A Few Things You May Not Know about Laser Tattoo Removal
Updated: Feb 17, 2019
Amateur tattoos are removed quicker than professional tattoos
An amateur tattoo is generally smaller in size and scope, uses less ink, and are more often than not applied in a superficial manner. Usually, the artist will use a homemade machine with a handheld needle for this.
All of these factors mean that these types of tattoos are much easier to deal with during the removal process than their professional counterparts. A professional tattoo uses a machine that works with high-quality pigmentation processes to get the ink into the skin on a much deeper level. As you might expect, these tattoos last longer and tend to age a bit better as time passes. The typical quality of work involved is a double-edged sword, as these tattoos require extra treatments to completely remove.
It’s actually your body that removes the ink
Most people understandably believe that the laser is what is doing all of the work during tattoo removal. After all, it’s a high-tech device and we typically consider lasers adept at burning away various materials with ease. While the laser is certainly a catalyst for the process, it’s your body that’s doing a lot of the work here. That’s because the lasers like the ones at our Ann Arbor Tattoo Removal facility are designed for selective photothermolysis. Essentially, they release rapid energy pulses at specific targets using variable wavelengths. These pulses, set to the proper wavelengths, work to break down the pigments in the ink. Once done, your body’s own lymph system can then process the particles that remain, flushing them out for good.
Patients may notice a bit of frost
Directly following the application of the laser pulses, the target area will develop a white, frost-like layer on the surface of the skin. It may look strange, but it’s nothing more than a harmless by-product of the laser’s effects. The laser forms stream or gas on the surface of the skin using heat. It does this so rapidly, the frosty layer appears as the steam is released from the surface.
The laser doesn’t burn you
Like we mentioned, most people think of lasers as devices that only burn material away and because of that, some customers that come in for removal are worried about burning. In this case, it doesn’t help that the laser needs to heat the ink pigments to thousands of degrees before it can fragment. Yes, that sounds scary, but fortunately, the lasers used in modern tattoo removal treatments pass harmlessly through the skin. They’re designed to only target the pigments that need to be fractured for processing. The area is only pulsed for a few milliseconds at a time, ensuring that the tissue surrounding the tattoo is never burned.
We’re cool and you can be too
When it comes to treating the mild discomfort that happens with any tattoo removal, the experts at our Ann Arbor Laser Tattoo Removal Specialists like to cool down the affected region. We do this using medical-grade coolers applied by a qualified specialist. It’s quick and safe and will remove most of the physical discomfort that customers might have during tattoo removal.