Tattoo Removal in Lima, OH
What Is Laser Tattoo Removal and How Does It Work?
Older tattoo removal lasers were scary! The technology was there, but so were the side effects. Starting with the basics, lasers target pigment. Lasers also generate heat. What older tattoo removal lasers did was to target the pigment, but also create a lot of heat that remained in the skin causing scars, hypopigmented (skin pigment was removed) or hyperpigmented skin (the skin became darker). The results were either less than desirable or the number of treatments were many.
Since then, technology has changed to better address the various colors in tattoos, as well as breaking up the ink so that our body can reabsorb the ink better rather than cause a burn or other skin changes. The technology has to do with the duration of heat that is in the skin during the firing of the laser. By firing the laser using less duration of time, the laser energy spends less time in the skin. This allows more effective breakup of the ink particle, thus the treatment are more effective with less side effects — not to mention less number of treatments! Almost 40% less treatments! Your lymphatic system that lies in your skin is responsible for taking the ink and removing it from your body.
Our Cutera enlighten® laser targets the pigment of the tattoo, breaking it up into small particles. It is the only tattoo removal laser that has BOTH PICOSECOND AND NANOSECOND technology. The particles become even smaller with the NANOSECOND technology. We were the very FIRST IN THE STATE OF OHIO to have the enlighten laser. We were also the FIRST IN THE NATION to have the most current enlighten laser with all three wavelengths: 1064nm, 532nm and 670nm. Why? To best target all colors, especially blue, green, aqua colors.
Does Tattoo Removal Hurt?
To be perfectly frank, tattoo removal is just as painful as getting the tattoo. Therefore, we prefer to numb all of our patients for this treatment. We may use a topical numbing cream or local anesthesia (numb the area using injectable lidocaine) or a combination of both of these numbing methods. At your appointment, we will discuss all your options to make you very comfortable during your treatment. When we numb the area, you do not feel the treatment or and discomfort is minimal to none. You may feel a stinging sensation, but we take measures to ensure the process is as painless as possible by keeping sessions short. Following each laser session, you may feel like you have a sunburn on the treated area. Immediately following treatment, you may notice a whitish discoloration; this is called frosting. This is normal to see for tattoo removal. The frosting only last a few minutes and quickly disappears.
Once your treatment is complete, Dr. Aggarwal will dress the area with a non-adherent dressing after applying Aquaphor. You may notice pinpoint bleeding for the first 24 hours. You may also notice blood blisters. These can be normal and should not be drained. Dressing changes can be done at home and will need to be done daily for about a week or two. If you feel you need to take over the counter medication for pain, please call the office to make sure it is safe and the area does not need to be examined sooner.
How Many Treatments Are Required?
The number of treatments you will need will depend on the colors of the ink, the density and the size of your tattoo. It is also very dependent upon the location of the tattoo. Tattoos located on the fingers, toes or ankles typically take longer. The reason is because the skin is very thin in that area and they are also the furthest from the heart. Thinner areas of skin typically also have less lymphatic tissue. The Cutera enlighten® laser is the most advanced laser available for tattoo removal, which means you will require fewer sessions than with other types of lasers. Dr. Aggarwal and her team will examine your tattoo during your appointment and can provide you with the estimated number of sessions you’ll need. We will also discuss your expectations. While most tattoos can be erased completely, certain ink colors are more resistant to laser therapy.
Black ink is the easiest and most effective to remove. Next is red. Yellow, blue and green are the most difficult. However, with the newest wavelengths, these inks are no match! Not too long ago, an ink was devised that would be easily removed with just a few laser treatments. However, this ink was not well-accepted by tattoo artists and it went by the wayside. Tattoos that were redone typically require more treatments. Home-made inks usually do not react the same way as professional ink and a test patch will be required. Tattoo ink with glass are not treated with the laser due to the risk of scarring and unpredictable reaction(s).
Am I a Candidate for Tattoo Removal?
Removing a tattoo is as much of a personal choice as getting one. When making your decision about whether to remove an unwanted tattoo, consider the following questions:
- Does your tattoo embarrass you?
- Does it remind you of a painful experience, relationship or time in your life?
- Does it no longer reflect your lifestyle?
- Does it limit your wardrobe choices because you want to keep it hidden?
- Have you tried other methods of removing your tattoo?
- Has your tattoo changed in appearance due to age or sagging skin?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, are in good health and have realistic expectations, you are likely a good candidate for laser tattoo removal. ***If you had an allergic reaction to your tattoo placement (typically seen with red ink), you are not a candidate for tattoo removal. Surgical excision will be the best treatment.
How Much Does Tattoo Removal Cost?
The cost of your treatment plan will be determined after Dr. Aggarwal and her team has had a chance to examine your tattoo. Pricing will depend on the tattoo’s size and the number of sessions you’ll need to remove it. ***The state of Ohio requires that all tattoo removal done with a laser is to be done by a physician; therefore all your treatments will be done by Dr. Aggarwal.
Unwanted ink? We can fix that! Laser tattoo removal is just one of the many services offered at the Vein Care Center. Dr. Manu B. Aggarwal, MHSA, MD, is a board-certified and aesthetic-laser-certified family physician who has been treating patients in the Lima, Celina and the surrounding areas of Auglaize County, OH, area for more than five years. Please contact us today to schedule your free consultation.