In the past decade tattoos have become pretty mainstream. Almost 45 million Americans admit to having at least one tattoo and a whopping 17% of them actually regret those tattoos. But, theres good news here. With recent advances in Laser Removal technology, you can get rid of that awful, embarrassing tattoo without cutting off a limb.
With tattoo removal becoming so accessible to the public, it's important to know the basics before you begin your search for a specialist, and as a specialist myself - I'm here to help you with that specifically.
Here are 8 things you should know before getting zapped...
1. It's a process.
Please do not expect to have a single treatment and wake up the next day with your tattoo gone. Tattoos are designed to be permanent and even laser will not remove your tattoo instantaneously... The number of treatments, as well as healing time, will vary from person to person, on a case by case basis.
2. Expect Multiple Sessions
Getting rid of a tattoo, even lightening for new work is a daunting task (unless you plan to use a blow torch). Multiple treatments are almost always necessary in removing a tattoo for good. On average, you can expect 8-12 treatments will be needed for desired results.
3. It's not cheap
Be prepared to make it rain. Depending on the size and color(s) of your tattoo, a treatment performed by a professional laser specialist can run anywhere from $200-$1400.00 per session in New York City. A sliding scale may apply depending on where you live, however - this is a pretty standard structure.
4. You are not a candidate for laser tattoo removal if You are pregnant or breast feeding. You're on the prescription drug Accutane, or any antibiotic. You are prone to keloids. You will be expected to disclose a detailed honest medical history to your laser specialist prior to treatment.
5. A laser is only as good as the person running it.
Choosing the right facility should never be based on cost. Groupons, Yelp deals and deeply discounted prices are usually offered by facilities looking to build a business, due to lack of clientele. To ensure the best results, get online and do some research to find a reputable specialist in your area.
6. It's precise.
If you have a misspelled word, laser is the answer. The laser is precise enough to remove just a letter, so any mistake, large or small can be fixed.
7. There are only 2 types of lasers that can successfully remove a tattoo.
The Q-Switch Yag and the Picosecond. Since the 1980’s the laser of choice for tattoo removal has been the Q-Switch Yag Laser. According to the Journal of Laser and Health Academy, The Q-Switch Yag continues to get the best results in achieving tattoo removal. This technology is successfully used on most skin types and has the ability to remove all colors of tattoo ink, though blue and green inks have proved more difficult to remove completely.
Picosecond technology has created the first real advancement in removing these difficult pigments. If the tattoo you are looking to remove is heavy in blues, greens, and purples - a specialist working with Picosecond may be the best fit.
8. No two cases are alike.
Factors such as: the way the tattoo was applied, location of the tattoo, the age of your tattoo, and the colors of the tattoo all play a role in your laser results.
We've all gotten a bad hair cut and hair grows back...When getting laser tattoo removal, you are getting a second chance on the one thing you have forever... your skin.
Statistics referenced from (Harris Interactive Poll 2016 and ABC News/Wall Street Journal Poll 2015)