A tattoo can be a beautiful piece of art, but there are still plenty of reasons why someone might want to have laser tattoo removal. Whether your life situation has changed, your sense of personal style is different, or you have just gotten an inferior tattoo you want to get rid of, at Reno Sparks Med Spa in Reno, NV, we can help.
How Many Laser Sessions Does It Take to Remove a Tattoo?
Most people will see a change in their tattoo after their very first treatment, however, most people need 6 to 12 treatments for final results. Laser tattoo removal works by destroying the tattoo ink in a way that allows your body’s circulatory system to carry it away. It takes a bit of time for this to happen.
There are a few factors that will determine how many sessions you need, including your age and health condition, the age of the tattoo, the quality of the tattoo, the ink color, and more. When you come to talk to us, we can help you design a personalized treatment plan that will get rid of your tattoo for good.
Factors That Determine How Many Treatments You Need
This one is pretty simple. The bigger your tattoo is, the more time it will take to remove all of it. The bigger your tattoo, the longer each treatment appointment will be, as well.
Ink Quality and Color
Another important factor is the quality of the ink used in your tattoo. Ironically, the lower the quality of your tattoo, the easier it is to remove. Quality tattoos applied by skilled artists are made to last, and part of that is using high-quality ink that does not break down as easily as cheap ink.
The color of your tattoo also determines how long your overall treatment will take. Darker colors can be targeted more easily by the laser because darker colors absorb more light, and thus, more heat. Tattoos with lighter colors take longer because the ink does not shatter as quickly. The advanced laser that we use is able to target all colors of tattoo ink, however, so rest sure that your tattoo will be gone once your treatment sessions are finished.
The location of your tattoo also has an effect on how many treatment sessions you need. First, tattoos that are closer to your heart will fade more quickly than those that are placed on your extremities. The reason for this is simple: your circulatory system has to remove the shattered pigments of ink, and your circulatory system works fastest and most efficiently where blood flow is strongest.
The quality of your skin in the tattoo area will also play a part in determining how many sessions you need. If your tattoo is on thicker skin, it will usually fade more slowly than pigments on thinner skin.
You would think that a fresh tattoo would be the easiest to remove, but actually, it’s older tattoos that are simpler to deal with. If your tattoo is less than one year old, you will definitely need more treatments to get rid of it than if it were a year older or more.
The reason for this is that your body works very hard to remove the tattoo ink the moment it is injected. After all, your body sees the ink as an invader. While your body cannot get rid of the tattoo on its own, over time it can fade the tattoo, making it easier to remove. If your tattoo is brand new, you will need to wait at least six weeks before you can start laser treatments. This is important to give your skin time to heal.
The Laser Tattoo Removal Process
How Do I Prepare for Treatment?
There is not much you need to do in preparation. Instead, there are just some things you need to avoid. Since this process can cause your skin to produce more melanin, you do not want to make your skin tone any darker than it is, by tanning or spending a lot of time in the sun, for about two weeks before any session.
You should also stop using any chemical exfoliants on your skin in the tattoo area. On the day of each session, be sure not to wear any lotions, perfumes, makeup, or anything else in the tattoo area.
What Is a Session Like?
Each session takes about 30 to 60 minutes. The exact timing will depend on the size and color of your tattoo. During the session, we will target the pigments of the ink in your tattoo with the laser. The heat energy from the laser will shatter those pigments into very small particles. Then, your lymphatic system can carry the particles away.
The reason you need several sessions is that the top layers of tattoo ink protect the bottom layers from the laser energy. You have to get rid of those top layers before you can reach the lower layers with the laser.
What Should You Do After Treatment?
There are not a lot of restrictions after this treatment. This is a gentle treatment with no downtime or side effects, so you can go back to your regular schedule immediately after treatment. Primarily, you just need to take care of the skin in your treatment area.
You may need to moisturize more than usual, and you should stay out of the sun and avoid tanning booths and products for a few weeks. Your skin will also appreciate it if you drink plenty of water and avoid chemical exfoliants.
Do I Have to Remove the Entire Tattoo?
Many people do want to remove their whole tattoo, but it is not necessary. You can easily correct flaws in a tattoo, fade certain areas so that you can add something different, or just remove a part of your tattoo. Talk to us about your goals when you come for a consultation.
How Can I Speed Things Up?
There are a few things you can do to help speed up treatment. Since your treatment depends on your body’s lymphatic system, anything you can do to support that system will help the whole process go more quickly. Drinking plenty of water and making healthy dietary choices will go a long way.
If you can avoid tobacco and alcohol, you will also see much faster results. Both of these substances interfere with your body’s natural ability to heal itself. Finally, you should be sure to get your appointments as close together as possible. Talk to us about the ideal interval schedule.
Can I Get Rid of an Unwanted Tattoos By Myself?
Don’t be fooled by at-home kits or topical creams claiming that they are effective against tattoos. The ink in a tattoo is deposited deep into the skin, where topical treatments cannot reach, meaning that these treatments are, at best, a waste of your time and money. At worst, you may cause yourself pain and stress from an allergic reaction and are putting unknown chemicals onto yourself for nothing.
Is It Ok to Remove a Tattoo?
Tattoos are often related to a special memory or an important decision we made at some point in the past. Just as you should not get a tattoo on a whim, you should not get rid of one without thinking about it, either. However, there are some very common reasons why people seek laser tattoo removal, and they are all valid.
For one thing, some people find errors in their tattoo design after getting home. At that point, it’s too late, and they want to get rid of the problem. It’s also possible for a tattoo to be marred by some kind of injury, to the point where it cannot be fixed. In that case, removing it may be the best choice.
Another common reason that people come to us to have tattoos removed is that they have simply outgrown their tattoos. Their sense of personal style and taste has changed, their life circumstances are different, or they just no longer like it. That’s all ok, too.
Talk to Us About Tattoo Removal
Tattoos are, by nature, designed to be permanent. The good news is that with modern technology, they no longer have to be. In just 6 to 12 treatment sessions, you can get rid of any tattoo that’s bothering you. Come talk to us at Reno Sparks Med Spa in Reno, NV today to learn more.