What Are The Typical Results From Laser Tattoo Removal After One Treatment?

Once you complete your first session, you may be wondering what you can expect from laser tattoo removal after one treatment. We know that people are usually eager to see significant results as soon as possible. After all, once you finally make the decision to start the removal process, you’ve already been fed up with your tattoo for awhile, possibly even for decades.

Unfortunately, unlike getting a tattoo which shows up pretty much immediately, laser tattoo removal is a process often requiring between 3-6 treatments for complete removal. Because of this, we always warn people that you may not see huge changes to your tattoo right away. But don’t be discouraged! Every time you sit under the laser, you are making progress. And while it might be difficult to notice significant changes at first, a comparison between photographs taken during previous visits can reveal the true extent of progress.

The typical results from laser tattoo removal after one treatment vary. Things like ink color, concentration, age and the depth of the actual tattoo, all factor into the responsiveness of the tattoo to laser treatment. And, while your first session should show at least some results, there are a few things that might affect the upfront visual significance of your laser tattoo removal after one treatment.

Tattoos don’t always fade consistently across the entire image.

This is due to the differences between colors, thickness and depth that can exist in a single tattoo. Tattoos which include both black lines and colors (especially green or blue) may require different treatments, so you might see fading in one portion of your tattoo but no results in another. That’s why we tackle your particular tattoo’s laser tattoo removal with a review and consultation at the beginning of every session. Choosing the best action for that session to create the most results.

Some kinds of tattoos are more difficult to remove than others.

This has more to do with density than darkness, since the ink layers are broken up by the laser and removed from the top down. The thicker and more dense the tattoo, the longer it will take. Thick tattoos and black lines are especially stubborn in showing immediate results, often appearing fuzzy before they really show fading.

Different colors often require different lasers to effectively remove.

Through our research and experience, we know that reds, oranges, yellows and browns are best treated with wavelengths of 532nm, whereas dark colors like black are best removed with wavelengths of 1064nm. For this, we use our Cutera laser, which operates in those two wavelengths. Green and blue tattoo inks require a 755nm wavelength to remove, for which we use our PicoSure laser.

The location of your tattoo matters.

The closer to your heart that the tattoo is, the faster it will fade. This is due to increased blood pressure and immune cells present in areas closer to your heart. As a result, chest and back tattoos will fade faster than hand and foot tattoos.

Smoking will significantly increase your tattoo removal time.

The American Medical Association’s Archives of Dermatology found that smoking can reduce the chance of successfully removing a tattoo after 10 treatment sessions by 70%. As a smoker, the body’s immune system is already dealing with the removal of foreign objects, removing smoke and other particles from the lungs which significantly reduces its ability to tackle the additional foreign objects caused by broken up ink particles. That’s not to say that we can’t remove your tattoo as a smoker, but be prepared for a longer recovery time and quite a few more sessions to achieve a complete removal.

Everyone’s body processes ink removal differently. It takes time for the body to process broken up ink particles and remove it from the tattoo site. So the results from one person’s laser tattoo removal after one treatment, may vary drastically from another person’s. We can give you our best estimate when you come in for a free consultation during your first visit, but your results will be specific for your body and particular tattoo.

How Do Lasers Remove Tattoos?

The most well-known and highly reccomended tattoo removal process is laser tattoo removal. But, how do lasers remove tattoos from your skin, exactly? Tattoo removal lasers work by injecting the skin with an intense band of light, focusing on a specific color band that effectively breaks up the pigment in the skin into tiny particles that can be processed and removed by the immune system. Which is why your tattoos will show the most fading over the weeks following a tattoo removal session.

The reason this is necessary can be found by looking deeper. Most tattoo inks are comprised of heavy metals and other particles that stick under the skin. These metals are what provide pigmentation for the tattoo, but they also provoke a deeper reaction from the body. Once this ink is deposited under your skin your immune system gets to work, viewing these ink particles as foreign objects and sending white blood cells to the rescue. These blood cells then engulf and take whatever tiny particles they can find to the liver, for processing. Most tattoo ink particles are much larger than the blood cells, which prevents them from removing the ink entirely and allows the pigmentation to remain under the skin. However, it’s this very feature that makes laser treatment necessary for tattoo removal.

So, how do lasers remove tattoos? Tattoo removal lasers, like the Picosecond and Cutera lasers used in our Portland tattoo removal shop, work to break up these larger particles into smaller ones that can be effectively processed by the immune system and cleared away. The frequency of light that the laser emits is very important. These lasers are very hot, and operate at speeds of a trillionth of a second, which is necessary for the process of breaking up the pigment particles, called photothermolysis. This process works by superheating the large pigment particles, causing them to expand due to thermal expansion, while operating fast enough to leave the other half of the ink particle cold. This difference in temperature causes the particle to literally rip apart, creating smaller pieces that the immune system can then clear away via the liver.

This process is why laser tattoo removal is the most effective method of tattoo removal, and why we recommend this method over any other methods of tattoo removal.

Is There Actually Such A Thing As “Easy Tattoo Removal”?

Tattoos are a form of permanent body modification, in which ink is inserted under the dermis using needles in order to change the pigment or color of the skin. We love tattoos (no really!), but the permanence of this process is what makes removing tattoos so notoriously difficult. In order to remove an unwanted tattoo the pigmented skin must either be removed, or the pigment must be broken up and then processed by the body with the help of special laser technology.

That makes the search for an easy tattoo removal process a bit tricky. But the good news is while it might sound intimidating, modern laser tattoo removal isn’t really all that complicated. At The UnTattoo Parlor, we use two cutting edge lasers, each targeting a specific range of light, that specialize in breaking up pigments in a range of colors. Because these lasers are designed for tattoo removal, they target only the pigmented skin and leave untattooed skin alone, providing more effective results without damage.

While there may not be such a thing as “easy tattoo removal”, the process of tattoo removal is pretty simple itself. Once you schedule your consultation, we will meet with you, evaluate the tattoo and provide a treatment plan. Most people need a few treatments and we usually recommend 1-3 treatments for lightening, and 3-6 for a complete removal. The process is pretty simple, and relatively painless. Our goal is to offer the best service possible while helping you to get back to that clean canvas for your next art.