We’re often led to believe that getting a tattoo is a permanent mark on your body that you’ll have for the rest of your life – but just because you have a tattoo now doesn’t mean you have to have a tattoo in the future. Advancements in technology have made it possible for modern people to remove tattoos and renew the appearance of their skin. At Reno Sparks MedSpa in Reno, NV, we believe the best option for tattoo removal is with the PicoSure laser, a revolutionary laser that quickly and effortlessly removes the tattoos you no longer want on your skin.
What Should You Expect From Tattoo Removal Treatments?
In a way, laser removal of tattoos is a treatment that totally turns back the clock on the appearance of your skin. Not unlike an eraser for your skin, laser tattoo removal treatments can completely destroy the pigment in your tattoo and your body’s natural cellular turnover takes care of the rest. But what can you expect from treatment? From start to finish, the steps of your removal treatments will include:
Before any treatment begins, you will need to attend a consultation appointment, which is an essential step in your treatment because every tattoo is different and requires a tailored removal plan. The consultation gives us an opportunity to examine your tattoo, particularly the color, design, and size, which will help us estimate the number of treatments you will need to have for total removal.
Your consultation will also include gathering certain history about you and your tattoos, such as how long you’ve had the tattoo, other removal treatments you’ve had, and the general sensitivity of your skin. This is all information that informs us of the best way to proceed with your removal treatments. We will also discuss your expectations for treatment and your overall goals.
Laser treatments use advanced light and energy technology to treat the skin, which is why you will be given a list of pre-treatment instructions to follow to help you prepare for your treatment. It’s important to follow these directions carefully to ensure that your skin is prepared for the treatment and to achieve your desired results. Some pre-treatment instructions will include:
- Avoid direct sun exposure for 3 to 4 weeks
- Do not use tanning beds for 3 to 4 weeks
- Use SPF 30 or higher
- Do not use acids or Retinols on the treatment area
- Do not exfoliate or scrub the treatment area
- Do not wax treatment area
Treatment Step One: Optional Numbing Cream
The first step of your treatment will be the optional administering of a topical numbing cream. Although the treatment is not painful, some patients who have tattoos on more sensitive areas of the body may prefer to use a topical numbing cream for their comfort. Sensitive areas of the body include tattoos over bone, on the back, the face, the neck, hands, and feet.
Treatment Step Two: PicoSure Laser
Your PicoSure laser treatment will be performed by a certified technician. You will be asked to lay or sit in a comfortable position with your tattoo exposed. The laser device will be moved over your skin for several minutes, usually between 30 and 60 minutes depending on the size of the tattoo. Most patients report feeling a gentle heat or a tingling sensation.
After your laser treatment is complete, we will give you a list of post-treatment instructions to follow during your recovery period. Because laser treatments cause controlled damage to your skin, your skin will be vulnerable until it heals. Some post-treatment instructions you need to follow to achieve optimal results after each treatment includes:
- Do not scrub or exfoliate the treatment area
- Only cleans using lukewarm water and mild soap
- Avoid excessive heat, such as saunas or hot tubs
- Do not use Retinols or acids
- Avoid direct sun exposure and tanning beds
We may provide you with additional directions, such as how to use cold packs for your comfort or how soon you can take a shower after the treatment. Because this is a non-surgical and non-invasive treatment, you will be able to drive yourself home once your appointment is finished.
The recovery period for this treatment is about 7 to 14 days. Although you will be allowed to return to all of your normal daily activities, including work and exercise, it’s important to follow the post-treatment instructions until you are recovered.
Because treatments to remove tattoos typically happen in “rounds”, you may be expected to follow post-treatment instructions for several months.
How Many Treatments Will You Need?
Generally speaking, it takes about 6 to 8 laser treatments to completely remove a tattoo. These treatments are spaced about 4 to 6 weeks apart depending on how well you heal between each treatment.
You may require more or fewer treatments depending on the size, age, color, and design of your tattoo. Larger tattoos that take up a large amount of skin, for example, may require 8 treatments, while smaller inch-sized tattoos may only require 4 or 5.
When Can You See Results?
You will begin to see results after your first session, generally when you have reached the end of your recovery period. Your initial results will look like your tattoo is fading. Your results will continue to improve with each treatment until your skin is restored and free of all pigment.
Are Results Permanent?
