WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT YOUR TATTOO REMOVAL
1. How do lasers remove tattoos?
Tattoo ink is made of thousands of small particles. These particles are the building blocks of the visible pigment on the skin's surface. tIn actuality these particles are suspended in the dermis which is a layer below the surface. Tattoo lasers are attracted to specific ink pigments and utilize high-powered but very fast pulsed beams of light to break down ink particles. The Wontech Laser uses 1064nm (nanometres),660nm, 595nm or 532nm. When these beams hit the ink particles it causes them to shatter into smaller fragments. Gradually, the body eliminates the ink through the lymphatic system.
2. Is it safe to remove a tattoo with a laser?
Absolutely! Laser tattoo removal is both safe and effective. All technicians at Blackout Laser are state certified laser operators. It is to be noted that this is a clinical procedure and as such, there is a potential for associated risks.
As laser professionals, our job is to assess your medical history, your current health, and any foreseeable complications. Lasers are our specialty and our technicians have years of experience working with a variety of lasers.
3. Which laser equipment does Blackout Laser use for tattoo removal?
At Blackout Laser, we use only medical-grade, FDA-approved laser equipment. All of our technicians have received training specific to the Wontech Pastelle as well as other laser technologies. The Pastelle is cutting-edge technology using a fast pulse rate and up to a 10mm spot size to effectively treat areas safely and effectively. This enables us to provide outstanding, efficient service to our growing clientele. Our equipment is maintained and repaired by professional service technicians certified by the manufacturer.
4. Am I required to have a consultation and undergo a patch test?
We offer free consultations prior to your appointment with one of our certified laser technicians prior to booking your laser tattoo removal treatment. This ensures you the best possible treatment and is definitely in your best interest. During your consultation, we will also ask that you share any past experience you have had with laser skin treatments.
During your consultation, we may perform a patch test to rule out any adverse reactions. This is to ensure there will not be any concerns going forward with treatment. We will also address any concerns you might have at this time. You are responsible for informing your laser technician of all medications, health products, or health concerns you may have as these details are helpful when catering your laser treatment to your needs. We welcome and encourage all questions during and after your consultation as it is very important to us that you are well informed. I mean seriously… it's a laser. Our goal is to ensure you feel comfortable in our clinic and with your technician.
6. Will the laser completely remove my tattoo?
Most tattoos will see considerable fading and many can be completely removed. Some tattoos are more easily removed than others due to several factors, some factors to be considered are:
Color, quality, and depth of pigment: Certain pigments such as black, red, and dark blue respond better to the laser than green, orange, and light blue or pink pigments. These lighter pigments can require more treatments to achieve your desired results. Many times this is due to the fact that they contain white ink which can be resistant to lasers. Professionally applied tattoos use ink intended to be permanent and can require more treatments than amateur or medical tattoos.
Age of the ink: Old and blurry tattoos that have bled into other areas outside of the original tattooed site may be more difficult to remove.
Location of the ink: Tattoos on areas such as ankles or fingers can be more difficult to remove than those placed on thicker-skinned areas that are closer to the heart. The further the ink is from the source of blood flow often the more time it will take for removal.
In some cases, there may be a shadow of the former tattoo. This is called ghosting and it tends to fade over time. Some areas may retain a shadow of the former tattoo, which will fade gradually. During your free consultation, your laser technician will assess your tattoo and give you a more precise estimate of the number of treatments you may require to reach your removal goals.
7. Is laser tattoo removal painful?
Full transparency, tattoo removal can be rather uncomfortable. The ink in the skin is heated rapidly in order to break down the particles. This process raises the ink to the skin's surface causing a frosting effect. Blackout Laser provides several pain management aides to keep the treatment as comfortable as possible, from topical numbing to cooling the skins surface using our Cryo 6 chiller which helps soothe pain with a stream of continuous 30°C cold air. The chilled air also helps minimize thermal damage and works towards a smooth healing process. Post-treatment slight swelling, tenderness, and redness may occur. Proper aftercare can reduce discomfort.
In preparation for your treatment, you may wish to take an over-the-counter, non-Aspirin pain reliever such as Tylenol, however, DO NOT take Aspirin products as they increase the risk of bruising and/or bleeding.
8. What are the possible side effects of laser tattoo removal?
The tattoo removal process involves creating a controlled medical burn using laser energy. Frosting of the treated area is a normal reaction. As the laser energy heats the ink, the particles split and emit carbon dioxide. We visibly see this when the carbon dioxide rises to the skin's surface. This may last anywhere from several minutes up to several hours. Short-term side-effects can include reddening, mild burning, temporary bruising and/or blistering.
Within 12-72 hours, your skin may scab or crust, and this can last for one to two weeks or more. Your skin can be pink or pale after the scab separates. Loss of skin pigment in the treated area is common but usually temporary. Your technician will discuss possible side-effects with you, and provide you with pre- and post-treatment care instructions before scheduling your laser tattoo-removal appointment.
9. Is laser tattoo removal safe during pregnancy?
While some clinics treat clients during pregnancy, we do not at Blackout Laser. Our primary concern is both for your health, and for that of your unborn child. We will gladly make a plan for treatment for you post-pregnancy after the safe arrival of your baby!
10. How many treatments will I need?
Well, first we must look at what makes the ink permanent. When you get tattooed, needles penetrate the epidermis to the dermis. As ink enters the skin, the human recognizes it as something foreign and will send white blood cells to aid in removing it but those particles are much larger than the cells themselves. So for your body to break down a tattoo naturally, without interference is highly unlikely.
Generally speaking, Tattoo removal treatments fit along a bell curve. Most clients require between 5 and 8 treatments for removal however, there are additional factors that must be considered in your removal. Some clients may see complete removal in as little as 3 treatments while others may require 10 for 90-95% removal if there is layering or significant scarring. For cover-ups, 3-5 treatments are usually advised. During your consultation, we will asses the area to be treated, and based on these and other factors determine where on the bell curve you will likely fit.
11. How long is a treatment session?
A laser tattoo-removal session will last no longer than 30 minutes. Our job is to assess your tattoo based on the factors as listed previously and treat accordingly. This is the only way to guarantee that your treatment is both personalized and most effective. After your first treatment, we will have a much better idea as to how long your individual sessions will last. Also, you will have a better understanding of what your pain tolerance is, much of which will be dictated by the location of your tattoo.
12. Pre and Post-Treatment instructions
Do not tan, utilize tanning beds, and avoid exposing unprotected skin to extended periods of the sun for a minimum of two weeks prior to treatment.
Shave hair in the area to be treated 24 hours prior.
Apply provided topical anesthetic 30-90 minutes prior to treatment.
Avoid ALL irritants or exfoliants on the area to be treated
If possible do not apply makeup, lotion, cologne/perfume on or around the treatment area. Your technician will thoroughly clean the area prior to treating.
Apply a clean ice pack or cold compress to the treated area to help reduce bruising and swelling
Avoid washing the treated area with hot water and soap as it may irritate the skin, and can affect healing.
Avoid vigorous exercise, hot tubs, and saunas for a minimum of two days.
Avoid sun exposure and use a minimum SPF-30 sunscreen on the treated area.
Contact us if: the area appears to be infected, discolored, crusting, oozing, and/or spreading redness; you experience unusual discomfort or bleeding; you have any extreme reactions such as fever, rash, difficulty breathing or other complications.