How Laser Tattoo Removal Works
Laser tattoo removal works by firing laser light into the tattoo, which breaks the ink into microscopic fragments. It’s only when the ink particles are in the smallest of pieces that the body can remove them.
enlighten™ laser tattoo removal is unlike other tattoo removal lasers because it offers both picosecond and nanosecond delivery. You’ll experience faster tattoo removal in fewer treatments for any color tattoo. Expect 3-6 treatments spaced 6 weeks apart.
How long does an individual enlighten™ tattoo removal session last?
The length of your session at Dr. Fitzgerald’s depends on the size of the tattoo. Small tattoos take just a few minutes. You do need to allow for the 30-45 minutes it will take the topical numbing anesthetic to fully take effect.
Will My Tattoo be Completely Removed?
Getting rid of a tattoo is much more complicated than getting one. It’s not always possible to completely erase a tattoo. The ink colors, ink types, age of the tattoo and depth of the ink deposits all factor into the final level of clearance. We’ll always aim for 100%, but even when it’s not possible to completely remove a tattoo, you can expect effective fading.
enlighten™ Laser Tattoo Removal with PICO + NANO Technology
The enlighten™ laser treatment method gets it done with:
● Fewer treatments
● Faster treatments
● Better results
● Less pain
● Less risk
● Less cost
5 Sessions enlighten™ Photo Courtesy Vic Ross, M.D.
What Does enlighten™ Laser Tattoo Removal Feel Like?
enlighten™ laser pulses are so fast they shatter the pigment with an acoustic shockwave, not with absorption of heat. This ultra-fast pulse feels similar to a rubber band snap. Although not pain-free, the process is considerably less painful than getting a tattoo in the first place. Topical anesthetic is typically used to minimize the sensation.
Can enlighten™ remove older tattoos?
Older tattoos are easier to remove than new tattoos. The inks were not placed as deeply, and fewer colors were typically used in older tattoo designs. Plus, all tattoos fade somewhat over time, as our body slowly breaks down some of the pigment particles. This gives us a head start on removing an older tattoo with our state-of-the-art enlighten™ platform.
How effective is enlighten™ on newer tattoos?
Our enlighten™ laser platform is very effective because it can deliver two different laser technologies, Pico and Nano, at the same time. This makes for more efficient breakdown of the pigment particles in the tattoo. This is true of tattoos of any age, but it is even more true with newer tattoos, which tend to feature more colors placed at different depths in the skin.
By combining Pico and Nano technology, enlighten™ has been proven to remove tattoos much more quickly than other laser tattoo removal platforms such as Q-Switch.
It’s not the age of the tattoo that matters so much for removing it — it’s the laser platform doing the job. At Rebecca Fitzgerald Dermatology, we feel our enlighten™ system is the finest available.
Does the enlighten™ laser deliver faster results?
As mentioned above, the enlighten™ laser uses pressure changes, combined with heat, to break down tattoo ink. This method obliterates the inks more quickly. We find that most tattoos can be removed effectively in from 2-6 sessions. That’s less than half the time of the 6-12 sessions required for heat-based lasers to do the job.
What Should I Expect Following an enlighten™ Laser Treatment?
Following an enlighten™ laser tattoo removal treatment, the affected area will be red. Small blisters may develop after 48 hours and the skin will gently peel a few days later. Complete recovery can vary from 1-2 weeks depending on the location and size of the tattoo. enlighten™ laser tattoo removal recovery is pain-free and wound care is limited to vaseline and a bandage.
You can then watch your tattoo progressively fade away within weeks after your treatment. Ideal spacing between treatment is 4-6 weeks.
What is the aftercare following a tattoo removal session?
Immediately after your session, your tattoo will turn a frosty white. This freaks out some people, but it is simply due to the release of carbon dioxide as the laser penetrates the skin. At the end of your session, we’ll apply an ice pack; you’ll want to continue that at home. It’s a good idea to take Tylenol to overcome any discomfort. Within eight hours and continuing for the next three days the treated tattooed skin will begin to peel or blister. The skin can crust and scab. It’s important to keep the area covered with antibiotic cream and a bandage. In 1-2 weeks, all crusting and scabbing should fully resolve.
