Start the New Year Without the Ink: How Laser Tattoo Removal Works

Maybe you got inked on impulse. Perhaps your art symbolizes a relationship that’s no more. Maybe you just no longer find that your piece represents you. 

Regardless of why you want to remove your tattoo, our board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Jan Garcia, Jr. at Plastic Surgery Arts Center can help with CO2 laser treatment.

Here’s how you can enter the new year without that unwanted tattoo.

How laser tattoo removal works

The CO2 laser targets the pigment in your tattoos using high-intensity light energy. The energy fractures the pigment particles, breaking them up into pieces that are small enough for your immune system to get rid of naturally.

Black is the easiest color to treat because it absorbs all laser wavelengths. All other colors require an expert, like Dr. Garcia and the technicians at Plastic Surgery Arts Center, to determine the right wavelengths to break up the pigment. Yellow ink and placement at the wrist, hand, finger, ankle, toe, or foot are some of the hardest tattoos to fade.

Smaller tattoos require fewer pulses of energy, while larger ones understandably need more. Despite the strength of lasers, don’t expect your tattoo to disappear entirely. It will fade considerably to the point where only you know it was once there.

The number of sessions you’ll need

Before you can get a tattoo removed, it has to be completely healed. If you just got your tattoo, you may have to live with it for a couple of months before it can be effectively treated with lasers.

How many sessions you’ll need to fully erase your tattoo depends on many factors. When you come in for a consultation, we can create a treatment plan based on the age, size, and coloration of your tattoo. Heavy, detailed, and colored work may require more sessions. Your skin type and the depth of your tattoo’s pigment also affect removal.

After each treatment session, your tattoo should get progressively lighter.

Here’s what to expect

During each tattoo-removal session, you’ll wear a pair of eye shields to protect you from the laser light. At your first appointment, we’ll test how your skin reacts to the laser so we can set the right energy level.

We direct laser energy through the top layers of your skin. This light is then absorbed by the pigment in the tattoo, but the laser doesn’t affect the surrounding tissue.

It’s gonna be a little uncomfortable

Yes, laser tattoo removal is uncomfortable, but no more so than getting the tattoo in the first place. You may choose to request or self-apply a topical anesthetic prior to your appointment, depending on the location of your tattoo.

An ice pack applied to the treated area soothes discomfort. Make sure you use appropriate sunblock to cover the treated area when you’re outside. Laser treatment makes your skin temporarily extra sensitive to ultraviolet rays.

There’s no need to live with a tattoo you regret. We can help you fade and remove the coloration and detail so you can easily get it covered with a more appropriate piece of art. Laser removal can also work so well that no one will be able to tell you had a tattoo in the first place.

Call the Plastic Surgery Arts Center office in Webster, Texas, to set up your tattoo-removal consultation today, or use the online tool to book. We want to help you feel happy and confident in your skin again.

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