo.

9. Can PicoSure remove all colors of tattoo ink?

PicoSure is effective on a wide range of ink colors, including colors that are traditionally difficult to remove, like blues and greens. However, the effectiveness can depend on the type of ink used and the depth of the ink in the skin.

10. How long should I wait between treatments?

Typically, you should wait 6-8 weeks between treatments. This allows your body to eliminate the ink particles and your skin to heal properly.

11. How much does PicoSure tattoo removal cost?

The cost of PicoSure tattoo removal depends on various factors, including the size, color, and location of the tattoo, and the number of sessions required. You’ll need to consult with your provider for an accurate quote.

12. Is PicoSure tattoo removal covered by insurance?

Tattoo removal, including PicoSure tattoo removal, is typically considered a cosmetic procedure and is not usually covered by health insurance. This is because insurance generally only covers treatments that are deemed medically necessary, and tattoo removal is usually viewed as an aesthetic or personal preference choice.

However, insurance policies vary, so it’s always worth checking with your specific provider to see if any part of the procedure could potentially be covered. In rare cases, tattoo removal might be covered if it’s being done for certain medical or reconstructive reasons.

Given the out-of-pocket expense for tattoo removal, many clinics offer payment plans or financing options to make the process more affordable. It’s always a good idea to discuss costs and payment options during your initial consultation with the tattoo removal provider.

13. Am I a good candidate for PicoSure tattoo removal?

PicoSure laser tattoo removal can be highly effective, but not everyone is an ideal candidate for the procedure. Here are some factors that can determine if you are a good candidate:

  • Tattoo Characteristics: PicoSure is effective in removing a broad range of tattoo colors, including blues and greens, which can be tough to remove with other methods. Also, the size, location, depth, and age of the tattoo can influence how well it can be removed.
  • Skin Type: While PicoSure works on all skin types, those with lighter skin often see the best results. This is because the contrast between the tattoo ink and the skin color is higher.
  • General Health: Being in good overall health can contribute to a successful tattoo removal process. Certain medical conditions or medications could interfere with the healing process or make the procedure riskier.
  • Expectations: It’s important to have realistic expectations about the results of tattoo removal. PicoSure can significantly lighten most tattoos, and many can be completely removed, but some tattoos can’t be entirely erased. Additionally, it often takes several sessions to see optimal results.
  • Non-smoker: Smoking can slow down the healing process and may affect the results of the tattoo removal process. If you’re a smoker, you may be asked to quit before undergoing PicoSure tattoo removal.
  • Not Pregnant or Nursing: Tattoo removal isn’t recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

A consultation with a trained provider will help you understand whether PicoSure tattoo removal is a good choice for you. They can examine your tattoo, consider your health history and expectations, and help you make an informed decision.