You might want to have a tattoo removed for many reasons. Perhaps you have a tattoo with the name of someone who is no longer in your life. Alternatively, you might need a tattoo removed to help your career or because your feelings about the tattoo have changed.  

In any case, laser tattoo removal at MG Plastic Surgery in Scottsdale, AZ, can help you get rid of your unwanted ink. Before you schedule the procedure, you might want to learn a little more about it. 

How Does Laser Tattoo Removal Work?

You’ll need something more invasive than soap and water to remove the ink of a tattoo from the various layers of your skin. The removal process requires using a laser to break up the ink particles, allowing your immune system to flush them away. As these particles get flushed from your skin, the appearance of your tattoo will fade.

We use Q-switched lasers for tattoo removal because they can deliver pulsating lasers that briefly heat up the ink particles. The energy from the pulse is strong enough to break up the ink particles without also causing damage to the skin cells. 

How Long Does It Take to Remove a Tattoo?

The size of your tattoo and the colors of the ink will determine the number of treatments it takes to completely remove the tattoo. 

Darker colors require multiple treatments with the laser over a longer time span. A tattoo that is larger in diameter may require more sessions. At your consultation, the MG Plastic Surgery team will provide you with more specific information about removing your tattoo.

Why Do the Lasers Use Different Colors?

When you undergo laser tattoo removal, you might notice that we will use a variety of colored lasers for the procedure. That’s because wavelengths are absorbed at different rates based on the color of the ink. 

For example, a tattoo made with red ink will absorb green light more efficiently than any other color. As the green laser’s energy gets absorbed, the red ink will break apart.

A green laser will have a wavelength of 532 nanometers (nm). While that works great for red ink, a multicolored tattoo poses a new challenge. A 1064 nm wavelength is best for a multicolored tattoo since it can break apart 95% of the ink. We will use additional wavelengths for your tattoo removal to break apart the remaining 5% of the ink.

Can Anyone Undergo the Laser Tattoo Removal?

Laser tattoo removal will work for anyone with an unwanted tattoo. Even if you have tried other methods for removing a tattoo, lasers will be the most effective way to remove your unwanted ink. They are also effective for clearing your skin so that a tattoo artist can create a new tattoo in the same location.

Even if your tattoo is relatively new, laser tattoo removal can help you get rid of your unwanted artwork. You should wait for a minimum of six weeks after getting a tattoo to schedule the removal procedure. This should be sufficient time for the tattoo to heal. The ink in a fully healed tattoo will break apart more effectively with laser treatments.

What Is the Average Number of Sessions Required for Full Removal?

You will need multiple sessions to fully remove your tattoo. Once we evaluate the size and coloring of your tattoo, we can provide you with an accurate estimate of the number of sessions required. The number of treatments required generally ranges from five sessions up to ten. 

While skin tone used to play a role in the effectiveness of the tattoo removal process, that is no longer the case. Your tattoo can be fully removed regardless of the color of your skin. The lasers we use should not harm your skin cells even if you have a very light skin tone.

There is usually a six-week wait time between sessions. This gives your immune system sufficient time to clear away the broken-up ink particles before the next treatment. The wait time helps to ensure you won’t undergo more sessions than necessary to remove your tattoo.

Why Are So Many Treatments Needed?

People who want to have a tattoo removed are often anxious to do away with the ink — and that can make them feel impatient with the process. 

However, tattoo removal can’t be a quick fix. The ink has penetrated several layers of skin tissue. Each session affects a different layer of the dermis, and it sometimes takes multiple sessions to break apart the ink in a single layer.

During your first session, the laser will break apart the ink in the uppermost layer of skin. Once your body has flushed away the ink particles from this session, a new session will break apart the ink in the next layer of skin. If the ink has penetrated deeper layers of the dermis, it will take more sessions to fully remove the tattoo. 

Altogether, three factors will affect the number of sessions required to remove your tattoo:

  • The size of the tattoo
  • The color of the ink
  • The depth of the ink’s penetration

These factors are why some people may only require five sessions while others may need more sessions. It will be easier for us to determine how many sessions you will require after we visually inspect your tattoo.

Laser Tattoo Removal in Scottsdale, AZ

You can schedule a consultation for your tattoo removal by contacting MG Plastic Surgery. Our staff will be happy to answer any additional questions you might have about the procedure. Call us today!

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