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Laser Tattoo Removal

ARE YOU SUFFERING FROM A BAD CASE OF TATTOO REGRET ?

Laser Tattoo removal: Gently Blasts Away Ink to erase tattoos.

It may have seemed a good idea at the time, but now you are regretting having a tattoo on your skin. The good news is that while they were once permanent fixtures, tattoos can now safely be removed. There are many reasons why a person may want to have a tattoo removed. It could be a very personal decision, or it could be that you want to reverse a decision that you made on a night of too many tequila shots. Whatever your reason for having a tattoo that you now regret, come see us, and we will listen.

During this treatment, we use a laser that is calibrated precisely to target ink below the surface of your skin. The high energy laser light is absorbed by the ink particles making them shatter after which your body mops up the ink, making the tattoo less visible. The procedure can be quite painful, however we use prescription only topical anaesthetic to help minimize the pain. You will require a number of treatments depending on the amount, colour, depth and age of the tatoo.

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What is laser tattoo removal?

At Fresh Faces Cosmetic Medicine, we use our combined 40 years industry experience and state-of-the-art laser technology, to repair or treat over 70 different skin concerns. Among these concerns that we see often in our office is tattoo removal. While tattoos are often thought to be permanent fixtures on our bodies, the latest technology is now making the process of removing the ink easier and faster.

By using lasers, we can target the ink particles below the skin, without causing damage to the surface of the skin. The laser is an intense beam of light, and when it hits the ink, the light is transferred into heat. This heat causes the particles of ink to quickly break apart, and the smaller particles are absorbed into the bloodstream. Like most laser or IPL treatments, darker pigments (blacks and blues) are eliminated more easily, while lighter and more reflective inks can be less responsive to the lasers.

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Book a complimentary consultation with one of our Doctors or Registered Nurses.

What to expect

Your Fresh Faces Laser Tattoo Removal treatment experience.

Free consultation. Prior to every treatment at Fresh Faces Cosmetic Medicine, we take our time to meet with our clients one-on-one for a consultation and to get to know them on a personal level. This time is very important to us, because we listen and understand your concerns and questions, but most of all, we want to know your desired results. What do you want to achieve? How do you want to look or to have changed?

For tattoo removal, we know it can be a very personal decision, possibly trying to reverse a decision or a mistake. Whatever your reasons, we’ll go over everything you can expect during the procedure as well as our recommended after care instructions. Once you are ready, we can begin the treatment.

How does Laser Tattoo Removal Work?

After your consultation, the doctor or nurse will apply a local anesthetic or numbing cream over your skin. The treatment involves a laser set to target ink particles that when penetrated, produces a shock wave effect that disperses the ink particles into smaller pieces. As laser intensity increases, the ink decreases and in turn decreases the tattoo’s visibility.

Expected Results

After your treatment, it’s normal to experience white discolouration, red or swollen skin. This disappears over time, along with your tattoo. Within 6-12 months of your last treatment, you can usually expect your skin to be back to normal.  Improvement may not be seen in the tattoo for up to six weeks after a treatment.

It is important to know that tattoo removal is a process. This is not a ‘one-time treatment.’ While laser removal is safe and effective, you will most likely require a few sessions and each session will require time for healing afterwards. Typically, laser tattoo removal takes 5-12 sessions performed at 4-8-week intervals for optimal results.

Factors that will have an effect on your treatment and number of sessions are the size of the tattoo, your age, the location on the body, the colours of the ink, and the amount of ink that was used. 

Recovery time and possible side-effects tattoo removal 

After your treatment, depending on the size of the area, you can return to your daily routine,  but you will need to give your skin time to heal.  Between each session, you should allow around four weeks of healing time. Any less than this can lead to permanent damage and scarring on your skin. 

Possible side effects or reactions that could occur from laser treatments such as tattoo removal include redness, scabbing, bruising or swelling in the treated area. These symptoms should disappear in a few days, with full healing in a few weeks. 

