Laser Tattoo Removal

Our Q-switched Nd: YAG laser can remove tattoos containing black or multiple colors. This specific laser is designed to produce one or more specific wave­lengths of light. Tattoo ink is removed by using specific wavelengths which are either absorbed, reflected or passed through the skin. The rapid absorption of light energy causes the destruction of the tattoo, and it is removed by the body’s natural filtering systems.

  • Before
  • After
  • Before
  • After
  • Before
  • After

Is the process painful?

The Q-Switched, Frequency Doubled Nd: YAG laser emits light in very short flashes of light called pulses. The impact of the energy from the powerful light pulse is similar to the snap of a thin rubber band or specks of hot bacon grease on the skin. The large majority of all patients do not require anesthesia. You may return to work immediately. There is no down time for this procedure.

How many treatment sessions will it take to remove the tattoo?

On the average, professional tattoos require 4-8 treatments or maybe more, while amateur tattoos or permanent makeup require 3-6 treatments, all spaced approximately 6-8 weeks apart. The number of treatments depends on the amount and type of ink used and the depth of the ink in the skin. Rarely, more than ten treatments may be needed.

Do all colors of ink disappear equally as well?

No. Dark (blue/black) inks and red inks tend to have the highest response. Oranges and purple tattoos usually respond well. Green and yellow inks are the most difficult to remove, although additional treatments can produce further fading.

What Are The Possible Side Effects?

There are minimal side effects to tattoo removal by lasers. However, you should consider these factors in your decision:

The tattoo removal site is at risk for infection. You may also risk lack of complete pigment removal, and there is a slight chance that the treatment can leave you with a permanent scar.

You may also risk hypopigmentation, where the treated skin is paler than surrounding skin, or hyperpigmentation, where the treated skin is darker than surrounding skin.

Cosmetic tattoos like lip liner, eyeliner and eyebrows may darken following treatment with tattoo removal lasers. Further treatment of the darkened tattoos usually results in fading.

What Can I Expect During the Laser Tattoo Removal?

Treatment with the laser varies from patient to patient depending on the age, size and type of tattoo (amateur or professional). The color of the patient's skin, as well as the depth to which the tattoo pigment extends, will also affect the removal technique.

In general, this is what will happen during an office visit for tattoo removal using the newer lasers:

  • Protective eye shields are placed on the patient.
  • The skin's reaction to the laser is tested to determine the most effective energy for treatment.
  • The treatment itself consists of placing a hand piece against the surface of the skin and activating the laser light. As many patients describe it, each pulse feels like a grease splatter or the snapping of a rubber band against the skin.
  • Smaller tattoos require fewer pulses while larger ones require more. In either case, the tattoo requires several treatments and multiple visits. At each treatment, the tattoo should become progressively lighter.
  • Immediately following treatment, an ice pack is applied to soothe the treated area. The patient will then be asked to apply a topical antibiotic cream or ointment. A bandage or patch will be used to protect the site and it should likewise be covered with a sun block when out in the sun.

Most patients do not require any anesthesia. However, depending on the location of the tattoo and the pain threshold for the patient, the laser technician may elect to use some form of anesthesia.

Other Applications

Besides professionals and amateur tattoos our Q-switched Nd: YAG laser breaks down pigmentation in the following:

  • Permanent make-up such as lip liner, embroidered eyebrows and embroidered eye liner.
  • Birth marks and sun spots.
  • Moles (nevus).
  • Freckles.
  • Age spots and other red or brown pigmentation.

Please call 212-686-6666 for pricing.