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Common "myth-conceptions" about laser tattoo removal

Updated on September 25, 2014

Laser tattoo removal myths and facts

We know there are a lot of horror stories out there concerning laser tattoo removal, but we, at Vanish, would like to set the record straight. Yes, scars are possible with laser tattoo removal, and were even once the norm. Laser tattoo removal is not cheap. Some creams are available to lighten your tattoo. While parts of every myth hold some fact, no myth can be taken as 100% fact. Here are some common myths and the related facts.

Laser Tattoo Removal of Blue Feather with Red Ribbons

Laser Tattoo Removal Myths and Facts

Myth: Laser Tattoo Removal Is Very Painful.

Fact: While laser tattoo removal is not comfortable by any means, the amount of discomfort depends on a number of factors.

The person's overall pain tolerance: It is known that pain is a relative term. What hurts one person, is not a big deal to another.

The location of the tattoo: Let's face it. Certain areas are more sensitive than others. Bony areas do tend to be more uncomfortable than fattier areas.

The color of the tattoo: Even some colors have an effect on the way the laser feels to the patient. Black tattoos are typically less painful than say reds or yellows.

That being said, patients describe the laser as feeling "like a rubber band snapping on your skin" and almost unanimously state "it's less painful than I though it would be.

The good news is that a laser tattoo removal session is generally very short 15 minutes or less in most cases, and we can work as fast or as slow as you are comfortable with going.

Myth: Laser Tattoo Removal Will Leave a Permanent Scar.

Fact: With our Trinity Laser by Astanza, only the pigment in the tattoo is targeted.

Surrounding skin cells are left undamaged. Only those patients with a history of keloid scarring need worry about a scar. Now, if you tattooed over a scar or developed a scar from the actual tattoo procedure, those scars will become visible. Our laser will only remove the pigment, not the scar. Often if scar tissue is already present in the tattoo, it can be felt. Our certified laser specialists will take the time to evaluate your tattoo for existing scars and discuss any history of keloid scarring before treatment is initiated.

Myth: Laser Tattoo Removal is Extremely Expensive.

Fact: The actual cost of tattoo removal depends on a number of factors.

Size of the tattoo, age of the tattoo, area of the body where the tattoo is located, color of the tattoo, age and overall health of the patient all play a significant role in the overall cost of laser tattoo removal. Here at Vanish, tattoo removal sessions start at $125 each, and we'll be happy to give you an estimated cost of removal at your free consultation. You'll find that our pricing is very competitve especially considering the superior effectiveness of our laser tattoo removal procedure.

Discounts are available for multiple tattoos as well.

Myth: Tattoo Removal Creams Work Just As Well And Are Much Cheaper.

Fact: We have seen no significant evidence that tattoo removal creams and lotions actually remove the tattoo.

Some do appear to have the ability to lighten the tattoo, but for true tattoo removal results creams and "potions" are a gimick and waste of time and money. Try copying the list of ingredients into a web search. You'll find that most are simply hyped up moisturizers and bleaches that cannot penetrate the skin the level where the tattoo ink is located. In our opinion, our tattoo removal laser is definitely the way to go.

For more information on our Laser Tattoo Removal Procedure, browse through our website. Then give us a call to schedule your free consultation or to get started.

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Blisters After Laser Tattoo Removal Treatments

It is quite common to develop blisters after laser tattoo removal treatments, especially with certain colors. While any color can develop a blister after laser treatment, it is most common to see blisters in reds, yellows, and oranges. Blistering with blues and greens typically occur in about half of the patients treated while black ink does not often develop blisters, though it is a normal reaction.

When blisters do form, the size of the blister is generally related to the size of the area of ink. Expect a red heart to be one big blister after treatment, where little red dots on the other hand will typically be tiny little blisters. When large blisters do form, do not panic. This is very common and very much a normal reaction to the laser tattoo removal process. The after effects of tattoo removal often mimic that of a second degree burn. The difference though is permanent tissue damage does not occur with laser tattoo removal like it does with a true second degree burn.

So what do you do after laser tattoo removal and you have developed large blisters? If a blister is uncomfortably large or you are afraid that the blister will rupture, lance the blister with a sterilized needle by poking a small hole in the bottom of the blister and allow the fluid to drain. This will help to keep the skin intact while the area heals from the inside out. It may be necessary to lance the blister multiple times. This too is quite common. Keep the area covered with a loose dressing. Change the dressing regularly and apply an antibiotic ointment gently as often as you change the bandage. Make sure that before changing the dressing and applying ointment, you have washed your hands thoroughly. All of this is to help prevent secondary infection, the most common risk associated with laser tattoo removal.

