Frequently Asked Questions on Laser Tattoo Removal
Many patients call New Look Laser Tattoo Removal (713-783-2000) to learn more about how laser tattoo removal works and what it would take for us to remove their tattoo for them.
Laser tattoo removal is a medical procedure that deserves research and careful consideration. We hope this list of Frequently Asked Questions will help you learn more about our procedure and feel confident in visiting our facility.
How Does Laser Tattoo Removal Work?
What do you use to remove a tattoo?
New Look uses a state-of-the-art tattoo removal laser – Astanza Duality laser system. This actively Q-switched Nd:YAG laser is highly effective at removing a wide range of colored ink with only minimal side effects. This laser is FDA approved for the removal of dermal pigmentation (i.e. tattoo ink) and is the latest in a string of medical lasers designed to remove unwanted tattoos. We also use an actively Q-switched Ruby laser to treat resistant tattoos and rare colors. Read more about New Look’s advanced technology here.
How exactly does the laser break up the tattoo ink?
Two key processes break up the ink – the pigment in your tattoo will absorb the energy from the laser and shatter apart; also, the incredibly fast pulse (6 billionths of a second!) of energy from the laser has a shockwave-like effect that assists the ink shattering. As a result, the ink acts like sugar cube breaking apart into small granules.
How does the body remove the shattered ink?
Once the ink is broken down by the tattoo removal laser, the body will respond by moving fluid to the area to help flush away the ink. This immune response will be obvious to the patient in the form of some swelling and redness in the area. Over the next days, weeks, and months the small, shattered ink particles will be flushed away naturally. The tattoo removal effects aren’t seen overnight and 99% of tattoos require multiple treatments.
Why do I need multiple sessions?
All tattoos have layers of ink, stacked on top of each other within the skin. The thick concentration of pigment particles that cannot be completely broken down in one session. At New Look, we’ll go over your entire tattoo with the laser, breaking up as much ink as possible in every session. Each session will produce some level of fading, although for very new tattoos the fading may not be as visible because the ink is still so thick and dense. If your tattoo has shading, the shaded areas will vanish in fewer treatments because shaded tattoos have a lower ink density. Visit our Before & After Gallery to get an idea of the results to expect.
Do tattoo removal “creams” or “injections” work?
We’ve seen little to no evidence that “magic creams” help to fade tattoos. At best, they may act like a mild skin bleach to lighten the surrounding skin. Looking at the ingredients and components of such products makes one wonder how they would purportedly remove tattoo ink. The medical community agrees with us – these creams are a gimmick, and a waste of time and money. Injection methods of tattoo removal are even worse because they basically inject highly-damaging acid into the skin. We have seen many people with severe scarring and chemical burns from injection methods.
How Effective Is It?
Will my tattoo be 100% removed?
In most cases, yes. However, keep in mind that there are no regulations on the manufacturing of tattoo ink. There are hundreds of manufacturers with unique formulations, ingredients, colors, etc… Therefor, each tattoo fades at a different rate and sometimes a small amount of pigmentation may remain in the skin even after multiple treatments. This is acceptable to be considered a removed tattoo.
Does the removal get easier the longer I wait – or harder?
Removal does not get easier or harder with time. The only thing to remember is not to treat new tattoos until it is fully healed. There are clinics which treat new tattoos and this can do extensive damage to the patients skin.
Can lasers remove BIG tattoos?
Yes, lasers can remove tattoos in all shapes and sizes. Determining factors include depth of ink, existing scarring, raised skin, and most importantly colors of ink.
Can I only have a part of my tattoo removed?
Yes, many patients will either remove certain sections from their tattoos, while others may treat to fade the tattoo enough to cover up with another tattoo.
What are alternatives to laser tattoo removal?
Right now, laser tattoo removal is the only safe and effective method to removing tattoos. Creams, lotions, and medication DO NOT work! If you do not like your tattoo, the only alternative is to cover it up with another tattoo. Some of our clients will opt to treat the tattoo until it fades enough to cover it with another tattoo.
Is Laser Tattoo Removal Safe?
How safe is laser tattoo removal?
Tattoo removal is very safe as long as the patient follows ALL aftercare. Aftercare plays a large part of how well a tattoo comes off and what the end result looks like.
Is it safe on all parts of the body?
Laser tattoo removal is performed on all parts of the body. However, some areas can be more sensitive or considered high risk. Our clinicians will assess each patient during the consultation to determine what is considered safe and what is high risk. We DO NOT treat high risk patients or high risk areas.
Who should not get laser tattoo removal?
There is a list of contraindications for this procedure. Please call the clinic to get a list of who is or is not a good candidate.
What Are Side Effects of Tattoo Removal?
Will the laser procedure scar my skin?
No. This is a question that many new patients ask about, and we understand their concerns. Modern tattoo removal lasers such as the Duality used at our clinic will not scar the skin for two reasons. First, the laser doesn’t go deep enough in the skin to cause a scarring response. Second, the pulse from the laser is so fast that only the tattoo pigmentation is affected and surrounding cells and tissue are left undamaged. Scarring was an issue 10 or 15 years ago when the equipment used for tattoo removal was rather primitive. There is no need to be concerned about scarring unless you have a history of keloid scarring, which our provider will discuss with you.
Does laser tattoo removal hurt?
Almost every patient we treat compares the pain from the procedure with that of getting the tattoo applied. A key difference is that laser tattoo removal is much quicker – most treatments take between 30 seconds and 10 minutes for completion. Patients compare the discomfort with that of a rubber band snapping against their skin. Black ink tattoos are slightly less uncomfortable to remove than colored tattoos due to the wavelength of light we use to break up the ink.
Also, every person has a different pain tolerance. We use a cryogen machine to cool the area before going over with the laser. We do offer two types of numbing options, however, most of our patients opt to treat without any numbing. We offer both over the counter numbing and medical grade numbing topical creams.
What side effects might I experience?
Most patients experience some redness, swelling, and minor blistering of the skin after a laser treatment. These side effects are temporary and your skin will heal back completely. We provide our patients detailed aftercare instructions to help them manage their skin after the treatment.
How Much Does Laser Tattoo Removal Cost?
There are several different factors that are involved when pricing laser tattoo removal. Those factors include, size, ink density, location, age, number of treatments, etc. . . Because no two tattoo’s are alike, we would have to physically see the tattoo in order to assess it and give you a more accurate quote. That is why we offer FREE consultations to our patients. During your consultation you will meet with our highly trained and experienced clinicians who have an extensive background in laser tattoo removal. We will physically assess the tattoo, come up with a treatment plan individualized to your certain needs and then give you pricing accordingly. We can even get started with treatment the same day as your FREE consultation if you choose. We also offer a variety of lending platforms and payment options to help you get started with your removal process.
How many sessions will I need to remove my tattoo?
The number of sessions needed to remove a tattoo depends on many factors such as size, ink density, location, age, number of treatments, etc… We have developed a method to better estimate the number of treatments needed for full removal. In most cases, it is extremely difficult to estimate the number of exact treatments because a persons blood cells and lymphatic system play a huge role in removal. For this reason, we now ONLY quote for full removal.
What is the cost of a consultation?
Consultation for any and all of our services are free. First and foremost, we want to make sure you are a candidate for tattoo removal. Additionally, we want to make sure you completely understand and are comfortable with the procedure before starting.
Looking for a tattoo removal expert in Houston? Contact New Look Laser Tattoo Removal today.