FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
About Tattoo Removal
Every tattoo is different and each one will have its own individual response to treatments. Complete removal is not always possible in every case, but significant lightening is. It is almost never a one time treatment and there is a definite time commitment. Laser tattoo removal is not an overnight solution, but it is the most effective one.
HOW DOES LASER TATTOO REMOVAL WORK?
The laser is actually looking for colour, not ink. When it sees it’s target, the colour in the tattoo, it breaks the ink pigment up into tiny particles. Your body’s lymphatic and immune system then work to flush the particles out of your system. The fading process then works for up to 8 weeks after the treatment.
HOW MANY TREATMENTS WILL BE REQUIRED?
Because it is your body that is doing the work, we can't predict how many treatments your tattoo will take. Every tattoo and every person has a unique response to the laser, so what we look for is progress after each treatment spacing them 8 weeks apart.
The number of treatments depends on the tattoo itself. There a number of factors that come into play, the three main ones being age of the tattoo, colours involved and how the ink was put in the skin. Generally, older tattoos are easier to remove than fresh ones. Darker tattoos, particularly black, blue, green and red are the easiest to fade with purples, oranges, browns requiring more treatments. White and colours mixed with white, like pink, can be problematic as well. Line work usually takes longer than shading and professionally done tattoos require more treatments than homemade ones. Tattoo fading for a cover-up generally happens much faster than complete removal.
HOW MUCH TIME BETWEEN TREATMENTS?
We recommend 8 weeks between treatments, but that can be shortened to 4-6 weeks for smaller tattoos or if there is a plan to try to have it removed faster. The skin usually heals visibly in the first 2 weeks, with some exceptions.
If you are planning a cover-up, we recommend 4 months after the final laser treatment before the area is tattooed again.
HOW DOES THE QUANTA Q-PLUS C COMPARE TO THE NEW PICOSECOND TECHNOLOGY?
"...the published literature and our preliminary results seem to indicate that current “picosecond” lasers are not expected to have a significantly better tattoo clearance effect in comparison with the “gold standard” Q-switched nanosecond tattoo lasers. Taking into account also the current technology limitations of picosecond lasers, it is our opinion that top-of-the-line Q-switched nanosecond lasers will remain the devices of choice for tattoo removal."
Journal of the Laser and Health Academy
Vol. 2013, No.1
DOES IT HURT?
There is some discomfort involved. Pulses of energy are literally breaking up the pigment in the tattoo. You will feel a burning sensation as this happens. We use the latest in cooling technology to help manage the pain. We will cool your skin before the treatment and as the treatment is happening. This accomplishes two things. Very effective pain management and a lessening of possible side effects due to the heat transmitted into your skin. Most clients report that the pain they were anticipating was far greater than the actual experience. Topical anesthetics such as Zensa cream can also be used to reduce the discomfort involved.
DO YOU SELL NUMBING CREAM?
Yes. We sell Zensa which needs to applied 90 minutes prior to treatment and can make it more manageable.
WHAT ARE THE SIDE AFFECTS?
Generally speaking, the risk of scarring is very low, but it is always possible. We will do some screening ahead of time to determine if you are susceptible to scarring but it is sometimes impossible to predict.
The treatment heats up the ink inside the skin, sometimes leading to redness, bruising, swelling and possibly blistering. Specific aftercare instructions will be given to you and if followed there shouldn’t be any issues with infection but that is small risk as well.
Hyper-pigmentation or hypo-pigmentation, a darkening or lightening of the skin in the area being treated, may occur however this is usually temporary.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
Pricing is based on the size of the treatment area and is based on a per treatment basis. Prices range from $50-$500 with average treatments being $100-$200.
Second Skin is committed to making our service as accessible as possible and with that in mind we try to make our fees as reasonable as possible.
Please remember, as with everything else, cheaper is not necessarily better.
We have invested over $250,000 in making sure we have the best possible equipment to meet your tattoo removal needs.
WHAT CAN I DO TO PREPARE AND WHAT CAN I EXPECT AFTERWARDS?
You can read our full pre/post care instructions on this page.
Prior to your laser tattoo removal treatment, please avoid the following:
Direct sun exposure or sun tanning booths for 21 days, or more, prior to treatment
Use of sunless tanning creams for 5-7 days prior to treatment
Use of tattoo "fading creams" for 4-6 weeks prior to treatment