To help with healing and prevent infection, please note the following recommendations:

  • Do not scratch or pick at the treated area, causing irritation or infection
  • Apply moisturizer or aloe vera, immediately and frequently after your treatment
  • Avoid the sun as much as possible for the duration of your treatments, and to prevent skin damage or complications, use a sunscreen of at least SPF 30 for 30 days after your final treatment
  • Do not apply foundation or powder makeup to the treated area 
  • To avoid infection, do not engage in strenuous exercise or an activity that causes excessive perspiration, and don’t take hot bath or hot showers, for 48 hours after the treatment

Expected Results

After your treatment, it’s normal to experience white discolouration, red or swollen skin. This disappears over time, along with your tattoo. Within 6-12 months of your last treatment, you can usually expect your skin to be back to normal.  Improvement may not be seen in the tattoo for up to six weeks after a treatment.

It is important to know that tattoo removal is a process. This is not a ‘one-time treatment.’ While laser removal is safe and effective, you will most likely require a few sessions and each session will require time for healing afterwards. Typically, laser tattoo removal takes 5-12 sessions performed at 4-8-week intervals for optimal results.

Factors that will have an effect on your treatment and number of sessions are the size of the tattoo, your age, the location on the body, the colours of the ink, and the amount of ink that was used. 

Recovery time and possible side-effects tattoo removal

After your treatment, depending on the size of the area, you can return to your daily routine,  but you will need to give your skin time to heal.  Between each session, you should allow around four weeks of healing time. Any less than this can lead to permanent damage and scarring on your skin. 

Possible side effects or reactions that could occur from laser treatments such as tattoo removal include redness, scabbing, bruising or swelling in the treated area. These symptoms should disappear in a few days, with full healing in a few weeks. 

To help with healing and prevent infection, please note the following recommendations:

  • Do not scratch or pick at the treated area, causing irritation or infection
  • Apply moisturizer or aloe vera, immediately and frequently after your treatment
  • Avoid the sun as much as possible for the duration of your treatments, and to prevent skin damage or complications, use a sunscreen of at least SPF 30 for 30 days after your final treatment
  • Do not apply foundation or powder makeup to the treated area 
  • To avoid infection, do not engage in strenuous exercise or an activity that causes excessive perspiration, and don’t take hot bath or hot showers, for 48 hours after the treatment

Frequently Asked Questions

Is laser tattoo removal safe?

Tattoo removal with lasers is very safe, as it is non-surgical and non-invasive, but it should only be done by a trained practitioner. There may be a few patients who are at higher risks, so please inform us of your medical history during your initial consultation. The Dermal Therapist will check your skin for active infections or open wounds in the treatment area. If you have cold sores or inflammation, you will most likely need to wait until they are healed to proceed with the procedure. 

What do I need to do prior to treatment?

In order to minimize any potential side effects, individuals preparing to undergo an either IPL or a Laser treatment should:

  • avoid going in the sun without SPF30 sunscreen (must contain UVA and UVB filters) for at least 4 weeks prior to treatment
  • ensure treatment area is free of sunburn, suntan, fake tanning, herpes outbreak (cold sores), inflammatory acne, eczema, hypo or hyperpigmentation
  • avoid over-the-counter blood-thinning agents for at least a week (Aspirin, ibuprofen)
  • stop using any form of Vitamin A acid for at least 14 days, including retinoic acid, glycolic acid, tretinoin (Retin-A) and alpha-hydroxy acids
  • stop using Accutane for at least 6 months
Does laser tattoo removal hurt?

Yes, there is discomfort during laser tattoo removal. During our treatments, we apply local anesthetic injections or a topical cream to keep a patient comfortable.

Some non-ablative laser treatments (the laser passes through the skin without removing layers) cause little-to-no pain and require only a topical numbing cream to offset discomfort. Following the procedure, some degree of tenderness in the treatment area can be expected.

Is there any downtime after a laser treatment?

Although laser treatments are generally considered non-surgical, not all are downtime-free. Laser resurfacing recovery time varies depending on the type of laser used as well as an individual’s health and healing rate.

Non-ablative lasers often require no downtime at all, while ablative lasers can require a 2 to 3 week healing process, depending on depth, before the new skin has healed completely and final results are evident.

This does not mean you have to stay at home for a month; it just means that your skin will be raw, red and scab over as it heals. You may not feel comfortable in certain social situations, and you will need to modify your activities to avoid situations where infection is possible (swimming, gym workouts, etc.).

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