How many sessions are required for tattoo removal? Most tattoos will need five to ten sessions. The larger tattoos may require up to 10 sessions, while the smaller ones may only require five. Each session lasts about 30 minutes and any anesthetic is used during the process.
During each session, your tattoo will be covered with a special light-sensitive gel that reacts when exposed to light. The laser removes the ink pigment by breaking down these molecules, rendering the ink useless. It is important not to rub or pick at your tattoo while it is being treated because this could damage healthy skin cells and lead to scarring. Some people also report pain after each treatment.
It takes about a month for all tattoo inks to disappear. If you stop the treatment early, the ink will come back. However, once removed, tattoos do not come back.
Tattoo removal is safe for adults of all ages. However, some tattoos may not respond as well to treatment if you have dark skin or if you were already experiencing pain before starting the procedure. Your dermatologist should evaluate your skin prior to beginning the treatment process to make sure you are a good candidate for laser tattoo removal.
There are several different types of lasers used for tattoo removal. Each type of laser has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Because each individual and their tattoo are unique, laser tattoo removal appears different for everyone. Although the number of sessions necessary for full removal cannot be predicted, most people require 6–8 sessions. Larger tattoos may need ten or more sessions. It is important to understand that even with multiple treatments your tattoo may not disappear completely. Some people can see partial results after just one treatment.
During your first visit to our office we will evaluate your tattoo and tell you what kind of laser we think will work best. We will also help you find a treatment plan that is right for you. The more you know about tattoo removal the better prepared you will be when you come in for treatments.
Here are some questions you should ask yourself before coming in for treatment:
Do I want to avoid skin colors in my tattoo? If so, color-specific treatments are recommended instead of general-purpose lasers. Color-specific treatments use lasers that target certain pigment types within the tattoo. For example, Q-switched Nd:YAG lasers can treat blue and green ink, while 585-nm pulsed dye lasers can treat red ink.
Is coverage important to me? If so, choice of treatment method depends on how much skin needs to be treated. Full-body tattoos usually require several treatments over several months.
Tattoo removal procedures follow a bell curve; most people require four to eight sessions, others only three or four treatments, and some may require ten or more treatments if there is substantial scarring or layered tattoos. The more sessions you have done the faster you will finish.
There are several types of lasers used for tattoo removal: pulsed dye laser (PDL), Q-switched Nd:YAG laser, and high-intensity light pulses produced by a holmium:yttrium-aluminum-garnet (Ho:YAG) laser. Each type of laser removes different colors of ink from your skin. PDLs can be used to treat all colors of ink, while Q-switched Nd:YAG lasers and Ho:YAG lasers can only remove black ink. However, new lasers are being developed that can remove red, green, and blue ink too.
Most people start seeing results after their first treatment and experience smoother skin and reduced color intensity afterward. It may take up to one year for all traces of ink to disappear. If you want to see an immediate effect, you should choose a color that goes with your skin tone and apply very thin layers of ink.
You can have any number of tattoos removed at once.
Is it possible to erase a tattoo in a single session? It is quite improbable that a tattoo can be erased in a single session. There are certain bodily parts that are "easier" to remove than others. The skin on your face has more surface area for tattoos to sit on so they're likely to be seen clearer than, for example, the inside of your arm. Also, tattoos are applied using needles which go into the skin, so it's difficult to extract them without leaving some mark behind.
In most cases, tattoos need to be treated with a combination of methods before they can be completely removed. Some techniques used alone or together include: acid washing, heat therapy, light therapy and injection treatments.
Acid washing uses a solution of hydrochloric or sulfuric acid to remove the ink from the skin. This is done by immersing the tattoo in a bath of acid for several minutes at a time until all of the colors have been dissolved away. However, this treatment must be done by a trained professional with appropriate equipment who will also ensure that you do not get any acid burns during the process.
Heat therapy uses the body's own healing mechanism to remove tattoos. A heating pad or cream containing alcohol may be used to warm up the skin enough for the ink to dissolve.