At Sun City Laser in El Paso, TX, our expert team uses a unique laser treatment system to maximize the removal of your unwanted tattoos. Our versatile PicoWay laser can treat tattoos of a variety of colors on all different skin types. The PicoWay laser delivers faster and more comfortable treatments than its competitors. Here, we answer some of the most frequently asked questions we receive about the laser tattoo removal process.
How Does Laser Tattoo Removal Work?
Understanding how your tattoo was originally done can help you understand why laser tattoo removal is the best option out there. When getting a tattoo, the artist punctures the skin with needles and injects pigments, ink, and dye into the skin. If you got your tattoo done recently and professional, the tattoo artist will have likely used a tattoo machine that applied the needles up and down in the skin much like a sewing machine; nowadays, few professional artists ink tattoos manually.
Tattoos are designed to be permanent, and that’s why you need the most comfortable and high-intensity treatment option to get them removed. That’s where Sun City Laser and our incredible PicoWay Laser come in.
About Laser Removal
Lasers use a high-intensity beam of light to break up the pigment molecules within the tattoo. After they shatter the molecules into small pieces, your immune system works to clear up the area by bringing particles through the bloodstream to your lymphatic system, which disposes of them.
Laser treatment uses a variety of different laser wavelengths because different wavelengths are effective for different types and colors of tattoos. Our PicoWay laser can alternate between different wavelengths to maximize its effectiveness as we treat your skin.
Professional tattoos go into the deeper layer of the skin, not just the surface. This is part of why penetrating lasers like ours are so effective: they go right through the top layer of skin to target the pigment where it is most necessary without damaging the surface level of the skin.
How Does the Process Start?
The process of laser tattoo removal starts with you scheduling a consultation with our laser center. At Sun City Laser, our first consultation appointment is free. At this consultation appointment, a professional at our center will be able to evaluate your tattoo and determine how many treatments you may need.
There are various factors that help make our staff make these determinations, such as the colors of the tattoo, how deep the pigment goes into your skin, and how long you have had the tattoo for. At this appointment, our professionals will also advise you as to how long your treatment sessions may last and how many treatment sessions may be necessary.
What Can I Expect at My First Appointment?
At a treatment session, we will first give you an eye covering to protect your eyes. Then, our professionals will try different laser energies to decide which are best for your skin and your tattoo. Then the actual process of removal starts, where the technician uses the laser to administer high-intensity pulses that will be absorbed by the pigment of the tattoo.
How long a session lasts depends on the size and type of tattoo. A session for a small tattoo can take only a few minutes, and a session for a very large tattoo can take up to an hour. For most small to medium tattoos, the session will take less than 20 minutes.
How Do I Care for the Treated Area?
After an appointment, it is important to take good care of the area that was treated. We advise patients to apply an ice pack to the treated area following a session. To prevent potential infection, you may also be advised to apply an antibacterial ointment to the area. It is also important to make sure that you use sunscreen on the treated area when it is exposed, just like you would after getting a new tattoo inked.
After Treatment Sessions, Will the Tattoo Be Completely Gone?
At Sun City Laser, we have seen amazing results in our patients. After being treated with our PicoWay laser, many patients’ tattoos are completely eliminated.
At the same time, laser treatment is not simply an “eraser.” In the cases where a tattoo is not fully eliminated, laser removal will still diminish the appearance of the tattoo significantly. And, as you will learn at your initial consultation, some tattoos require more sessions than others. If you do not see a significant improvement after your first session, the PicoWay’s range means that a broad range of skin types and tattoo types will see improvement with a few more treatments.
Can You Remove Amateur Tattoos?
Yes, laser treatment is effective for both professional and amateur tattoos. In fact, amateur tattoos are often easier to remove. This is because they are generally just one color and are placed more superficially on the skin. They are also generally carbon-based, which is an easier pigment to remove than pigments that are often used in professional tattoos.
Is the Process Painful?
Our PicoWay laser stands out in being one of the most comfortable lasers available. Whether treatments will be uncomfortable for you could be affected by the type of tattoo and the location of the tattoo as well as the sensitivity of your skin. Some patients prefer to apply a topical anesthesia cream to the area prior to their session. Laser tattoo removal uses very high-intensity pulses to maximize effectiveness, which makes the process more comfortable.
