FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
LASER TATTOO REMOVAL
Does laser removal hurt?
Pain tolerance is never the same between two people, so this is a hard question to answer. The pain is also different for parts of the body. Chances are if getting the tattoo hurt, getting it lasered off will be just as painful.
How can I handle the pain?
We sell a topical numbing cream and offer a cold compress for after the session but most clients have no issue dealing with the pain without numbing and find taking non prescription oral pain killers (Tylenol not Ibuprofen) will help enough
How does it work?
The PicoSure Pro delivers high intensity laser pulses into the dermal layer of the skin, shattering the ink into tiny particles. These tiny, broken ink particles are then flushed away by the body’s lymphatic system over the course of the next few weeks. This causes redness and inflammation in the area, which is simply an immune response to the trauma. The first session is where you’ll see the greatest difference in removal, though it may take several sessions once every 6 to 10 weeks to remove entirely, depending on skin tone and your ability to recover.
Does it work on all skin types?
In short — yes. However, your experience may vary. Just as tattoo inks can appear differently on dark skin, darker skin tones also absorb light and heat more rapidly than lighter tones. Some skin tones (type V and VI) present difficulties with targeting the specific pigments due to the presence of melanin.
This natural pigment, when in higher levels, will alter the affect of the laser. Melanin absorbs energy, so more heat will be absorbed and dispersed through the skin while removing ink. This can cause hypopigmentation (lightening/bleaching the skin) or hyperpigmentation (darkening of the skin). While light skin tones can typically have a laser session every 6 weeks, our specialists are trained to be more patient with darker skin tones, recommending 8 to 10 weeks between sessions to minimize hypo/hyperpigmentation and further skin damage.
Does it completely remove the tattoo?
In most cases, the answer is yes (with multiple sessions). There are factors that influence the lasers ability to remove the tattoo in question. Amateur tattoos (often done at home) are much harder to remove, as the depth of the ink is inconsistent and causes scarring. Other factors include the client’s general health, healing ability, and the type of laser used.
The most important factor in tattoo removal is the laser itself, and what wavelength it operates on. Different wavelengths are used for different colours along the spectrum, however most lasers, like the traditional “Q Switched” lasers, only emit one wavelength. This may be effective at removing black ink, but is unable to remove certain colours.
The PicoSure Pro operates on 3 different wavelengths — 532nm (nanometers), 730nm, and 1064nm, which give it the unparalleled ability to effectively treat all colours. The 1064nm wavelength is ideal for breaking down black or very dark ink. 532nm wavelength is effective at removing reds, yellows, and browns (warm tones), and 730nm is best for removing greens, purples, and blues (cool tones).
How long does it take?
Laser removal sessions are typically just a few minutes in length. The size of the tattoo, complexity, and colour variations are the main factor in determining time. Typically, our certified laser technicians will have most clients in and out the door in just 15 minutes!
Aside from time per session, the amount of sessions also depends on what your goals are (ie. to lighten pigments for a coverup, or complete removal). On average, it takes 3 to 6 sessions once every 6 to 10 weeks depending on your skin tone and your body’s natural healing process.
How many sessions do I need?
Removing a tattoo is a fading process. They typically require multiple sessions, each one scheduled 6 to 10 weeks apart depending on client skin type and general health. The colour, depth, location and amount of ink are all factors in this process. Black ink usually responds quickly to treatment because it absorbs light better than bright colours. Tattoos that are deeper into the tissue can also be tougher to remove than more shallow ink, and large volumes of “colour packed” ink will also be taken into consideration when determining the number of sessions required. Depending on what your goal is, be it fading or a full removal, the laser treatment can take between 5 to 12 sessions.
Is it safe?
Laser treatment is a safe and effective method for removing tattoos when it’s performed by a certified technician trained to use tattoo removal lasers.
Can I fade a
tattoo to cover it with another tattoo?
Many tattoo artists recommend that clients lighten an existing tattoo before covering it with a new one. Fading the tattoo will dramatically reduce the chance of it being seen through the cover up. Typically, a minimum of 3 to 6 sessions is all that is needed to lighten an existing tattoo enough to cover it effectively.
Does it matter where on the body the tattoo is?
The location of the tattoo does, in fact, impact the laser treatment. In general, the further away from the heart that tattoo is, the longer it will take to remove. This is because blood circulation is best close to the heart, and weakens the further away it gets (this is why your fingers and toes get cold first!).
Wherever the blood flow is strong tends to heal at a much faster rate. This is because it carries adequate oxygen, nutrients, and white blood cells to the wounded area, which stimulates collagen production and fights infection.
Where the circulation is poor (like your fingers and toes), it will take longer for the blood to circulate through and doesn’t deliver the same amount of oxygen and nutrients required to heal in a timely manner.
Will it leave a scar?
Our Picosure PRO laser's pulse is so fast that it is able to explode the ink without hurting the live tissue in the process. Similar to running your hand over a candle very quickly, there is not enough time to burn the skin. Redness, swelling, blistering, and scabbing may follow tattoo removal laser treatments. But our laser technology combined with proper aftercare ensures that there will be no scarring. HOWEVER if there is a scar because of the tattoo itself being scarred when it was applied - the laser will reveal the scar once the pigment is removed.
How do I prepare for a tattoo removal session?
• No sun exposure, tanning beds and sunless tanning cream for 4 weeks prior to treatment. Sun exposure decreases the effectiveness of the laser treatment and can increase the chance of Posttreatment complications.
• Use a broad-spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Apply to the treated area every 2 hours when exposed to the sun and it is recommended to make this a part of your skin care routine.
• Remove all makeup, creams or oils prior to treatment.
• Be sure to inform your care provider if you have ever had cosmetic tattoos or cosmetic pigmentation or permanent makeup applied near the area of treatment