Why Winter Is The Best Time Of Year To Get Laser Tattoo Removal

One of the most common questions we hear from individuals considering tattoo removal is, “What is the best time of year for laser tattoo removal?” You may get responses like “now” or “sooner is better than later”, but in reality, we like to focus on the season. Believe it or not, Winter is widely considered the best time to get most beauty and skin treatments done, including laser tattoo removal.

Generally speaking, it is best to start laser tattoo removal treatments sooner rather than later, and we don’t necessarily recommend waiting 9 months to get started, but Winter is the easiest time of year to recover. Winter gives you a good time frame for healing but also is a time where inflammatory heat is absent. Here are a few more reasons why we think winter is the best time of year to get laser tattoo removal.

Enjoy Your Fun In The Sun

During your first visit, a professional medical laser technician will create a customized treatment plan for your specific skin type, color, and sensitivity level, but they will also tell you the importance of staying out of the sun for several weeks before and after each treatment. Tanned or burned skin can alter your laser tattoo removal results. For example, having a tan or sunburn will change the sensitivity to your skin meaning you will more than likely experience irritation during and after your treatments. Exposure to the sun increases your body’s production of melanin, which also makes your skin more susceptible to burns during laser tattoo removal. Exposure to the sun during the healing process in between treatments can also cause peeling and blistering which can lead to scarring.

There is also a risk of hyperpigmentation which is the permanent removal of skin pigment. In order to prevent the risk of hyperpigmentation, it is important to avoid the sun for several weeks after a treatment to give the skin time to heal.

It is much easier to avoid the sun during the colder months because you are not spending as much time outdoors and your skin is almost completely covered when you are. When you choose to have your tattoo removed in the Winter, you can rest easy knowing you will be able to fully enjoy your summer the way you want to and feel comfortable not forcibly covering up your freshly cleaned skin.

Hairy Doesn’t Have To Be Scary

After any laser tattoo removal session, the treated area of your skin will need time to heal, and it cannot be shaved, waxed, or even plucked. Hair removal methods should be avoided because they can easily open up scabs and create blisters. This is yet another reason why winter is the best time of year for laser tattoo removal. Longer and warmer Winter clothing will easily conceal treated areas, relieving any worries you might have about going “au naturel” while your skin heals. Letting your hair grow out in the winter is not a big deal, it’s just hair after all.

Your Progress Will Be Less Obvious & More Exciting To Reveal

One thing to always keep in mind before starting laser tattoo removal is that it is not just a one-time procedure. Your sessions will be determined by a professional during your initial consultation, but there is typically an 8 to 12-week interval between sessions. During this time, your tattoo will begin fading steadily and may start to look spotty depending on your specific treatment plan, the ink colors in your tattoo, and the laser used during the procedure. Most people will cover up these treated areas anyway especially if it’s in visible areas on their body, but this becomes less of an issue during the Winter months. Winter makes it easier to naturally hide recently removed tattoos and you don’t have to feel obligated to answer questions like, “What’s going on with your tattoo?” It’s like a caterpillar transformation in a way. After Winter you will be shedding your layers to reveal something new.

Does Tattoo Removal Cream Work?

So you’re ready to part with your tattoo. Of course, you want to make the process as simple and successful as possible, and it’s not unlikely that these goals have led you to consider tattoo removal cream. The idea of an at-home tattoo removal cream that works by erasing your unwanted tattoo art is obviously appealing, but how does tattoo removal cream work and is it actually effective? We’re here to tell you what we know.

The Goal Of Tattoo Removal Creams

If you’re trying to make sense of tattoo removal methods, it’s helpful to begin with some foundational knowledge about what a tattoo is. Tattoos are essentially composed of ink particles stuck in your dermis (a thick layer of tissue that lies directly beneath your skin, or epidermis). Why are they stuck there? Well, although your white blood cells (WBCs) want to carry away the foreign material, ink particles are simply too large for the WBCs to carry and dispose of. Thus, the particles stay fixed in the dermis and tattoos remain permanent—at least until tattoo removal methods enter the picture. So basically, every tattoo removal method ultimately aims to deal with these ink particles, and the approaches they take are what distinguishes them. For instance, laser tattoo removal uses high-speed lasers to break up the pigment in the skin and while it may be the most expensive tattoo removal method it is still the most effective tattoo removal method. On the other hand, dermabrasion sands down the skin with a high-speed brush, salabrasion uses salt to sand down the skin and remove ink, excision surgically removes the tattooed portion of the skin, and tattoo removal creams utilize chemicals to remove inks.

Types of Tattoo Removal Creams

Tattoo removal creams are applied as topical treatments and most commonly use hydroquinone or trichloroacetic acid (TCA) as the active removal agent. These two chemicals function quite differently from one another.

TCA tattoo removal induces a chemical burn—and yes, that is as scary as it sounds. TCA tattoo removal creams work by burning or peeling away layers of the epidermis in an apparent effort to free some of the ink pigment stuck way below in the dermis. Effectiveness is low, and the possibility of scarring is extremely high. More likely than not, you’ll be left with a significant scar in place of or in addition to your existing tattoo. Creams that use TCA for tattoo removal are perhaps your worst option.

