8 Things to Know Before Getting Laser Tattoo Removal

8 things to know before getting laser tattoo removal
@augustalley

Tattoos have become incredibly mainstream in the past decade and almost 45million Americans have at least one tattoo yet almost 17% of that number also admit to regretting them. While laser tattoo removal has been around for a while now many people are still concerned that it’s too painful, too expensive, or just too dangerous to do. So they put up with having a crappy tattoo that they don’t like or simply go and get it covered. Now, a good tattoo artist can do an AMAZING job at covering bad tattoos, but if the client really wants it gone then laser is really the only way. Here’s 8 things you should know before you go under the (laser) gun.

1. It Takes Time

Just like the tattoo took a process to get in your skin it will take a process to get out. You don’t simply wake up the next day and poof it’s gone. Tattoos are meant to be permanent which means they aren’t easy to get out. Depending on the size, colors, and design of your tattoo as well as how quickly you heal between sessions it can be months or longer before your tattoo is finally gone. If you’re planning on retattooing the area you may not need the original design completely gone.

2. Expect Sessions

As mentioned, tattoo removal is a process and your skin has to heal between sessions. Unless you want horrible blisters and risk scarring you’ll want to wait between sessions. Most tattoos need between 8-12 sessions if they’re dark so it’s important to be patient.

3. It’s not Cheap

Most people know tattoo removal is costly. Even the smallest professional laser removal can run $200 per session. While some insurance companies and dermatologists will work on a sliding scale you can expect that removing the tattoo will cost many times the cost of getting it done in the first place.

4. It’s all about the artist

Just like getting the tattoo in the first place, it’s the hand of the person wielding the laser which actually does the work. Research first, and make sure that the company has good reviews and a good clientele. In many states ANYONE can simply buy a laser and open a removal studio so if there’s a “deal” or “special” for somewhere looking to get started in the business you could end up with some nasty scarring instead if you don’t do your research first. Try and avoid looking for the cheapest deal and make sure you find a reputable place.

5. Pre-existing conditions

Accutane users, pregnant women, breast feeding women, and those who have issues with keloiding are all not advised to get laser removal. If in doubt talk to your doctor first.

6. You Don’t have to remove it All

If you’ve only got a small part of the tattoo that’s wrong (e.g a mis-spelled name) consider just removing that part and having it redone. Laser removal is extremely precise so you can even remove just a single letter which is cheaper and quicker than having the whole thing done.

7. There are 2 Different types of Laser

Since the 1980s dermatitians prefer the Q-Switch Yag type laser as this gives the best results and can be used to remove all types of tattoo ink. The Picosecond type of laser is better at removing blues and greens compared to the Q-Switch which means if you have a tattoo that is more blue or green then you may want to find a specialist with the latter.

8. Every Tattoo is Different

No two cases are alike because every artist applies and uses different inks. Some are more heavy handed, some areas of skin are tougher than others etc etc etc. While an experienced removal specialist can give you a rough time line it’s all dependent on your skin.

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