How Does Tattoo Removal Actually Work?

We all make mistakes or change our minds now and then. Many mistakes are easy to remedy. You can wait for a bad haircut to grow out. You can easily donate those fashion faux pas to a thrift store. But that tattoo you got for your birthday long ago? It’s not so easy to eliminate.

The good news is that it’s a lot easier to get rid of a tattoo than it’s ever been. The advancement in tattoo removal technology means that you can remove or fade what was once thought to be a permanent mark. Instead of scrubbing it away with microdermabrasion and chemicals, or through surgical excision, we can use advanced laser technology to penetrate the skin and break up the pigment. 

The number of people getting tattoos has steadily risen over the years. One survey found that a quarter of all Americans have one or more tattoos. This rise in inking has led to, not surprisingly, more people wanting to get rid of their tattoos. 

At Los Gatos Dermatology, we offer two of the most effective and advanced laser technologies to help make your tattoo fade or disappear. 

Tattoo laser technologies

Fortunately, there are very few tattoos that Bruce Saal, MD, and his team can’t remove. Regardless of the color of the tattoo or color of your skin, these two devices can help you say goodbye to that tattoo forever. Some colors, though, such as red and yellow, may be more difficult to remove and require more sessions. Our two tattoo removal lasers are:

PicoSure® laser

The PicoSure laser delivers quick pulses to the skin to help break up the pigment. PicoSure lasers operate in picoseconds — hence the name — which is a thousand times faster than their predecessors. 

TattooStar laser

The TattooStar laser is quick and precise and reduces your risk of scar tissue development in the surrounding skin. 

Dr. Saal uses the laser that is best suited for your skin and the tattoo you want removed.

How does tattoo removal work?

While tattoo removal technology is effective, it is not immediate. The size, colors, age, and location of your ink, as well as your skin tone, affect how many laser treatments you need for the best results. Most people need between five and eight treatments scheduled eight to 12 weeks apart.

The laser wand targets the ink pigments deep in your skin. The laser delivers rapid pulses of heat to break up the pigment. Once the pigment is broken up, your body naturally flushes these fragments through your lymphatic system. During the course of multiple treatments, your tattoo gradually fades away. 

If you have one or more tattoos that you regret or would just like to go away, call us at Los Gatos Dermatology for an appointment today. 

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