Tattoo Removal with Spectrum Q-Switched Yag
Tattoos are becoming increasingly popular, but so are regrettable ones. With laser tattoo removal, you can significantly fade the appearance of tattoos of a variety of pigments.
What is the Spectrum Q-Switched Yag Laser?
The FDA approved Spectrum Q-Switched Yag offers two different laser wavelengths to target both dark and colored tattoo pigments. When directed at the tattoo, laser energy breaks up the pigment within the epidermis, resulting in small enough pieces that can be naturally eliminated by the body.
Who is a Candidate for Laser Tattoo Removal?
To be a candidate for laser tattoo removal, the tattoo must be at least 6-weeks old before treatment. If you had an allergic reaction to tattoo ink, we cannot perform this procedure on you and surgical excision would be the only treatment available to you. Laser tattoo removal is safe and effective for most skin types and tattoo colors, however, certain factors will influence how many treatment sessions you will need and how significant your results will be. Those with fair skin and black tattoo pigments will see the quickest, most significant results from treatment. But those with darker skin tones and colored tattoo pigments can still find effective results with optimal sessions. Our laser professionals can meet with you to determine if you are a candidate and how successful your treatment will be. We do not recommend laser tattoo removal for patients that are pregnant or trying to become pregnant.
How do I Prepare for Treatment?
You cannot be tanned, use self-tanners or sunburnt prior to or during the course of treatment. You should avoid blood thinning medications such as Motrin, Aleve, and Aspirin in the week prior to treatment. If there is hair growing over the tattoo, you will need to shave. Your skin must be completely clean and free of any lotions, perfumes, makeup or deodorants on the day of treatment.
What is the Treatment Like?
Prior to your laser tattoo removal treatment, the appropriate laser wavelength will be selected depending on the pigment of your tattoo. The skin will then be prepped with cooling gel and you will be given glasses for eye protection. The Q-Switched laser handpiece will then be directed at your tattoo delivering pulses of laser energy. The amount of discomfort you feel during the process will depend on your pain tolerance and the location of your tattoo. For more sensitive areas, a topical numbing cream might be used beforehand. A cooling mechanism will also increase your comfort and protect your skin.
It can take up to 12 sessions spaced 4-6 weeks apart to remove tattoos depending on the colors of the tattoo and how dark they are. Certain ink colors are much more difficult to remove. Some tattoos may not be entirely removed. The size of the tattoo only affects the number of required sessions if the entire tattoo is not treated at each session.
What are my Post-Treatment Care Instructions?
After laser tattoo removal, the treated area should be kept covered with Aquaphor and a non-stick Telfa pad. The goal is to prevent scabs from forming, therefore, keeping the area covered with Aquaphor is important. If scabs form, do not pick them; doing so will cause scars. Avoid sun exposure after tattoo removal treatments and use a good sunblock containing 9% zinc or higher every day between treatment sessions.
What Results can I Expect?
After each laser tattoo session, you can expect your tattoo to become less visible. Your final results will depend on the tattoo pigment and your skin tone. Patients can expect the tattoo to be significantly faded after optimal treatment sessions, and in some cases, completely removed.
Patricia Ferguson, R.N. has worked with Dr. Stanislaw since 2004 and is responsible for providing laser tattoo removal treatments. To learn more about the laser tattoo removal process with Spectrum Q-Switched Yag and to ensure you are a successful candidate, contact our office today.
At the time of your consultation, you will be provided a quote which will be honored for 1-year.