What if you could go back in a time machine and erase your past regrets? Unfortunately, we at Rejuvené MD in El Paso, Texas can’t offer you a time machine, but we can offer you the next best thing: the Cutera Enlighten III laser. While this laser tattoo removal system can’t take you back in time, it can eliminate the tattoos you regret most. Roughly 25% of American adults have a tattoo, and about a quarter of them experience tattoo regret. If you are overcome by tattoo regret, we have proven, modern treatments that can fix the problem.
How Laser Tattoo Removal Works
If you’re reading this article about tattoo removal, you probably have a lot of questions and a tattoo you really don’t want on your body any longer.
Laser tattoo removal does in fact use lasers. These are small, powerful, handheld lasers that pulse very fast to break up the ink in the tattoo and remove it from your skin so it can be processed and removed by the body’s internal processes. It sounds like science fiction, but that is actually how it works!
Our office uses the effective Cutera Enlighten III laser to remove tattoos. Unlike older and less advanced laser systems, the Enlighten III uses both longer nanosecond and shorter picosecond bursts of lasers to ensure that the removal job is done as quickly and cleanly as possible. This offers both the advantages of nanosecond and picosecond treatments to our patients.
The process is pretty simple on your end. All you need to do is bring yourself and the skin you want to be purged of your old tattoo. Your doctor will take the device and trace the tattoo with the laser while it pulses. This process will be repeated around a half a dozen times but can be given anywhere from one to twenty times depending on the nature of the tattoo and the success of the previous treatments.
Post-Treatment Care at Home
After your skin has been bombarded with millions of tiny, tattoo-eradicating laser bursts, it needs some tender loving care so the site of the tattoo removal can properly heal. Please remember this section is simply a general guideline. For your individual treatment and recovery, please refer to your doctor’s instructions!
For the first few days after laser tattoo removal, the treated area should be kept dry and wrapped in sterile gauze. For the following week or two, the treated area treated should be kept as clean and dry as possible to minimize the chance for site infection or other complications. During this period you should also avoid spending long amounts of time in sunlight and stay away from pressurized water, such as a power washer, as it may further injure the recovery site.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does It Hurt?
The lasers can cause a light zapping or snapping sensation on the skin. Many people compare it to having a rubber band snapped against your skin. Fortunately, this process hurts much less than the process of getting the tattoo that you are now desperately trying to get rid of.
Some doctors also make use of local anesthetic to minimize this zapping or snapping sensation. This should not alter the treatment, but it can greatly increase your personal comfort. Be sure to ask your doctor about local anesthetic before starting a laser tattoo removal session.
Is It Safe?
This is a very safe treatment, especially when compared to older, more invasive methods of removal. The medical risks are quite minimal. Laser tattoo removal has some minor concerns, such as a change in pigmentation around the treatment sight and scarring around the tattoo, but these issues are rare.
Does It Actually Remove the Tattoo?
Laser treatment can completely remove a tattoo from your skin. While this is not guaranteed, laser treatment has a very high success rate for the permanent removal of unwanted tattoos from your body. Please talk to your medical professional about expectations for your tattoo removal outcome, as it will depend on the size, color, and age of your tattoo.
Are There Other Options Besides Lasers?
There are other options, but many of these are less safe and outdated. Other options such as freezing the tattoo, sanding the skin, or surgically cutting the tattoo out may be used, but these are significantly more dangerous and more painful than using laser removal. Some providers offer topical at-home use ointments that can partially conceal or mask tattoos, but no ointment currently on the market can effectively remove a tattoo cleanly and completely from your body, unlike laser removal.
If you are trying to ditch a bad tattoo, start with the laser treatment. It was specifically created to replace those invasive, outdated, and painful methods and is much safer and more effective.
How Much Does It Cost?
The cost of tattoo removal depends on many factors, including the size, color, and age of the tattoo. Contact Rejuvené MD in the office for exact pricing for your specific tattoo removal needs. Getting rid of that tattoo is probably worth it!
How Long Does It Take?
Individual sessions are quite brief, usually taking less than twenty minutes, but depend upon the size, difficulty, and nature of the tattoo. However, in the likely event that the tattoo requires more than one treatment, the treatment site will require a few weeks or months to heal in between treatments. For stubborn tattoos, having many treatments over months or years is not uncommon.
