Getting Laser Tattoo Removal in Atlanta
What is Laser Tattoo Removal?
Laser Tattoo Removal is a medical laser treatment to remove unwanted ink from the patients’ skin1. In our experience, amateur tattoos fade quicker than those done by professional tattoo artists. In addition, the diversity of the inks being used out in the market may impact how easily the tattoo can be removed.
With so much that is unknown about the type of ink, how much was used, or how deep it is, it can be difficult to precisely estimate the number of treatments a patient’s unique tattoo may require to be completely removed from the skin2. However, many of our patients have had tattoo removal treatments elsewhere with minimal improvement, while we have been able to successfully eliminate them.
1. Alster, TS., (2017). Laser Tattoo Removal: An Update. American Journal of Clinical Dermatology. 2017; 18: Pages 59-65. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27722955
2. Serup, J., (2017). Guide to Treatment of Tattoo Complications and Tattoo Removal. Current Problems in Dermatology. 2017; 52: Pages 132-138.
How Does Laser Tattoo Removal Work?
At WIFH, we use the RevLite Q-Switched Yag laser, which is the gold standard for tattoo removal3. The Q-Switched Yag Laser delivers powerful energy at a rapid speed, breaking up the tattoo ink into tiny particles4. The body’s immune system sends in special cells to process these cells and carry them away, fading the tattoo5.
It has 4 wavelengths of laser to effectively target and remove all colors of ink. Some colors are more difficult to remove than others such as blue and green. Tattoos with these colors may require additional treatments for optimal results6. Some colors, such as white and pink, simply cannot be removed. They may fade but total elimination isn’t likely7. The RevLite Q-Switched Yag laser can be used safely on all skin types and ethnicities.
The best results are achieved removing black ink tattoos on all skin types (very fair to very dark). Tattoos that contain various colored inks are best removed on patients with light skin. For patients with darker skin and tattoos with various colors, the colors will fade substantially but we will NOT be able to remove all the color.
3. Hutton, C., (2017). Tattoo removal by Q-switched yttrium aluminum garnet laser: client satisfaction. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology. 2017; 31(5): Pages 904-909. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28107564
4. Gold, M., (2009). Tattoo removal with an electro-optic Q-switched Nd:YAG laser with a unique pulse dispersion. Cosmetic Dermatology. 2009; 33(4). https://www.mdedge.com/dermatology/article/68736/aesthetic-dermatology/tattoo-removal-electro-optic-q-switched-ndyag-laser
5. El-Domyati, M., (2019). Tattoo removal by Q-switched Nd: YAG laser: an objective evaluation using histometry. Journal of Cosmetic Laser Therapy. 2019; 22: Pages 1-4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31006285
6. Makowska, A., (2015). Long-term evaluation of ink clearance in tattoos with different color intensity using the 1064-nm Q-switched Nd:YAG laser. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology. 2015; 14(4): Pages 302-309. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26133780
7. Leong, H., (2006). Treatment of acquired bilateral nevus of ota-like macules (Hori’s Nevus) with combination 532nm Q-switched Nd:YAG laser followed by 1064nm Q-switched Nd:YAG is more effective: Prospective Study. Dermatologic Surgery. 2006; 32: Pages 34-40. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/1524-4725.2006.32004
What are the Risks/Side Effects?
Days following laser tattoo removal treatments, it is not uncommon for the tattooed skin to exhibit tissue or skin reactions that can cause itching and irritation. The reactions could be different each time, this is okay and normal. Some normal skin reactions include:
- The treatment site appears unchanged or appears brighter.
- The area appears white, pink, or red.
- The treatment site has pinpoint bleeding, blistering or red, yellow, or clear discharge and swelling.
8. Klein, A., (2014). An Internet-based survey on characteristics of laser tattoo removal and associated side effects. Lasers in Medical Science. 2014; 29(2): Pages 729-738. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23907603
Preparing for Laser Tattoo Removal
Two Weeks Before the Treatments
It is recommended for those individuals with light skin and colored ink to wear a high SPF sunscreen to prevent tanning or sunburn on or around the tattoo. It is also advised for anyone having tattoo removal to avoid spray tanning 3 weeks before each session.
