Tattoos are a popular form of self-expression, but there’s no denying that these inky works of art don’t always age well. Sometimes, a tattoo can wind up memorializing a time or aspect of your life that now you’d rather forget. Or, maybe a tattoo is interfering with your job opportunities or social prospects.
Your reasons for getting a tattoo are personal, and so are your reasons for getting rid of them. The good news is, laser tattoo removal can help give you — and your skin — a fresh start.
At Vein Specialists Institute in Palm Desert and La Quinta, California, Ken Jesser, MD, and his team offer state-of-the-art laser tattoo removal for patients using the advanced PicoSure® laser system. Here’s how laser tattoo removal can help you “erase” your unwanted tattoos.
Tattoos use special inks or pigments that are injected or applied to deeper layers of skin. Getting rid of a tattoo means removing that pigment, and for years, that meant using mechanical means, such as dermabrasion, to remove the upper layers of skin.
Laser tattoo removal revolutionized the tattoo removal process. Rather than removing skin to eliminate pigments, lasers use highly focused energy to target the pigments in those deeper layers. The energy heats up the pigments, breaking them apart so your body’s built-in waste system can eliminate the fragments over time.
The PicoSure laser features two wavelengths for truly custom treatments that are based on your specific needs. Offering two wavelengths also enables Dr. Jesser to target a wide array of pigments safely and effectively, including pigments that are typically harder to treat. The laser system is designed to target only tattoo pigments while leaving surrounding skin unharmed.
First, we use a topical anesthetic to numb your skin to keep you comfortable during your session. The numbing takes about 20 minutes. We may also apply a cooling gel beforehand.
Once your skin is numb, Dr. Jesser passes the laser applicator over the tattoo. The laser emits short bursts of highly focused energy directly to the pigments in your tattoo. While you may feel a “snapping” sensation similar to the snap of a rubber band against your skin, most people are very comfortable during the process.
Afterward, you can expect the area to be reddish and tender with mild, temporary swelling. You’ll need to avoid direct sun exposure while the area heals, and you’ll also need to take other steps to care for your skin in the first few days. Dr. Jesser will provide complete aftercare instructions to help your skin heal quickly.
Most people need a series of treatments to achieve optimal fading of their tattoo. The number of sessions you’ll need will depend on the pigments used, the age of your tattoo, and other factors.
If you have an old tattoo you no longer want, laser tattoo removal could be just what you’re looking for. To learn more, request an appointment online or over the phone with Vein Specialists Institute today.