Laser Tattoo Removal
Having Your Tattoes Removed in Manhattan
Many people get tattoos early in life and then, as the years roll on, they wish they never did. They keep eying the fading, colored design on their skin and wishing some way existed to remove it. As fast as people fall in love with a brand new tattoo, they can easily fall out of love with it as time passes.
Tattoos were once considered “permanent” markings etched on the skin with a long, formidable needle. People were warned never to get a tattoo unless they really, really wanted it. Luckily, with advances in laser technology, tattoos no longer have to be a permanent decision. Rejuve NYC offers safe, effective and state-of-the-art laser treatments for the removal of unwanted tattoos.
How Does Tattoo Removal Work?
It is estimated that more than 50% of individuals in New York City who have tattoos eventually want to remove one or some. Luckily, laser treatments can be calibrated to specific wavelengths and pulse duration to target the pigment in tattoos. The pigments in tattoos are chromophores, which means they can effectively absorb light. When the laser targets the various colors in a tattoo, the pigment absorbs the heat and light, which eventually destroys the tattooed skin cells and allows for new, clear skin to regenerate. This process is called Photothermolysis.
Most tattoos extend into the dermis, or inner layer of the skin, and beyond the superficial epidermis. Therefore, for the laser to target the pigment in a tattoo, its light energy needs to travel through the epidermis and get to the dermis. Melanin, the pigment that gives skin its normal color and also builds up in age spots or sun spots, is a competing chromophore for light energy from the laser.
This means that, depending on the size and pigments used in a tattoo, it may take several treatments to really make it disappear. To minimize damage to the epidermis during tattoo removal, a hydrogel may be applied to the skin prior to laser treatment. If the tattoo is on very tanned skin, a bleaching agent (such as alpha-hydroxy acid) may be applied to help with the tattoo removal process.
Tattoo removal can be complicated and require multiple sessions, especially on darker skin tones, which is why it important to have it done by a New York board-certified physician.
What to Expect at Rejuve NYC Skin Center in Upper East Side
When you first arrive at Rejuve NYC, a thorough consultation will be conducted by a member of our expert medical team. You will be asked about your medical history, any medications you may be taking, and about any over-the-counter vitamins or treatments you may have tried. We will also ask you about your expectations and desires for tattoo removal. Next, a licensed medical professional will examine the tattoo(s) you wish to remove. The course of treatment, number of sessions and specific laser chosen to remove the pigmented skin depends on the size of the tattoo, the colors it contains, and its age. Be prepared to have multiple treatment sessions, as one session is rarely, if ever, enough. During this consultation time, we recommend that you ask any questions you may have and voice your concerns. Our number one goal is to always meet your cosmetic expectations, but also to make sure you are informed and completely comfortable with your treatment decision.
The colors and size of the tattoo will determine which laser is used to remove it. Different options may include: Q-switched ruby laser; Q-switched Nd:YAG; Fraxel Dual; or the CO2 laser. Our medical team will decide which laser is most optimal to use. Depending on the duration of treatments and size of the tattoo being removed, we may apply a local anesthetic prior to treatment to minimize discomfort. However, most people do not have trouble with the level of pain.
Immediately prior to treatment, you will be given protective eyeglasses to wear. You should keep these on at all times to protect your eyes from the laser. Next, one of our skilled medical professionals will press a laser device against your skin. The laser device will deliver short pulses of light energy to the tattoo. Most patients describe the feeling as a rubber band snapping against the skin.
The duration of the procedure depends on the size of the tattoo. Once finished, an icepack will be applied to the treated area. Antibiotic ointment will be applied, as well as a bandage or patch to protect the area. We highly recommend applying antibiotic ointment at home and covering the treated area. Follow-up care is just as important as the laser treatment for effective tattoo removal. It is also advised that you avoid exposing the area to the sun, as sunlight can interfere with the healing process.
While side effects are rare, they can include either hyper or hypo-pigmentation changes. Scarring and infection are also possible side effects. Cosmetic tattoos (lip liner, eye liner, eyebrows) may initially darken with laser therapy, but usually lighten after subsequent laser treatments. If you experience any concerning side effects, it is advised that you schedule an appointment with our clinic so we can examine you and revise the treatment plan.
Please be aware that tattoo removal is not a one-shot process. It often takes between six to ten treatments, scheduled four-eight weeks apart to properly remove a tattoo. Therefore, a realistic expectation is six months to a year for laser tattoo removal. With time, however, the unsightly tattoo will be gone, and your skin will be smoother, clearer and healthier-looking.
Call Our NYC Location Today!