Are you filled with regret over an old tattoo? Do you want a safe and effective treatment designed to make your tattoo a thing of the past? At Le Reve Skincare & Laser Center in Fort Worth, TX, we offer laser tattoo removal with the professional-grade Enlighten III laser system, guaranteeing a quick and virtually painless removal process that will leave you finally feeling at home in your own skin.
What Are the Benefits of Laser Tattoo Removal?
Whether you let a college friend tattoo your favorite band’s name on your ankle or wear an ex’s initials across your heart, you have a good reason for wanting to get your old tattoo removed. There are many benefits that come with this procedure, which was almost unheard of until the late 1960s. Today, laser tattoo removal is a common and efficient way to break up with a regrettable piece of body art.
At our office, our experienced team can complete your removal treatment in a few easy sessions. Each treatment involves minimal downtime and easy recovery, making it simple to fit this treatment into your daily life and schedule. Most patients report that the laser treatment itself is pain-free, and almost every patient is a candidate for treatment regardless of skin type or color.
Best of all, removing an unwanted tattoo can help you feel more confident in your appearance. Our patients are amazed by the accuracy and sophistication of our laser treatment, but they are most impressed by the fact that their skin can be tattoo-free several months after beginning treatment.
How Does Treatment Work?
The Enlighten III laser offers superior technology and is able to deliver attractive results time and time again. We can adjust the wavelengths emitted by this laser, along with its pulse lengths, to ensure that your personalized treatment is right for your skin color, tone, and tattoo ink shades. Each lightning-quick pulse lasts for less than a second and steadily degrades tattoo ink in the skin to accelerate the removal process.
As the laser fires, the tiny beam passes through your epidermis to target the ink sitting in the lower layers of your skin. Each precise blast breaks down the tattoo ink molecules. We adjust the laser to take into account the ink pigment and your base skin tone, minimizing the risk of discoloration or burning, which was a common occurrence with less advanced lasers. This was especially true when these lasers were used on patients with darker skin tones.
Once your session is complete, you are able to return to your normal activities with no downtime. The next few weeks will see your tattoo beginning to fade as destroyed ink molecules are cleared from the treated area by your body’s lymphatic system. With every treatment, more and more ink is removed, resulting in the complete erasure of your old tattoo over the course of your personalized removal plan.
How Long Does It Take?
Tattoos are intended to be permanent, so removing them can take time. For smaller pieces, we typically break down the removal process into at least 2 sessions to ensure that the laser is able to target the entire piece. Each appointment is scheduled at least two weeks apart to allow your skin to heal and to give your body time to flush the ink molecules from your system.
For larger pieces, you may require between 3-8 separate sessions to achieve your desired results. If your tattoo is older, your treatment process may be quicker since the natural aging process and passage of time will have caused some breakdown in the ink molecules. However, newer pieces are more resistant and may require more sessions.
Our doctor and experienced team will evaluate your tattoo after each session to check the progress of your treatment. Your removal plan will be adjusted as needed depending on the size of your tattoo, the color of the ink used, and how long ago it was done. Our doctor can provide you with a general idea of how long your specific removal process will take during your initial consultation.
Will My Skin Look the Same?
Some patients are hesitant to remove a tattoo because they are unsure whether the removal process will impact the appearance of their skin. Older laser technology could affect the appearance of the skin, especially in patients with darker skin tones. This is because the laser is designed to target pigment in order to reach and destroy the tattoo ink. However, melanin in the skin was sometimes targeted instead, resulting in discoloration or even mild burns.
The Enlighten III laser offers state-of-the-art features to ensure that your skin is fully protected during the removal treatment. While earlier lasers had set wavelengths and pulse lengths, this laser allows us to adjust these settings incrementally to match your unique situation. In this way, we are able to accurately target and break down the tattoo ink pigments without damaging your natural skin.
Each patient’s experience varies based on their personal circumstances and tattoo type. In rare cases, a tattoo created by an amateur could leave some residual imperfections in the skin that cannot be removed with laser treatment. Our doctor can examine the tattoo you wish to remove and give you a general idea of what your skin may look like after treatment. In most cases, the laser removal process will not impact the overall appearance of your skin.