Hydroquinone, on the other hand, takes a less damaging albeit equally ineffective approach. The chemical hydroquinone is actually used by dermatologists to treat epidermal melasma, a condition involving irregular pigmentation in the epidermis. Hydroquinone is effective in fading irregular pigmentation in cases of epidermal melasma but is not effective in treating other kinds of melasma—namely dermal and mixed melasma. These cases involve irregular pigmentation of the dermis  (the same layer of tissue where ink particles reside) as opposed to the epidermis. In these cases, hydroquinone is simply too superficial to get the job done. The chemical is not capable of affecting any condition that occurs in the dermis—including tattoos. Additionally, it has been shown to cause eczema. Like TCA tattoo removal, the drawbacks of this option greatly outweigh the benefits.

There are creams out there that don’t rely on either TCA or hydroquinone as active ingredients. They are difficult to find, and as far as we have found, reviews always reveal them to be scams (for example, this $55 Tattoo-Off Cream with review after review warning how ineffective it is). In fact, regardless of their composition, tattoo removal creams turn out to be scams far too frequently. This probably has to do with the fact that their production is altogether unregulated by the FDA, allowing essentially anyone to market ineffective treatments to hopeful buyers.

Another Way To Remove Tattoos

It’s disappointing, but the evidence is clear: Tattoo removal creams just don’t work. We’re not the only ones who have come to this conclusion—in addition to the countless disappointed users of tattoo removal cream, the Mayo Clinic and American Academy of Dermatology both strongly recommend against using these creams. They are ineffective, unregulated, and unsafe.

Before you become too discouraged, please allow us to point you in a hopeful direction: Laser tattoo removal. It is undeniably the most effective method, and lots of people don’t realize that many of the qualities that make tattoo removal cream so appealing are offered by laser tattoo removal as well. Perhaps the sheer use of the word “laser” leads people to believe the process is dauntingly complex. On the contrary, we actually find it to be the most straightforward, logical method of tattoo removal. The gist is this: A laser shatters the large ink particles stuck in your dermis, making them small enough for WBCs to carry away. The WBCs do their job and just like that, the tattoo is gone. It’s not rocket science, but if you’re interested in more technical details you can read about them here.

Another common misconception is that laser tattoo removal costs will eat up your entire life savings. Sources promoting tattoo removal cream will tell you the procedure costs thousands and thousands of dollars. Perhaps in the most complex cases the price begins to approach these figures, but in many instances the entire removal comes to less than $1000.

The day an effective tattoo removal cream is invented will be a glorious day and we will be right alongside you celebrating, but it certainly hasn’t arrived yet. For the sake of your health, your time, and success of the process: If you’re thinking about tattoo removal, stay away from creams.

What is PicoSure Tattoo Removal and is it Worth It?

Erase the Oops

We all make mistakes, especially when we’re young. Luckily, we don’t have to live with them forever or be reminded of them on a daily basis.

If you’re ready to get rid of an embarrassing or just plain ugly tattoo from your past, The Untattoo Parlor can help. We specialize in PicoSure tattoo removal, an efficient laser removal system that works with your body to efficiently erase unwanted and hard-to-remove ink.

What is PicoSure Tattoo Removal?

As the world’s first laser that uses picoseconds (trillionths of a second) and PressureWave technology, PicoSure delivers laser energy that targets dark and multi-colored tattoo ink without harming the surrounding skin. The PicoSure laser is FDA-approved, safe, and more effective than traditional tattoo removal at removing stubborn ink.

What to Expect with PicoSure Tattoo Removal

During a PicoSure treatment at The Untattoo Parlor, the PressureWave technology will create ultra-short pulses of energy that target ink particles in the skin. These rapid pulses cause a pressure change that breaks tattoo ink into tiny particles. These particles will then be absorbed into the lymphatic system and eliminated naturally by the body.

Treatments for average sized tattoos take around 10 minutes, while larger tattoos can take much longer. The number of required treatments depends on the size, color, and location of a tattoo and are usually administered about every 6-8 weeks. PicoSure tattoo removal is typically described as a similar feeling to getting an actual tattoo and can cause some minor discomfort. For this reason, all of our tattoo removal services are performed by a trained staff of registered nurses and a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, offering a local anesthetic to minimize any discomfort during treatment.

Is PicoSure Tattoo Removal Worth It?

The PicoSure laser is more effective than traditional tattoo removal and in most cases,  requires fewer treatments. Most tattoo removal lasers use nanosecond pulses, making PicoSure’s picosecond pulses a more efficient solution for erasing past mistakes. PicoSure works best with green, blue, purple, and black inks that were previously difficult to treat.

While older laser removal systems simply heat the ink in the skin, PicoSure both heats and fractures the tattoo’s ink into tiny particles, allowing for better absorption and eventual elimination by the body. This cutting-edge technology has vastly improved the tattoo removal process.

The Untattoo Parlor is your premier source for PicoSure tattoo removal in Portland. Our team is professional, experienced, and trained in getting your skin back to the way it was. We’re the most experienced laser tattoo removal service in the Pacific Northwest that offers PicoSure’s picosecond wavelength tattoo removal lasers and are prepared to get any ink removal job done. Contact us today to learn more about pricing on PicoSure tattoo removal or to book a consultation with one of our PicoSure experts.