Lasers remove tattoos by breaking up and destroying the pigments. Different colors of ink respond to different laser light intensities. Dr. Kalsi uses what is known as a Q-Switch laser that targets the inks of the tattoo. When a tattoo is applied to the skin, the inks are injected deeply into the layers of the skin. The laser used must be able to sufficiently penetrate the skin deep enough to access the inks, break them up, and destroy them to the point where the body can finish breaking them down and flush them from the body. Darker inks may take longer to remove than lighter colored inks resulting in more than one session.
Large tattoos or tattoos that have several colors may take several sessions to remove. Recent advancements in laser technology enable doctors to remove more of the tattoo during a single session, but the number and intensity of the colors used will still impact the number of sessions needed for complete removal. Dark colors require stronger laser light waves than lighter colors. Black, deep red, dark blue, dark green, and purples may need 4 or more sessions to lighten. Other colors like pinks, yellows, light greens, light blues, and light shading (similar to gray scale), may be removed with only 1 or 2 sessions. Most tattoo removal sessions last between 25 and 30 minutes.
Lasers are non-invasive and are extremely effective when used to remove tattoos and other types of imperfections. Even though they pose no significant risk of infection, they do offer a few common side effects. The light waves that penetrate the skin to gain access to the inks can raise the temperature of the tissues in the treatment area causing them to feel warm to the touch for several hours after the procedure. The skin may take on a reddish tint and be slightly inflamed for several hours. Over the next several days, the area may seem slightly bruised and feel tender to the touch. Most of these symptoms are relatively minor and will only last for a short period. Patients should report any side effect that lasts longer than 3 or 4 days to Dr. Kalsi.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!