15 Do’s and Don’ts for Successful Laser Tattoo Removal
Do tell us all of your medical conditions
This is a matter of safety. There are certain medical conditions that would put you at risk for complications with laser tattoo removal. Skin conditions, immune system diseases, and anything that affects the body’s ability to heal are just some examples of things that may affect your tattoo removal sessions.
Do tell us all of your medication you are taking
There are certain medications that would greatly increase the risk of complications with laser tattoo removal sessions. No matter how irrelevant, you should always disclose all medication you are currently on.
Do use sunscreen regularly
The lasers used in laser tattoo removal pick up on dark pigment and transfer their heat energy to that pigment. A tan is a dark pigment and having an active tan greatly increases your risks of complication. If you tan, we will not treat! It’s a matter of safety!
Do tell us if there is any change in your medical conditions or medication
Any and all changes in medical conditions or medications should immediately be reported to your tech so that no complications arise with your laser tattoo removal sessions.
Do tell us if you had an allergic reaction to your tattoo, especially if there is red ink
Tattoo ink has different minerals in it based on the color. Black may have iron oxide which is relatively safe. But some inks have dangerous minerals in them. Blue has cobalt and red has mercury in it. These minerals are toxic to the body and if you had an allergic reaction when you got the tattoo, you will very likely have an allergic reaction when we are trying to get rid of it. Complications like anaphylactic shock have been reported with the removal of red tattoos because the client did not report any allergic reactions at the time of consult. Always inform us!
Do tell us if you may be pregnant
As stated in the last paragraph, some inks have dangerous minerals in them. If you think you may be or are pregnant, always inform your tech. We never treat pregnant women.
Do tell us if your tattoo has a cover up layer
If your tattoo is a cover up, we need to know it! Some inks like bright yellow have white in them. Lasering away at what we think is black ink that was used to cover up a yellow tattoo can cause serious complications due to yellow traditionally having a white ink in it. White reflects heat energy!
Don’t get a tan
A tan is any laser sessions worst enemy. Stay out of the sun, do not have an active tan when getting any type of laser done. If you must be under the sun, make sure to apply a SPF 30 every 2 hours.
Don’t get a spray tan
Pigment is pigment whether it’s naturally occurring or a spray tan. Make sure your skin is clear of all products and don’t get a spray tan. If you do have one, make sure to clear the treatment area of the spray tan.
Don’t use antibiotics or Accutane
All antibiotics will cause your skin to become photosensitive. This means that your skin will be much more sensitive to sunburn. A laser is a focused beam of light, and will cause complications and burns if you are on antibiotics. Most antibiotics clear the system between 3 and 10 days. If you have been on Accutane, you will have to wait 6 months after discontinuing it to safely be treated.
Don’t put any products on the area the day of
Keep your skin clear and clean of any products and lotions you may use. Especially be aware of age defying products like Retinal
Don’t have expectations of how many sessions you will actually need
This is where many people get frustrated and impatient. The successful removal of a tattoo is based on many different factors. Location of tattoo, color of ink, age of tattoo, professionalism of tattoo, environmental factors, and your immune system all play major roles in successful tattoo removal. The closer the tattoo is to your heart, the easier it is to remove since blood flows well to those areas and the immune system does a better job of picking up the tattoo particles after each session. Different ink colors have different levels of difficulty to remove tattoos, with blue and bright colors like yellow being the most difficult to remove. If the tattoo was not done professionally and is what we call a “gray scale” tattoo, it’s much easier to get rid of than a tattoo that was done professionally. A professional tattoo will sit deeper in the skin. Environmental factors like smoking greatly reduce your immune response and blood flow, reducing the effectiveness of laser tattoo removal. Autoimmune diseases or any condition that affects the lymphatic system will also reduce the effectiveness of laser tattoo removal. The statistic average number of sessions for complete laser tattoo removal is 10. But, your tech will always give you a range that you can likely depend on, if all goes well.
As stated in the last paragraph, smoking can greatly reduce the effectiveness of laser tattoo removal. A study conclusively shows that smoking reduces your chances of having complete tattoo removal in 10 sessions by as much as 70%! If you have the bad habit, consider quitting before you do laser tattoo removal.
Don’t miss your scheduled appointments
Keeping a strict schedule with tattoo removal will reduce the amount of time you need to deal with that tattoo. Your tech will ask you to come in every 4 to 8 weeks based on how well you heal. Keep your appointments!
Don’t lie to your tech
We always have your safety in mind. Your tech is here to perform your sessions in the safest, yet most effective protocol he/she can follow. If you lie to your tech about medications, medical conditions, or having gotten a tan you only put yourself at risk. If we see that you’ve, for example, gained a tan we will refuse treatment. Please always be honest with your tech for safety reasons!