Laser Tattoo Removal
There are many positives tattoos can offer, including reminding you of a special person or event, highlighting a difficult achievement, or accenting an attractive part of your body. But in some cases, that tattoo that seemed like such a good idea at the time no longer fits with your personality or lifestyle. And that is where laser tattoo removal can help you start with a clean slate.
At our office near Boston Common, laser tattoo removal is a popular choice for removing outdated ink. While there are several ways to remove a tattoo, including dermabrasion and surgical removal, laser tattoo removal is today’s most effective method. At the Boston Center for Facial Plastics, we use the Q Switch YAG/KTP laser to safely remove tattoos from almost anywhere on the body. We have found that this tattoo removal device offers superior results and is effective in removing a wide range of ink colors.
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When to Consider Tattoo Removal
The most common reasons people seek tattoo removal are:
- Having a tattoo that no longer fits with your personality or personal image
- Wanting to remove a tattoo that is no longer associated with positive memories
- Having a tattoo that has become distorted due to weight change or aging
Before Getting Tattoo Removal
We perform laser tattoo removal on an outpatient basis, meaning you will go home the same day and will not need to spend time in a hospital. To make the treatment as comfortable as possible, a topical anesthetic may be applied to the tattoo and surrounding skin. Once that has had time to take effect, treatment begins.
The hand-held Q switch laser device is gently moved back and forth over the tattoo. The energy it emits is able to penetrate below the dermis (outermost layer of skin) to reach and break up tattoo ink deposited in the skin’s deeper layers. Q switch is considered to be the best laser for tattoo removal in part because it minimizes damage to the surrounding skin tissue, so a tattoo can be removed without substantial scarring in its place.
After the ink particles of the tattoo are broken up, your body begins its natural process of removing this ink over the weeks following treatment. Small tattoos can be treated in 20 minutes or less. Larger tattoos and certain ink colors will take additional time.
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After Your Tattoo Removal Treatment
When your appointment is complete, don’t expect to walk out of the office with a tattoo that has disappeared. Your tattoo will still look the same, other than redness in the treated skin. While you can get a tattoo in under an hour, removing a tattoo is a lengthier process.
Pigment that was broken up during treatment will take a few weeks to be removed by your body. While this treatment can remove all tattoo tints and colors, it is most effective on darker inks. After about 2 to 3 months, you will see the final results of your initial treatment. In most cases, additional treatments can help to continue to reduce the appearance of the tattoo. Each of these can be performed within the 2 to 3 month period following the last treatment.
The key to effective tattoo removal is to be patient and stick to a treatment plan until you have achieved the results you want. You will also need to avoid exposing the tattoo and surrounding area to sunlight and tanning beds until all treatments have been completed.
Your New Look
After all tattoo removal sessions are complete, our patients are overwhelmingly pleased with their results. In some cases, tattoos will be completely faded out, but in many cases, a light “ghost” of the tattoo may remain, particularly where lighter colors of the tattoo were present. It can be quite a relief to see clear, natural-toned skin where a tattoo once was.
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