While they are meant to last forever, you don’t have to live with a tattoo that you’d rather put in the past. The board-certified dermatologists and staff at Skin Spectrum have extensive experience performing aesthetic laser treatments. They use laser tattoo removal in Tucson, Arizona, to safely and effectively erase unwanted tattoos from the face and body.
How Does it Work?
At Skin Spectrum in Tucson, we perform tattoo removal using the Spectra™ Q-Switched Nd:YAG laser. This advanced laser emits quick, high-intensity pulses of a specific wavelength of light that is readily absorbed by the pigment in the tattoo ink. Unlike with laser skin resurfacing, which actually treats the skin cells themselves, the Nd:YAG laser energy breaks down only the pigment in the skin so it can be absorbed by the body. After treatment, the surrounding tissue is unharmed.
What Can I Expect?
While each pulse of the laser creates a stinging sensation, we can use a topical numbing cream or injection of a local anesthetic before treatment for enhanced comfort. It takes only about 15 minutes to complete each treatment. After treatment, there is usually swelling and blistering that will heal in about 5 to 10 days. The site may stay pink or red for a slightly longer period of time after the site heals. It’s important to avoid sun exposure to the tattoo as the area heals.
Because we specialize in aesthetic skin care, many people combine laser tattoo removal with other treatments like laser hair removal or one of our vein treatments. During your comprehensive cosmetic consultation, we will outline a personalized treatment plan to help you get the improvements you desire.
How Many Treatments Will I Need?
While your tattoo will begin fading after a single treatment, laser tattoo removal is a gradual process that usually takes a series of treatments. Depending on the size of your tattoo, as well as the colors, depth, and type of ink used, you will likely need about 4 to 10 treatments, spaced 4 to 8 weeks apart. Some tattoos cannot be removed completely, but most can at least be lightened significantly.
What Are Possible Complications?
Although rare, hypopigmentation (loss of skin coloring) is a possible complication from laser tattoo removal. This complication is more likely for people with darker skin coloring and is often temporary.
There is always the chance of infection and possible scarring at any laser treatment site although exceedingly rare.