Tattoo Removal with Q-Switched Laser
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is the laser a safe treatment for tattoo removal?
The Candela laser is safer than traditional methods because of its unique ability to selectively treat the tattoo or pigmented lesion. Thus, it will eliminate the tattoo or pigmented lesion while leaving the surrounding skin undamaged.
What conditions are treated with the Candela laser system?
Dermal and epidermal pigmented lesions and tattoos (amateur and professional; multiple tattoo inks) are treated. The effectiveness of the laser is dependent upon the age, location, depth, and type of tattoo and pigmented lesions, as well as on the composition of the pigments.
Why would someone have a pigmented lesion or tattoo removed?
Many people are uncomfortable with unsightly dermal lesions like age spots, freckles and birthmarks, or with a tattoo they had applied several years ago. It is estimated that as many as 50% of individuals with tattoos regret the permanency of the tattoo and wish to have it removed. With the Candela lasers, treatment is now possible.
What does laser treatment involve?
Treatment with the Candela lasers varies from patient to patient depending on the age, size and type of tattoo, color of the patient’s skin and depth to which the tattoo or pigment extends beneath the skin’s surface. In general, these steps will take place:
- The patient is asked to wear eye protection consisting of an opaque covering or goggles.
- The skin’s reaction to the laser is tested during the first visit to determine the most effective treatment settings.
- Treatment consists of placing a hand piece against the surface of the skin and activating the laser. As many patients describe it, each pulse feels like the snapping of a rubber band against the skin.
- Smaller tattoos or lesions will require fewer pulses, while larger ones will require more. All tattoos will require retreatments, necessitating multiple patient visits.
- The Candela system is less painful and requires less recovery time than some other treatment methods. The degree of discomfort varies with each person, depending on his/her pain threshold. Most patients do not require pain management. In some cases, however, depending on the nature and location of the tattoo or lesion, the clinician may elect to use some form of anesthetic.
Is it possible to have a tattoo or pigmented lesion treated that was previously treated by another modality?
Patients with previously treated tattoos may be candidates for the Candela systems. Tattoos or pigmented lesions that have not been effectively removed by other treatments may respond well to Candela laser therapy, providing prior treatment did not cause excessive scarring or skin damage.
Should certain precautions be taken after treatment?
Immediately following treatment, an ice pack may be applied to soothe the treated area. A topical antibiotic cream or ointment is recommended. Care should be taken in the first few days following treatment to avoid scrubbing the area, and abrasive skin cleansers should be avoided. A bandage or patch may help to prevent abrasion of the treated area. During the course of treatment it is recommended that patients cover the area with a sun block that is approved by the treating clinician.
Are there any side effects for the laser tattoo removal?
The Candela laser systems greatly reduce the potential for scarring or changes in skin texture. Patients will experience temporary discoloration or reddening of the skin around the treatment site. Some patients may also experience a temporary lightening or darkening of the skin for a few months following treatment. The skin will typically resolve to normal pigmentation color. It is important to follow the recommendations of the treating physician for proper post-treatment skin care.
Are there tattoos that you won’t remove?
We treat almost all tattoos, except for permanent makeup removal or tattoo removal from the face.