Do you have a tattoo that no longer reflects who you are today? Perhaps it’s the name of a long-ago former love. Your current flame doesn’t really want to see that name on your arm every time she hugs you. Perhaps your tattoo looks childish or doesn’t reflect your interests and personality anymore. You’d like to eliminate it, but how will your skin look afterward?
Thanks to modern laser technology, ridding yourself of your old tattoo is much easier and less painful today than in decades past, when surgeons actually cut pigment out of your skin. Board-certified physician Dr. Laura Riehm with Skin Deep Laser MD provides expert tattoo removal using the Picosure® laser system.
How does the PicoSure laser work to remove a tattoo?
The ink particles in your tattoo are too large for your immune system to remove. They need to be broken into smaller pieces.
The PicoSure® laser works by sending extremely rapid pulses of energy — trillionths of a second — to the tattoo. The process creates acoustic waves. The waves of energy break apart the tattoo pigmentation into tiny particles that look similar to dust. It’s a photomechanical process rather than a photothermal one, lessening the amount of heat your skin receives from the laser.
Older laser technology breaks up the tattoo ink with heat. This can be very painful, causes the skin to blister after every treatment and can even cause burns and burn scars. Dr. Riehm only uses the PicoSure® laser because it delivers energy using a pressure wave instead of heat. This pressure breaks up the ink into much tinier particles that the older lasers can, making it easier and faster to clear the tattoo. This means the tattoo disappears faster with fewer treatments and lower cost. It also makes every treatment more comfortable and means no more blistered skin, burns or scars!
What are the advantages of the PicoSure laser system?
The PicoSure laser has definite advantages over other tattoo removal systems. PicoSure works on all skin types and all types of tattoos. The PicoSure system has three different wavelengths that can treat all of the different colors in your tattoo. It effectively targets black, blue, purple and green inks as well as red, yellow, and orange; the brighter colors have been harder to treat in the past. (unfortunately, the PicoSure laser does not remove white ink. There is no laser that can remove white ink at this time)
Perhaps you’ve already tried tattoo removal using another system and weren’t happy with the results. Because it is able to break the ink into much tinier particles than the older nanosecond lasers were able to do, PicoSure works on tattoos that have been treated previously with less than satisfactory results.
Using PicoSure, you’ll have no pain or downtime after your treatment. The laser does not damage the surface of the skin so you won’t have blisters or an open wound, as with other types of tattoo removal treatment. You may have redness in the treated area for a few hours, but it subsides quickly.
More benefits of the PicoSure® laser are that it can be used for skin rejuvenation and scar treatment. Similar to the action of microneedling, the laser causes micro-trauma deep in the skin which stimulates collagen and elastin production and remodeling of scar tissue
Does tattoo removal hurt?
Removing the tattoo causes no more discomfort than getting a tattoo, and it goes much faster!. It’s a very similar sensation, akin to a rubber band snapping against your skin. We apply a topical numbing agent to the treatment area to minimize any pain.
How long does the tattoo removal session last?
The typical tattoo removal session with the PicoSure laser lasts about 10 or 15 minutes. It could take a bit longer, depending on the size of the tattoo. It’s such a quick procedure that you can make appointments over your lunch hour.
How many appointments do I need to erase the tattoo?
We usually recommend about six treatments, with six weeks between each treatment session.
For all of your medical-grade aesthetic needs, call Skin Deep Laser MD or book an appointment online today.