Laser Tattoo Removal
It is estimated that close to 10% of the U.S. population has some sort of tattoo. Eventually, as many as 50% of people with tattoos want them removed.
There is good news for those who have an unwanted body design. Newer laser tattoo removal techniques can eliminate your tattoo with minimal side effects. Lasers remove tattoos by breaking up the pigment colors of the tattoo with a high-intensity light beam.
Black tattoo pigment absorbs all laser wavelengths, making it the easiest to treat. Other colors can only be treated using specific lasers based upon the pigment color.
About the Laser
We use the most advanced laser available for tattoo removal – the Q-switched Candela TriVantage®. A Q-switched laser generates a very short pulse that shatters the pigment. This laser combines an Alexandrite laser (755 nanometers in wavelength) for treating black, blue, brown and green with a YAG laser (532 and 1064 nanometers) for treating black, brown, red and orange.
Are there significant risks?
Most laser tattoo removal leaves behind normal looking skin. While scars are possible, they are unusual. That said, some areas of skin are more susceptible to healing with a scar than others. In some areas, like the small of the back, we have to go slower with the treatments to avoid scarring. If you have deeply pigmented skin, the laser may lighten the skin in the area. Dr. Carniol is very precise in his treatments, but the spread of heat from the lasered area can sometimes lighten the skin around the tattoo. Also, the darker the tattoo, the more chance there is that the skin may heal a bit lighter (hypo-pigmented). Very dark tattoos that require many, many treatments can sometimes also leave behind skin that is a bit thinner. An incompletely removed tattoo can leave a ghost-like appearance, but sometimes this may be as good as you might expect. We have many very happy patients, but you must be realistic as you enter into treatment. At the time of your consultation, Dr. Carniol will answer all your questions about the risks and likely outcome of laser treatments. He will tell you if he does not think the treatments will be worth the cost.