I’m Tired of my Tattoo; Do Lasers Work for Removal?

I’m Tired of my Tattoo; Do Lasers Work for Removal?

Despite what you were told when sitting in the tattoo artist's chair getting inked, tattoos are no longer permanent. If you’re tired of your tattoo, laser tattoo removal is the safest and most effective tool for getting rid of your skin art, according to the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD).  

At Associated Skin Care Specialists, our highly skilled board-certified dermatologists and aestheticians use advanced laser tools to treat acne scars, spider veins, and unwanted hair. 

Tattoos are popular, but so is tattoo regret. Yes, laser tattoo removal works, but you shouldn’t go to your local spa or tattoo shop for treatment.

Here, our cosmetic experts want to tell you about laser tattoo removal, how it works, and how to decide if it’s right for you.

About your tattoo

When you get a tattoo, the needle injects the ink into the middle layer of skin — the dermis — in layers. 

Cell turnover in the dermis isn’t like cell turnover in the top layer, or epidermis. The cells that make up the outer layer of your skin turn over every 40 days or so. If tattoo ink was injected into this layer, the skin art would only last a month. 

Injecting the ink into the dermal layer is one of the reasons tattoos are so hard to remove. But that’s not why tattoos are considered permanent.

Tattoos are permanent because the individual ink molecules in your tattoo are too large. Normally, your immune system attacks and removes any foreign entity that gets into your skin. But the molecules that make up the tattoo ink are too big for the immune cells to break down and remove.

Laser tattoo removal

Our cosmetic dermatologists use different laser tools to treat different skin concerns. When removing tattoos, we use a laser tool that penetrates into your dermal layer of skin, delivering quick pulses of energy that break up the large ink molecules into smaller particles. 

Your immune system then removes the small ink particles from the dermis, and your tattoo fades over time. Because tattoo artists layer the ink when creating your skin art, it takes more than one session to remove all the ink. The number of laser treatments you need depends on the size, color, and age of your tattoo.

Like your tattoo experience, you can expect some pain during laser tattoo removal. The degree of pain varies and may depend on the location of your tattoo and your personal tolerance of pain. But you can get a local anesthetic prior to laser treatment to minimize the discomfort.

Is laser tattoo removal right for me?

If you’re tired of your tattoo and thinking about laser tattoo removal, we can help. Getting a tattoo may not require a visit to the dermatologist, but you do need to see us when you want one removed. 

During a tattoo removal consultation, we want to know the location, size, age, and color (or colors) of your tattoo. We also ask about your medical history and the types of medications you take. 

Though laser tattoo removal is safe for most people, you need a healthy immune system in order for the treatment to work. You may also need laser tools with multiple wavelengths to get the best results.

Your tattoo shop may offer laser tattoo removal, but their laser may only have one wavelength, which may not treat all of the colors in your tattoo. 

In addition to better results, having your tattoo removed by medical professionals reduces your risk of side effects like scarring and infections. 

Thanks to advances in laser technology, you don’t have to live the rest of your life with an unwanted tattoo.

Schedule your laser tattoo removal consultation at the dermatology clinic most convenient to you. We provide dermatology care at our offices in Blaine, Eden Prairie, Maple Grove, and Coon Rapids, Minnesota. Make an appointment today using our convenient online scheduling tool by following the above links or by calling our office today. 

For your convenience, we also provide telemedicine appointments for consultations. 

We also have offices in Fridley and New Brighton, Minnesota, to address your dermatology needs. 

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