The Day Before the Treatments
Patients will need to shave the treatment area the day before (or day of) each tattoo removal session.
What to Expect During the Procedure
The laser tattoo removal procedure is fairly straight-forward. The procedure will be completed by either Dr Cox or one of our licensed laser practitioners, each with years of laser experience.
The area where the tattoo is located will be cleansed with a baby wipe. We will cool the area with freezing cold air (-4℃) to help numb the area prior to the procedure, making treatment more comfortable. Once the laser begins pulsing, it quickly moves over the ink. Each treatment lasts a matter of minutes, or seconds for small tattoos.
The tattoo will “frost”, meaning a hazy color will form over the tattoo. This will dissipate in about 20-30 minutes. Some people may also notice swelling of the area and possibly even pinpoint bleeding.
Getting laser tattoo removal is not a painless procedure, but the treatments are very fast.
We have always described the sensation of laser hair removal like a rubber band snapping the skin. Tattoo removal is similar, only the rubber band would be stretched a little further before snapping the skin and with practically no pause between encounters. We also have patients say the pain level is about the same as getting a tattoo.
Laser tattoo removal treatments are very fast — a fraction of the time it took to get the tattoo originally. Most treatment sessions typically last no more than 30 seconds, and larger tattoos take no more than a few minutes to treat.
As a rule, tattoos can take between 5 to 15 sessions to remove9. There are many factors that are taken into account in order to determine the number of treatments you will need to remove your tattoo. The age of the tattoo, the colors present and the tattoo location are just a few of the factors that determine how many treatments you will need.
Depending on your skin type, you can expect to return for subsequent visits every 6-8 weeks.
9. Williams, N., (2014). Quality-switched laser tattoo removal. Journal of American Academy of PAs. 2014; 27(6): Pages 53-56. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24853159
Laser Tattoo Removal Recovery Time
Once a patient’s laser tattoo removal treatment is completed, we will apply aquaphor and a bandage to protect the area. We will also provide patients with an ice pack to apply. Patients should ice the area off and on for the first hour, no more than 3-5 minutes at a time. We will include detailed instructions on how to care for the treated tattoo at home as well.
To promote healing, patients should limit physical activity and sun exposure for the first 24 hours. If the body gets too overheated, it can cause the tattoo to blister. Showers can be taken but only if they are lukewarm and use mild soap.
Patients can leave our office and return to work immediately after the procedure. Visit our tattoo removal aftercare page for more information on what to expect following each treatment.
Laser Tattoo Removal Consultations
We believe consultations are very important to help patients understand the laser tattoo removal process. Our consultations give us the opportunity to get to know each patient and understand their needs.
At the consultation patients will meet with a member of our clinical team, and we will assess the tattoo, providing a realistic expectation of the outcome with laser tattoo removal.
Laser Tattoo Removal Pricing
The cost of Laser Tattoo removal depends upon the size and color of the tattoo.
For example, large, colorful tattoos cost more than small, black tattoos. Packages can range anywhere from $950 to $3,500.
Click here for WIFH’s current Laser Tattoo pricing structure.
Before & After Photos
*Results may vary and are not guaranteed.
Laser Tattoo Removal FAQs
Can multi-colored tattoos be fully removed?
How many treatments does it require?
Will my tattoo lighten with one treatment?
What are the limitations after treatment?
Can I have just a piece of the tattoo removed?
Does Laser Tattoo Removal Hurt?
Does insurance cover laser tattoo removal?
How long do I have to wait before I can get a new tattoo removed?
Will I blister and scab after laser tattoo removal?
Does laser tattoo removal cause scarring?
Can permanent makeup or microblading be removed?
Laser Tattoo Removal Testimonials
*Results vary from person to person and are not guaranteed