An estimated 45 million Americans have at least one tattoo, according to the National Institutes of Health. However, tattoo regret is very common, especially among women. At Advanced Life Clinic, we offer UltraLight-Q to remove your unwanted ink. But how does laser tattoo removal work, and is laser tattoo removal painful?
How Does Laser Tattoo Removal Work?
Tattoo ink sits in your skin’s deepest layer but at varying depths within that layer. Laser tattoo removal procedures use a special light to heat the ink particles, beginning with the ones nearer the surface. Subsequent treatments continue removing ink layers.
We rely on UltraLight-Q at our clinic. This treatment option uses a Q-switched YAG laser that applies short and intense bursts of light to reduce the chances of scar formation. When targeting tattoo pigment, this laser removal tattoo treatment uses two specific wavelengths: 1064 nanometers and 532 nanometers.
When the laser comes into contact with ink particles, the ink absorbs its energy, which transforms into heat. The heat helps break up the ink particles, allowing your body to eliminate them while leaving the skin around the tattoo untouched.
The best candidates for laser tattoo removal:
- Are in good overall health
- Have lighter skin
- Are not pregnant or nursing
- Do not have a tan
If you take medications that make your skin more sensitive to light, are allergic to tattoo ink, or have a history of abnormal scarring, you may not be the right candidate for our laser removal tattoo treatment options.
Although lighter skin responds more rapidly to treatment, the UltraLight-Q system works well for dark skin tones, too. It can deliver a range of energy wavelengths, including the ones best suited for darker skin tones: long wavelengths in short pulses.
Some tattoos are easier to remove than others. Older tattoos are easier than newer ones because your body has already had a chance to fade the ink.
In addition, the ink color affects how difficult a tattoo is to remove. The laser can target shades of green, blue, red, and black more easily than other colors.
Benefits of UltraLight-Q for Laser Tattoo Removal
The UltraLight-Q system is a state-of-the-art device that reduces the chances of scarring. It offers customizable fluence, which is the amount of energy delivered to an area per pulse. This feature allows us to provide the exact energy level you need, depending on your skin color and other factors.
The laser also offers multiple spot sizes. We can target any type and size of tattoo.
The UltraLight-Q provides permanent results. Once the ink particles break down, your body will eliminate them.
It can target as much or as little of the tattoo as you want, letting you customize your treatment.
Preparing for Laser Tattoo Removal
When you come to a consultation at our clinic, we will examine your tattoo. We will also ask you some questions about your medical history, any medications you take, and whether you have a history of abnormal scarring.
At the consultation, we will put together a personalized treatment plan. This plan will factor in the kind of tattoo you have, its size and colors, and even whether a professional or amateur did it.
Most people need to have a series of sessions to remove the entire tattoo. In the days leading up to your first session, avoid blood thinning medications and supplements, including:
- Vitamin E
- St. John’s wort
- Fish oil
You also want to stay out of the sun and wear sunscreen every day. Avoid alcohol for at least a week before the appointment, and drink lots of water.
The Laser Tattoo Removal Procedure
Come to the appointment without wearing lotions, creams, perfume, or makeup on the treatment area.
We will clean the area and begin the procedure.
Is laser tattoo removal painful? We do everything possible to keep you comfortable during the procedure, including offering cold compresses and numbing creams. Throughout the treatment, we will monitor your comfort level.
How long the procedure takes will depend on the size of the tattoo and the color of the ink. You can leave right after we finish.
Recovery and Aftercare
There is no serious downtime associated with laser tattoo removal. You want to stay out of the sun until the treatment area heals and avoid going to saunas and hot tubs. You also want to avoid swimming.
For the first few days, cover the area with antibiotic ointment and gauze, and don’t use creams or lotions. Once you remove the gauze, you can shower, but avoid high-pressure water and only use mild soap.
Never pick at scabs or blisters.
Because most people require more than one treatment session, it’s best to continue avoiding alcohol and sun exposure between sessions. Drink lots of water and do not smoke.
It is also a good idea to add some exercise to your daily routine. Exercise can help increase blood flow, bringing oxygen and nutrients to the treatment area and speeding up the healing process while helping your body metabolize the ink particles more rapidly.
Get a Safe and Effective Tattoo Removal in Huntsville, AL
If you regret a tattoo, you don’t have to live with it. By turning to laser tattoo removal options like UltraLight-Q, you can safely get the results you want without fear of scarring.
At Advanced Life Clinic in Huntsville, AL, we offer cosmetic procedures to help you achieve aesthetic results without turning to surgical options. With laser treatments, injectables, and more, our team is here to offer reliable care. Call us right now to schedule a consultation.