10 Dec Laser tattoo removal: Does it really work?
Are you thinking of removing that tattoo? The good news is technology has come so far that there are ways to remove tattoos which are kinder and gentler on your skin compared to the days of dermabrasion or excision surgery.
Laser tattoo removal is fast becoming the standard recommendation for anyone wanting to reverse their ink jobs. Like with anything new, you probably have questions: Does laser tattoo removal hurt? How many sessions do you need? Can the tattoo be completely removed?
As an industry leader in laser tattoo removals, we’re here to answer your questions.
How are tattoos created?
Tattoos are created by artists who use tattoo machines with needles to inject ink into the skin. These machines can penetrate the skin up to 3000 times per minute, delivering a drop of insoluble ink into the skin each time.
Tattoos are not done on the epidermis or the outer layer of your skin as this part of the skin constantly sheds and renews, causing the tattoo to fade. The tattoo artist tries to go as deep as possible and the ink will usually sit in the dermis area, retaining its colour and shape.
The trouble is, this makes the tattoo harder to remove.
How does laser tattoo removal work?
In the past, people used rather primitive ways of getting rid of tattoos such as dermabrasion which is basically sanding the skin to remove the tattoo, or salabration, which is also an abrasive method using salt.
Some people even used tattoo creams which were found to be relatively ineffective as they targeted the epidermis area of the skin. All these methods resulted in much scarring and burning of the skin.
Laser tattoo removal however uses laser technology to target the tattoo ink and break down the particles into tiny fragments which can be flushed out by your body’s own immune system. Each laser treatment you go for will break down more and more tattoo ink until there is none left.
Pico technology: the best laser tattoo removal
When you look for laser tattoo removal now, the technology to look for is Pico technology. A picosecond is one trillionth of a second which is 1000X faster than a nanosecond.
Laser tattoo removal machines such as the Cutera Enlighten at Clinica Lase is based on pico technology. We can deliver picosecond pulses to your skin, creating a vibration effect that breaks down the tattoo ink pigment faster and more efficiently than ordinary laser machines.
It also means that your tattoo removal can be completed in fewer sessions. What we’ve seen is that it takes our customers about half the number of sessions compared to using normal laser machines such as the Q-Switched laser.
Can you completely remove a tattoo?
For years, when people ask, ‘Can I completely remove a tattoo?’ the answer to this would be No. But the Cutera Enlighten with pico technology can often remove the entire tattoo.
The secret lies in its three different light wavelengths which is able to break down different coloured inks in the dermis. Black tattoos are the easiest to remove. Lighter tattoos like green, blue, white and purple are harder to remove but because of the different wavelengths on the Cutera Enlighten, it is possible to remove these colours as well.
Does laser tattoo removal hurt?
The pain of removing a tattoo using laser is likened to having elastic rubber bands snapping on your skin. In other words, it is bearable.
The most important thing however is laser tattoo removal is not harsh and abrasive on your skin like CO2 laser blasting or using dermabrasion methods. The pulse from a Cutera Enlighten machine is so short, there is no damage to the skin or surrounding area.
Laser tattoo removal side effects
Removing a tattoo is not a quick fix as the body needs time to heal each time a treatment is done. No matter how great laser tattoo removal technology has advanced, I wouldn’t go jumping on to my next tattoo without great consideration.
Tattoo removal is a process, not a procedure and can take up to two years to completely remove depending on factors such as your skin type, the age of the tattoo, the colours and the type of ink used. Of course with the Cutera Enlighten machine, the process will be far shorter. Our customers usually undergo about eight to 10 treatments (a month apart) for the skin to heal.
Clinica Lase is a leading skin and laser clinic in Melbourne. We are proud to offer our patients the Cutera Enlighten, arguably the best laser tattoo removal technology in Melbourne. If you would like to find out more about removing tattoos effectively and safely, give us a call on 1300 513 913 or use our contact form to get in touch.