Clients may seek tattoo removal treatment for a number of reasons; allergic reaction, employment requirements, regret, or in preparation for replacing one tattoo with another. At Abington Aesthetic and Laser Medical Center, we’ll walk you through the steps necessary to help you remove your old tattoo in a clean, comfortable environment.
Treatment begins with a consultation by our cosmetic laser surgeon Dr. Evan Zelinger. He will examine your tattoo for size, ink color, and depth of ink in the tattooed skin, before determining a treatment plan.
The tattoo removal process can take several treatments, all of which are spaced out 12 weeks or more to allow for the skin to heal. Factors that affect how many treatments are needed include:
- Size and intricacy of the tattoo. A small, simple tattoo can usually take anywhere from 5-9 treatments.
- Ink colors. Black and red fade much faster than other colors.
- If the tattoo is professionally done, they usually keep ink uniform across the skin, while amateurs tattoos tend to have an unsteady hand, causing varied depth.
- The age of the tattoo. Newer tattoos and inks are usually more difficult to remove than older ones.
Unfortunately, because of the variables in every tattoo, we cannot guarantee full removal. However, tattoos often fade enough with treatment to be nearly imperceptible, which is the goal of many clients.
What to Expect During and After Treatment
Laser tattoo removal treatment uses a high-intensity beam of light to break up the pigment colors of the ink. Different laser wavelengths target certain colors with the exception of black ink, which absorbs all laser wavelengths. Once the pigment is broken up, the immune system slowly clears the skin of the fractured ink over the course of a few weeks, causing the tattoo to fade.
Patients have reported that they feel a small, sharp pain on the skin, like the snap of a rubber band. Most patients don’t require anesthesia, however, numbing creams, injections, and oral medications can be made available upon request. Dr. Zelinger can also provide other means of comfort, such as cold air or ice packs upon request.
After the tattoo removal treatment, your tattoo may look discolored, and the skin around the tattoo could become swollen and red. The treatment area will be covered with antibacterial ointment and a nonstick bandage to protect the skin. If you have any concerns about your skin after treatment, please contact Dr. Zelinger immediately.
Cost of Laser Tattoo Removal
Similar to the number of treatments needed, costs for tattoo removal vary. A single color, black or red tattoo less than the size of a quarter may cost roughly $250 per treatment, while a tattoo less than the size of your palm is about $400 per treatment. Because tattoo removal is considered an aesthetic, elective procedure, it is very rarely covered by medical insurance. Dr. Zelinger will include projected costs in your consultation so that you can make your best decision. We accept all major credit cards.