Do Laser Tattoo Treatments Cause Cancer?
While this rumor has bounced around on the internet, there is no credible or clinical evidence to support this internet rumor. Laser treatments are still considered by medical professionals to be the safest and least painful way of removing a tattoo.
Results and Expectations
Results can vary based on skin tone, the kind of tattoo, and the colors of the dye in the tattoo’s ink. Generally, black, red, blue, and green inks are the easiest to remove, whereas purple, orange, and yellow tend to be much more difficult. Turquoise is usually considered to be the most difficult color to remove. People with paler skin tones seem to respond faster to laser treatment, though this is by no means consistent for all people.
Professionally done tattoos are significantly harder to remove than tattoos of other natures, such as amateur tattoos or surgical tattoos. Shope-done tattoos are deliberately intended to last for a very long time and are made by professional artists with professional-grade ink and tattooing equipment.
Things to Ask Your Doctor
As with anything related to your health, please consult your doctors before undergoing tattoo removal. Please make sure that the doctor treating you is an experienced dermatologist who knows how to properly use the laser device and can answer your questions regarding treatment. At Rejuvené MD, we have the training, expertise, and experience you need to be sure you’re getting the very best treatment.
Be sure to discuss expectations for your treatment with us as results can and will vary. A number of factors can influence the course of treatment, including your skin tone, pigmentation, age, the colors and size of the tattoo, your smoking habits, pretreatment scarring, and other kinds of preexisting skin damage.
Cutera, the manufacturer of the Enlighten III, generally recommends starting with the nanosecond treatments to take care of the majority of the tattoo and finishing up with the picosecond treatment to remove whatever ink remains in the tattoo. While this is the recommended course, treatment will vary from person to person based on needs and expectations.
Certain factors can make your removal more difficult. Tattoos with a high density of colors or color variety will need extra time and attention as they are more stubborn and harder to expunge. The Enlighten III laser allows your doctor to simply change laser settings when changing colors, avoiding the need to switch between colored lasers, but the process can still take more time because of color variety.
Large tattoos over thirty centimeters in size, tattoos with a blend of colors, those older than three years old, and tattoos located on the feet or legs usually respond slower to laser treatments and may require more attention to reach the desired stage of removal.
As they puncture the skin, it is not uncommon for tattoos to leave scars or scarring on your body. Have your doctor check for scarring at the site of the tattoo before undergoing the treatment. Pre-existent scars could affect the outcome of your treatment and how the doctor chooses to treat you going forward.
Laser Treatment Details
As stated earlier, the Cutera Enlighten III laser is on the cutting edge of laser tattoo removal and can output both nanosecond and picosecond laser bursts for removing tattoos, but what does this mean for the patient and their treatment? Each of these laser treatments offers different benefits for the patient depending on their tattoo needs and removal situation.
Nanosecond, or q-trigger treatment, is an older and less powerful kind of laser than the picosecond laser. While switching back and forth between nanosecond and picosecond treatments is considered the most effective treatment, nanosecond treatments are less likely to discolor flesh, especially for people with darker skin tones. Nanosecond treatments can also be more effective with certain colors of tattoo ink.
Picosecond treatment is a newer method of tattoo removal and is more efficient than nanosecond treatment. This power is not selective, so picosecond treatments are more likely to cause discoloration of the skin. While the chances of poor outcomes are still quite unlikely, this is an important fact to be aware of when trying to find the best mix of nanosecond and picosecond bursts for your case and another reason to always rely on a qualified professional for best results.
While the primary market for the Enlighten Laser is tattoo removal, it is ultimately a pigmentation lightening device. It can be used to remove blemishes, benign pigmented skin lesions, or other skin discolorations in addition to tattoos. The Enlighten III can also help remodel your skin for the purposes of skin rejuvenation. Be sure to ask if these non-tattoo related treatments could be right for you and your skin.
We Look Forward to Hearing From You
We want you to have a unique, positive, and self-affirming experience with Rejuvené MD. We are here for you. Contact Rejuvené MD in El Paso, Texas either online or by phone today. Whether it be for laser tattoo removal or any other aspect of aesthetic medicine, we are here to meet your aesthetic medicinal needs.