Does the skin heal normally even if a large blister forms? Absolutely. Following proper after-care procedure as described above will result in beautifully healed skin in a few weeks or so. Below are a few examples of tattoos that were treated with our Trinity Laser. Typically blisters will appear within 24 hours of the treatment, though some have experienced blistering as many as 72 hours after laser treatment. Each person and each tattoo is different, therefore varying degrees of reactions is normal and expected. In all of the examples below, the skin healed very well despite some large and often ugly blisters. On a positive note, typically when we see blistering after laser tattoo removal treatments we will see better fading from the tattoo.

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Laser Tattoo Removal Causes Scarring

Anytime there is physical trauma to the skin, there is a potential for scarring, however, with the right laser the risk of scarring is extremely minimal. Some lasers are very effective in removing ink from the skin, but are not designed to do so. By using a laser for tattoo removal that was not designed for that task is a very risky move. Hair removal lasers, IPL, and CO2 treatments can cause major scarring if used to treat tattoos. In addition, improperly calibrated tattoo removal lasers can have an adverse effect on the skin as well which could lead to scarring.

There is also a heightened risk of scarring when you have a high history of abnormal scarring (think keloids), or you are a “bad patient,” like one of our laser specialists, and pick at your scabs. Following proper aftercare techniques; such as keeping the area clean, dry, and covered for the first few days; changing the bandage regularly; and allowing the tattoo ample time to heal between treatments, can reduce the already limited risk of scarring from laser tattoo removal treatments.

For a detailed list of proper aftercare procedures, click here… http://www.vanishdfw.com/vanish-laser-clinic-patient-concierge/laser-tattoo-removal-and-skin-aesthetic-after-procedure-care.html. When there is pre-existing scar tissue in the tattoo, be it from the tattoo process itself or some other trauma, it is likely that the scar tissue will be visible after the tattoo has been removed. The above photo shows a tattoo that was treated before coming to Vanish. There is significant scar tissue present in the "before" photo (top left) most likely from a laser not designed for tattoo removal or from an improperly calibrated laser. We were able to continue to lighten the ink with our Astanza Trinity Laser, however the pre-existing scar tissue remained virtually unchanged.

Other myths? Thoughts?

Have you heard of any other laser tattoo removal related myths? Maybe you have your own opinions. Let us know what you think.

How soon after my first laser tattoo removal session should I expect to see results?

One session will not be enough to completely remove a tattoo, but just how long does it take to start seeing results?

No two people nor two tattoos are exactly the same. The time it will take to start seeing results after your first laser tattoo removal session depends on many factors; where the tattoo is, how old it is, whether it's a professional or homemade tattoo, your body's immune response, how active you are, and so on. With that being said, our experience has been that our patients start seeing at least minor fading within the first month after treatment. One patient even saw a great deal of fading just a few days after his first treatment. While it is possible to see results that quickly, please be aware that fading that quickly is not typical. Some tattoos even look a bit darker a few days after treatment due to increased blood flow to the area. That type of response is temporary, and by your next treatment you should notice at least some minor fading.

Give the office a call today to schedule your free consultation or to get started.

VANISH

4455 Camp Bowie Blvd

Suite 232

Fort Worth, TX 76107

817-585-4100

Laser Treatment of Black Outline on Purple and Yellow Heart

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      Vanishdfw 2 years ago from 4455 Camp Bowie Blvd

      Hi Hanna,

      Typically "jailhouse" tattoos can be removed in the same way as professionally created tattoos. Laser tattoo removal is very effective on these and in most cases takes far fewer treatments than professionally created tattoos. There are some "inks" that may not be as easy to remove or may not be able to be treated, but typically they can be treated with great success. Contact your local laser tattoo removal facility. They should offer free consultations. Make sure you are comfortable with the facility and they are confident in the treatment they offer. Also if the facility also performs laser hair removal, make sure they have a different lasers for hair and tattoos. Using a hair removal laser on a tattoo can be disastrous.

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      hannah 2 years ago

      How do I remove jailhouse tat