Can I Tattoo the Treated Area Again?
For some patients, a tattoo removal appointment is just a stepping stone to their ultimate goal of pursuing a new tattoo in the same location. Tattoo cover-up sessions and laser removal treatments seem to be equally popular, but removing a tattoo before getting a new one offers you the chance to start with a clean slate.
Once all of the ink molecules from your old tattoo are destroyed and removed from your body, your skin should appear clear and natural. Our doctor may have you wait several months to ensure that your skin is healed after your final laser treatment. After this point, you can schedule a tattoo appointment and re-tattoo the treated skin with no anticipated negative side effects.
Who Is an Ideal Candidate?
If you’re an adult with a tattoo you’d like to erase, you’re probably a perfect candidate for a laser tattoo removal treatment plan. An ideal candidate is generally healthy and free from any skin conditions that may be exacerbated by the laser treatment process. In addition, your tattoo should be several months old and fully healed before you attempt to remove it from your skin.
You may not be an ideal candidate for this treatment if you have an injury or signs of inflammation in the target skin. If you’re unsure whether this treatment is right for you, our doctor can help you examine your tattoo and evaluate your candidacy for treatment during an initial consultation.
What Can I Expect?
Before you’re approved for laser treatment to remove your tattoo, our doctor will sit down with you for a one-on-one consultation. This appointment allows our doctor to examine your tattoo and review your medical history in order to determine whether this treatment is right for you. If you are approved, our doctor will recommend a basic treatment plan, which could change over time depending on how you respond to your first sessions.
Our doctor will also provide you with a timeline for your tattoo removal and instructions for how to prepare for the treatment and recovery process. Once your consultation is over, you can schedule your first session and begin preparing for treatment.
In order to prepare effectively for laser treatment, it’s important to pay careful attention to the health and sensitivity of your skin before your appointment. This means that you should protect your skin from irritation, keep the target area moisturized, and drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated. We recommend that most patients avoid any harsh exfoliants or untested skincare products that may cause irritation or an allergic reaction.
In addition, you should limit your time in the sun to avoid sunburn or sun damage. Harmful sun exposure can cause a multitude of skin concerns, but it also heightens your skin’s sensitivity and may interact negatively with laser treatment. You should protect your skin with sunscreen, avoid spending extended periods of time in direct sunlight and avoid tanning outdoors or with artificial measures before your laser treatment.
Finally, we suggest that you perform any hair removal treatments at least 1 week before treatment if they impact the target skin. Just before your appointment, you will need to shave the target area so that there is no hair above the surface of your skin to streamline the laser treatment process.
Before your first session begins, one of our experienced staff members will apply a topical anesthetic agent to your tattooed skin. This helps ensure your comfort during treatment and reduces the sensation of the laser to a slight snap against your skin. Most patients report that this sensation is not at all uncomfortable thanks to the anesthetic.
Our staff member will activate the laser with settings that have been personalized for your tattoo removal appointment. The treatment itself may last anywhere from 20 minutes-1 hour, depending on the size of your tattoo. Once our staff member is finished, they will apply a soothing cream to the treated skin and give you instructions to follow as your skin recovers between appointments.
During your recovery period, you should continue to protect your skin from the sun by applying sunscreen regularly. It’s important to avoid exposing any skin treated with this laser to sunlight for the duration of your treatment to minimize your risk of serious sunburn and irritation. You should keep your skin moisturized and continue to avoid any skincare products that may inflame the skin as it heals.
As your body begins to remove the ink molecules, you should see your tattoo beginning to fade. This process can take several months and will become more apparent with each subsequent removal session.
Once your treatment plan is complete, your skin should be clear and tattoo-free. The treated area should be indistinguishable from the rest of your skin, making it appear as if you never had a tattoo at all. Your skin should be completely healed and feeling back to normal within 2 months of your last tattoo removal session.
Contact Us to Learn More!
Ready to have more of your questions about tattoo removal answered? Contact our team of experts at Le Reve Skincare & Laser Center in Fort Worth, TX, to schedule an initial consultation and learn more about this permanent, transformative treatment! We look forward to serving you!