Is This Treatment Effective for All Skin Types?
Any person can be a great candidate for tattoo removal. For people with darker skin tones, treatment sessions can take longer. Lasers target the pigment in the tattoo, and it requires additional care to make sure that the laser does not also target melanin in darker skin tones. We have been able to see results in people with all tattoo types and all skin types as well.
How Long Is the Overall Treatment Process?
The timeline of treatment depends on various factors. The process can last anywhere from one session to several sessions. Many patients will see results after just a few sessions. For the largest and most complex tattoos, the process will require more sessions to maximize effectiveness. We will be able to provide more details about what the treatment process will look like for you at your initial consultation appointment with our technicians.
Are Some Tattoos Easier to Remove Than Others?
Black tattoos are the easiest to remove because black tattoo pigment can absorb any laser wavelength. Using the PicoWay laser, we can switch between wavelengths to treat multi-colored tattoos during a single session. Brighter colors are tougher but completely possible to treat as well, and the PicoWay works better to treat them than its competitors.
Some pigment colors, like green and blue, can be slightly more difficult to remove than black ink. Very light colors such as yellow and white, as well as shades of purple, are most challenging to remove, but many patients still see a substantial difference over the course of treatment.
How Is the PicoWay Laser Different?
The PicoWay laser delivers energy to the targeted ink in ultra-short pulses. The pulses are measured in picoseconds — just one trillionth of a second! Its unique engineering makes it one of the fastest and most comfortable lasers on the market. The ultra-short laser pulses lead to minimal downtime, making it possible for many patients to take only a day to recover before returning to their daily life activities.
The PicoWay’s ultra-fast technology optimizes the delivery of the pulses to the tattoo area while also ensuring that the least amount of heat is transferred to the skin. Other lasers heat the skin, which can cause downtime and scarring; this is not a concern with the PicoWay.
The PicoWay’s pulses also reach below the top layer of skin to target where the tattoo ink is deposited. This also means the process leaves the top layer of skin intact and undamaged. The PicoWay is also FDA-approved for a wide range of tattoos and the laser of choice for leading tattoo removal providers.
How Much Does Treatment Cost?
The full cost of treatment depends on the nature of the tattoo, which affects the number of treatment sessions that will be required and the length of each session. Laser remains one of the most economical choices because it is so much more effective than other methods and, once your treatment process is done, it does not require follow-up the way some other options will.
How Does Laser Compare to Other Tattoo Removal Methods?
Our laser technology is superior to the various other options out there to get rid of a tattoo. Here’s how:
Surgical removal is invasive, requiring a medical professional to use a scalpel to cut the tattoo out of the skin and then administer stitches. In some cases, surgical removal requires a skin graft, which can lead to health risks such as infection and the rejection of the skin graft by your body. The risks of surgical removal are not present with a laser.
Dermabrasion is far less effective than laser treatment. In this process, a doctor will remove the top layer of your skin where the tattoo is present. The healing process after a session, which can include the skin feeling raw as well as bleeding, often lasts over two weeks. The combination of these effects along with its reduced effectiveness makes dermabrasion pale compared to laser.
Tattoo removal creams are generally acid-based, which can cause negative reactions on the surface of the skin. In addition, they are rarely FDA-approved.
Homemade creams that you may read about online, such as those made with honey, aloe vera, and table salt, are generally ineffective and time-consuming. Plus, just as you should always go to an experienced technician to get a tattoo inked, also you should go to a professional to get that tattoo removed.
Sun City Laser
At Sun City Laser, we create a comfortable and friendly environment for our patients. Our specialists will make you feel at ease by answering any questions you may have about treatment. For many of our patients, getting an unwanted tattoo removed boosts confidence and self-image, and we love being a part of that process.
Interested in Removing That Tattoo?
If you are ready to stop thinking about tattoo removal and finally get it done, come visit Sun City Laser in El Paso, TX. We will use our PicoWay laser to make your treatment quick and painless. Your consultation appointment will be free! We are looking forward to working with you!