At Limelight Laser and Medical Spa we have the most advanced technology to help remove a tattoo that you regret. We all make bad decisions in our youth. Fortunately, there is a solution. The most typical tattoos that we see people wanting to get rid of are ex’s names, a tattoo that hasn’t held up over time and now looks faded and blurry, symbols that no longer represent you, or tattoos that are in highly visible areas. We will cover what you need to know about Laser Tattoo Removal.

Here at Limelight Laser and Medical Spa, we’re proud to offer state of the art picosecond laser tattoo removal to patients across Cincinnati, Mason, Dayton, and Northern Kentucky. Although most people are aware that laser removal exists, there’s still a lot of confusion and misconceptions out there about how the procedure actually works. If you are considering having a tattoo removed, the information below will help you understand the process of getting that tattoo removed.

What is laser tattoo removal?

There are a few different ways to remove a tattoo from the skin, but laser removal is the most effective method, and certainly the most popular. The reason for this is laser technology is the only method that can remove a tattoo without damaging side effects to the skin. Technological advances over the last several years have made this removal process much more effective, faster, and more affordable to the mainstream public.

The truth is that ink particles in the skin are very difficult to remove. To state the obvious, the tattoo artist places a tattoo with the intention that the tattoo will last a lifetime. Your body considers the tattoo ink to be a foreign body and is constantly trying to break it down using a special type of white blood cell called a macrophage. This is why a tattoo often fades over time. However, because the ink particles are so big, the white blood cell cannot effectively remove them.

Women with regretful tattoos

Tattoo removal requires a specialized ultrashort pulse laser, which works by emitting very hot blasts in quick bursts to heat up and break apart the ink particles. The two different types of lasers for tattoo removal are a Picosecond laser and a Q-Switched laser. At Limelight, we have both of these lasers but most often use the extremely short pulsed laser the PicoSure laser since it can remove tattoo quicker, with less pain, and with less trauma to the skin.

The pigment of the ink makes a difference as well. Because different pigments will absorb different wavelengths of light, the laser must be set to the right wavelength in order to break down the ink. Tattoos that have different pigmentation will require more than one wavelength to break down each type of ink particle.

Woman showing the tattoo removal progress after multiple treatments

The Picosure laser breaks the ink particles into particles that are small enough for the white blood cells to take away the ink and flush it out of the body along with other foreign bodies or toxins.

Laser tattoo removal is a very effective procedure, and will work for almost anyone. Be aware, though, that it is not a “one and done” procedure. It will generally take multiple sessions to completely remove any tattoo.

How many sessions will it take to remove a tattoo?

This is very often difficult to predict, but the average number of sessions is anywhere from six to ten, depending on the specifics of your particular tattoo. Rarely, a removal may require a dozen or more sessions, but this isn’t the norm. You’ll need to give your body time to heal between each session, usually about six weeks. This gives you time to recover from any temporary damage done by the laser, and is also when your body will flush out the broken down ink particles. At Limelight Laser and Medical Spa, we offer a convenient package that allows you to come back as many times as you need for one price. We offer a complete removal package that guarantees to remove all removable ink no matter how many sessions you need.

There are a few factors that will determine how many laser removal sessions you need in total:

  • The colors in the tattoo
  • The color of your tattoo will play a big role in how effective laser removal will be. Darker pigments take fewer sessions to break down than lighter ones. This is because dark or black ink will absorb the most laser light. That means the laser will be at its most effective on tattoos that are primarily black or dark ink colors.
  • Tattoos that are composed of lighter colored inks are more reflective, so the light bounces off them. When less light is absorbed, the laser becomes less effective. For example, yellow, red, and purple ink are notoriously difficult to remove and may require a few extra sessions for the best results.
  • The location of your tattoo
  • The parts of your body with the most blood circulation are where tattoos will fade the fastest. That’s why tattoos that are further away from your heart, like those on your hands or feet, will look more vibrant for a longer period of time. Removing a tattoo from somewhere on your torso will be easier than removing one from your arms or legs.

How long you’ve had the tattoo

Although tattoos are permanent, they do fade over time. The older and more your tattoo is faded, the fewer sessions it will take to remove it. However, the Picosecond laser, the Picosure can remove any tattoo no matter how long you have had it.

Is laser tattoo removal painful?

Laser removal involves applying extremely hot, concentrated laser light to your skin. It can be a bit painful but we offer numbing cream and use a high powered chilling unit to chill the skin as its being treated to reduce any discomfort.

Are there any side effects from laser tattoo removal?

As long as the removal procedure is performed by an experienced Physician like Dr. Welden, the process is completely safe. There is a small risk of side effects including slight blistering or pigmentary changes. Because the side effects are greater the higher the laser energy is to remove the tattoo, it is important to use a conservative setting on the laser even if it takes one or two more sessions to complete the laser tattoo removal.

Redness, tenderness, and swelling are common after the procedure. Some bruising and blistering can occur as well. Like pigmentation issues, these will resolve themselves naturally over time. While the treated area is healing, it’s at a greater risk for infection, so it’s very important to follow all of the recommendations you are given to minimize the risks of any adverse effects.

One of the biggest concerns about laser tattoo removal in Cincinnati is the risk of scarring. However, Limelight Laser and Medical Spa uses the most up-to-date technology to treat your tattoo. We use a Picosure Picosecond laser that is the most effective and safest laser on the market to remove any color tattoo in Cincinnati. You should always ensure you’re taking the appropriate steps to treat the lasered area as directed, so it can heal properly. If blisters and scabs form, do not pick at them! This can result in permanent scarring.

Get the results you want from the experts and physicians at Limelight Laser and Medical Spa.

If you’re looking to rid yourself of a tattoo you no longer want, laser tattoo removal is one of the safest and most effective ways to do so. Most sessions last less than 10 minutes and there’s no downtime involved. We also offer a free consultation to let you know the cost of the tattoo removal which is typically the best price for laser tattoo removal in Cincinnati.