Yes. Once a tattoo is removed it is gone forever. This is because pigment that is destroyed by the PicoSure laser is gone for good. The only way your tattoo will come back is if you get another tattoo to replace it.
Other FAQ About Tattoo Removal Treatments
1. Why Do People Consider Removal Treatments?
There are many reasons people might consider removal treatments for tattoos, but there isn’t a “right” reason to want to get rid of a tattoo. Sometimes it’s as simple as no longer wanting a tattoo anymore. Some common reasons people consider removal treatments include:
Some circumstances, such as working in executive positions or having children, necessitate the need to remove certain types of tattoos. This usually applies to tattoos with inappropriate content or tattoos in less-optimal locations, such as the face or the neck.
Sometimes you may outgrow the meaning of your tattoo due to significant changes in your life. For example, tattoos with names on them or commemorative tattoos you no longer find meaning in are good candidates for removal.
It can be the case that your new tattoo has a mistake or is not as you imagined it would be. In this case, laser treatment to remove the tattoo is like hitting an undo button.
Although tattoos are on your skin for life if they are not removed, the pigment or ink in the tattoo will fade over time. Tattoo fading is generally a problem for tattoos that are older than 5 years. If you don’t want to refresh the lines or pigment on your tattoo, then you can opt for removal altogether.
Tattoos that are damaged as a result of injury or surgery may not be fixable. If you have a tattoo that is damaged beyond repair, then removal might be your only option.
Tattoo Mistakes and Regret
Tattoo mistakes and tattoo regret are also common reasons for removal. A tattoo mistake might be in the design or in the spelling of the tattoo, whereas regret may be getting an impulsive tattoo or simply regretting having a tattoo for any reason.
2. What Kind of Tattoos Can Be Removed?
All tattoos can be removed by the PicoSure laser. This is because the advanced light and energy technology in this laser treatment is capable of removing tattoos regardless of their condition or specifications. Tattoos that can be removed by this laser include:
Greyscale and Color
Greyscale tattoos, or tattoos that only use black pigment, are some of the easiest tattoos to remove because blank ink doesn’t have to be saturated into the skin.
Color tattoos, on the other hand, use multiple pigments that can make them difficult to remove, especially when the ink is very saturated to create a specific design.
Tattoos come in many different sizes and each size can be removed with a laser treatment. Whether the tattoo is only a few inches large or the tattoo covers the entirety of your back, the PicoSure laser can completely remove the tattoo from your skin.
Some tattoos are more complex than others. Complex designs are sometimes more difficult for older laser treatments to remove because of the layering involved in the design; however, the PicoSure laser can remove complex designs as easily as simple designs.
All Tattoo Ages
Tattoos of all ages can also be removed. Whether the ink is fresh on your skin or you’ve had the tattoo for several years, the age of the tattoo and the age of your skin are not factors that prevent total removal.
3. Why Is PicoSure Laser Better?
The PicoSure laser is one of the newest, most effective laser treatments available today. Capable of both removing tattoos and correcting superficial skin concerns such as wrinkles, sun damage, scarring, and skin laxity, the Pico-Sure laser is a revolutionary skin-perfecting treatment.
As it is, the PicoSure laser is a better option than other lasers used to remove tattoos because the technology is more efficient, combining both light and energy pulses to destroy the pigment in the cell rather than cooking the pigment to cause fading.
4. Are Removal Treatments Painful?
No, treatments to remove tattoos are no more painful than getting the tattoo was in the first place. The majority of patients report no discomfort from removal treatments. This is largely because the PicoSure laser is friendlier to skin as it does not use thermal energy that can damage the skin surface.
If you are concerned about any discomfort associated with the treatment, please speak with our staff about topical numbing creams before your appointment.
5. Are You a Good Candidate?
Good candidates for treatments to remove tattoos include anyone who is no longer wants a tattoo for any reason. There are no restrictions for this treatment, as it is compatible with all skin types and skin tones. All tattoos can be removed by the PicoSure laser, regardless of age, color, size, or design.
Restore Your Skin With Tattoo Removal Treatment
You don’t have to live with a tattoo you don’t love for the rest of your life. Reclaiming the canvas of your skin and restoring your skin is easy with tattoo removal treatments. If you think the PicoSure laser is a good option for your tattoo removal treatment, please contact Reno Sparks MedSpa in Reno, NV to schedule your consultation appointment today!