What are the risks involved with laser tattoo removal?
Removing tattoos with laser energy is much safer than other removal methods, such as excision and dermabrasion. Those methods leave scarring and have high potential for infection.
The energy delivered by our enlighten™ laser platform selectively targets the pigment in the tattoo, not the skin color. That makes the process quite safe.
The biggest risk is possible infection if the treated area scabs or crusts. This is up to you to control, which is easily done through the use of antibiotic ointment.
There is a slight risk of hypopigmentation, where the treated skin with the tattoo becomes lighter than the surrounding skin. But with the advanced technology used by the enlighten™ system, this is a very slight possibility.
How will tattoo removal impact my skin?
The enlighten™ laser uses the latest technology for tattoo removal. Unlike other Q-switched lasers used for tattoo removal, enlighten™ doesn’t rely on heat to break down pigment. Instead, it uses rapid, short pulses of energy, called Picosecond technology, to create pressure changes that break apart ink particles. The particles become so fragmented they are akin to dust. These are very easy for the body’s lymphatic system to flush from the body.
What does that mean for your skin? Some older lasers could damage the surface skin due to the heat they delivered to break down the tattoo inks. Not only does enlighten™ require only about half the sessions of other lasers to remove the tattoo, but its delivery of ultra-short pulse durations is easy on the skin. Plus, it doesn’t use heat as its vehicle to break down the inks. All of that adds up to no collateral or lasting damage to your skin with laser removal using the enlighten™ combination of Pico and Nano technology at Rebecca Fitzgerald Dermatology.
After treatment, the ink of the tattoo will “frost” and the surrounding skin will be somewhat red and slightly inflamed. This passes in a few hours. This laser doesn’t damage the surface of the skin, so patients can apply makeup, moisturizers, and sunscreen immediately if they want to.
Will I have any scarring after an enlighten™ tattoo removal session?
Formerly, the only way to remove a tattoo was excision or dermabrasion, both of which tended to create serious scarring afterwards.
Laser tattoo removal does not scar the skin. As mentioned above, you may have a slight ghost of the tattoo, but not a scar. Laser energy simply passes through the epidermis layer and is absorbed by the pigment in the tattoo inks. It doesn’t damage the outer skin.
Why Tattoo Removal Requires Patience & Persistence
I always tell my patients: it costs more, hurts more, and takes more time to remove a tattoo than to get one. With the new advances of the enlighten™ laser, we have taken a huge step in the right direction.
#1 – Tattoos often include more than one color
● Color tattoos are not as responsive as black, so we have to use a variety of wavelengths at different energies for different lengths of time.
● Black tattoos are easier to eradicate fully because they only require a single wavelength.
#2 – Tattoo removal requires multiple treatment sessions
● What we don’t want to do is heat the skin so much at one time that we cause burns or scars.
● Because tattoo pigment is deposited at different depths and densities, it’s simply a matter of repetition to reach all the ink.
#3 – Getting rid of tattoos takes time
● Once the pigment in the ink is shattered by the laser, we allow time for your body to dispose of the shattered ink particles – this takes about 6 weeks. By giving those pigment particles time to get out of the way, we have a clearer field and can get rid of more ink the next time, and the next.
Why We Chose PICO + Nano Technology
enlighten™ combines the technology of picosecond and nanosecond pulses to achieve powerful action and powerful results.
Older technologies like q-switch laser and stand-alone pico or nano took longer, were less effective, more painful and more expensive. We want to be sure that your treatments get the best possible results, as effectively as possible, in the least number of treatments (fewer treatments mean less cost to you). The enlighten™ tattoo removal laser is our final choice because we believe it’s the best system on the market.
This same laser system has equally powerful effects on pigment and dark spots on the skin, referred to as PICO Genesis.
Schedule your enlighten™ laser tattoo removal Consultation In Los Angeles!
Please contact Dr. Rebecca Fitzgerald using the form on this page or call 323-464-8046 today to schedule your enlighten™ laser tattoo removal consultation. We serve patients in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, and Larchmont, California.