Do you feel like your tattoo is keeping you from getting your dream job? Did you get a tattoo when you were younger that you now regret? At Bala Aesthetics & Medispa in Bel Air, MD, we understand how frustrating it can feel to have a tattoo that you wish you didn’t have. That’s why we’re excited to offer laser tattoo removal. Today, we’re answering some of the most frequently asked questions about this treatment, including how many sessions are required.
Laser Tattoo Removal: How Many Sessions Do You Need?
You may need anywhere from two to 12 laser tattoo removal sessions to achieve your desired results. Typically, the larger your unwanted tattoo is, the more treatment sessions you will need to remove it. If your tattoo is fairly large, you can expect to need eight to 10 removal sessions depending on the quality of the ink, the age of the tattoo, and other factors. Smaller tattoos usually require six removal sessions, give or take a session.
Other FAQs Answered
Am I a Good Candidate for This Treatment?
To find out for sure if you’re a good laser tattoo removal candidate, you need to attend an initial evaluation. You must currently be in good health to qualify for this treatment. Additionally, pregnancy, nursing, and a history of keloid scarring will disqualify you from this treatment. Moreover, you will not qualify for this treatment if you are taking an antibiotic that causes photosensitivity. If you are currently taking such a drug, ask your doctor if you can stop for a couple of days.
Also, be advised that you will be considered a poor fit for this treatment if your skin is irritated in the targeted area. To reduce the likelihood of needing to postpone your treatment, make sure that you take good care of your skin in the weeks leading up to it. For instance, you should not get any potentially irritating skin treatments in advance of your laser tattoo removal session.
Why Won’t I Qualify for Treatment If I’m Pregnant?
You will not qualify for this treatment if you are nursing out of an abundance of caution for your fetus. There is no research on whether the ink particles destroyed during treatment can pass through the fetal placental barrier.
Can I Get Laser Tattoo Removal While I’m Menstruating?
It is advisable to schedule your treatment sessions when you are not menstruating due to the effect high estrogen levels have on endorphins. Additionally, you should consider not scheduling your treatment session for the week preceding your period or two days following it.
How Should I Prepare for My Treatment?
One of the most important preparation steps you need to take prior to treatment is to avoid sun exposure. Your appointment must be rescheduled if your skin is irritated due to sun damage or other factors, like a skin infection. If possible, avoid exposure to sunlight between the hours of 10 and 4. During this six-hour window, the sun’s UV rays are most powerful.
You also will need to stop using any topical products that contain retinols or retinoids prior to treatment. Retinols should be avoided for five days prior to your treatment session. Retinoids are essentially very powerful retinols, and their use should be avoided six months prior to your treatment session.
Can I Tan Before My Treatment Session?
No, you should not tan your skin in any manner prior to your laser tattoo removal session. The lighter your skin is, the greater the contrast there will be between the ink in your skin and your skin itself. The greater this contrast is, the more effective the treatment session will be. That said, you do not need to have naturally pale skin or bleached skin to qualify for this treatment. You’ll just need an extra session or two if you have dark skin and a dark unwanted tattoo.
How Long Will My Treatment Session Take?
The most significant factor affecting how long your treatment session will take is the size of the tattoo being removed. The number of colors your tattoo is made up of also affects how long your treatment session will take.
The more colors there are in your tattoo, the longer your removal session will take. This is because the wavelengths emitted by the laser must be altered to remove different colors. If you are only trying to remove a small, monochrome tattoo, your session may only take around five minutes. On the other hand, your session may take closer to 30 minutes if you are trying to remove a larger tattoo or several small tattoos.
How Soon Can I Expect To See My Ideal Results?
You can generally expect to see your ideal results after three to six months. However, there are several factors that affect how long it will take you to see your desired results. Once we have evaluated your unwanted tattoo, we will advise you on how many sessions you will need. This is the most significant factor affecting how long it will take your final results to become apparent.
Another significant factor affecting how long your results will become apparent is your immune system. The stronger your immune system is, the sooner your white blood cells will absorb the shattered ink particles.
Is There Anything I Can Do To See My Final Results Faster?
There isn’t much you can do to see your final results faster. However, if you’re a smoker, not smoking will speed up the arrival of your results significantly. It is also a good idea to make sure that you stay hydrated, exercise regularly, and consume as little alcohol as possible.
Taking excellent care of your skin after your treatment is another step you can take to see your final results faster. Each follow-up session occurs after the skin has healed from the first session.
What Should I Expect After My Treatment Session?
After your treatment session, there will be little to no downtime. However, you may need to restrict some of your usual activities. For example, you should avoid soaking in a pool, hot tub, or bathtub until your skin has finished healing. Additionally, you should avoid exercise during the first 48 hours following your treatment under certain circumstances.
It’s okay to exercise after your treatment session if you are removing a relatively small tattoo from your torso. Just make sure that you shower and reapply your ointment after your workout session. If you are having a tattoo removed from your extremities, or the tattoo is relatively large, physical activity should be avoided.
How Should I Care for My Skin After My Treatment?
After your treatment session, it is imperative that you spend as little time in the sun as possible. Additionally, you should make sure you wear adequate sunscreen every day and reapply it every two hours. Another important aftercare step is to not wear makeup or use any other topical product that can possibly irritate your skin as it heals. Moreover, you should not shave the treatment area until your skin has healed.
Another important step you should take to care for your skin after treatment is to cover your treatment area with a layer of antibiotic ointment for a few days. You should also bandage the area with sterilized gauze. You may remove the bandage after three days, but you should be very careful to keep the area clean and dry. To facilitate faster healing, it is highly advisable that you keep the area moisturized with Aquaphor, Vaseline, or hydrocortisone cream.
How Does This Treatment Work?
This treatment works by heating the ink to the point that it shatters. Once shattered, the ink particles are small enough that your white blood cells can absorb them. The reason multiple sessions are necessary is that the laser only affects one layer of ink at a time. The deeper your tattoo is, the more treatment sessions you will need.
Schedule Your Initial Consultation Today
The number of laser tattoo removal sessions you need depends on several factors, including your goals, the age of the tattoo, and the colors the tattoo is made of. You can expect to need between two and a dozen treatment sessions, but the only way to find out for sure is to attend an initial consultation. If you are ready to remove a tattoo that you now regret, schedule an initial consultation with us today at Bala Aesthetics & Medispa in Bel Air, MD. We can’t wait to help you!