Laser Tattoo Removal

Tattoos are a great form of self-expression. Sometimes, however, people outgrow who they once thought they were and what they thought defined them. Perhaps when you were young, you got a tattoo of a loved one’s name on your arm, expecting to be together forever. But you were young and dumb (as the saying goes), and the tattoo was a total mistake. Sean, Ricky, Mary or Josephine’s name, or whatever their name may be, has absolutely no reason to be immortalized on your body because you broke up. You’re single and ready to mingle, or already in a new relationship, and it’s time to get rid of that ink. Whatever the reason may be, it’s possible to start fresh and strip your body of unwanted ink.

Laser tattoo removal is a successful procedure that erases unwanted ink without damaging surrounding tissues. At Ridenour Plastic Surgery of St. Louis, MO, we use the best laser tattoo removal technology to ensure fantastic results, giving your skin a clean slate. If you have an unwanted tattoo, please give us a call at (314) 501-7946 or visit our contact page to schedule a consultation.

What Is Laser Tattoo Removal? How Does It Work?

Laser tattoo removal is a process that utilizes the power of technology and your body’s natural healing process to safely and effectively remove unwanted colored pigments. The treatment works by introducing concentrated laser energy to the skin to break apart the colored pigments. Eventually, the body naturally absorbs the shattered pigments in the days and weeks after treatment. Depending on how dark the unwanted pigment is, laser tattoo removal can make it fade away until it’s hardly visible to the naked eye. Still, in many cases, the procedure has the potential to erase the tattoo from the skin completely. Several sessions of laser tattoo removal are typically needed for optimal results.

At Ridenour Plastic Surgery, we use two laser technologies for tattoo removal:

PicoWay Zoom: This laser uses a 1064nm wavelength of light to destroy unwanted pigments instead of heating them, a method known as the “photoacoustic” effect., to treat dark-colored ink pigments. The 532nm wavelength is utilized to treat other forms of natural pigmentation, such as sunspots. After the pigments are shattered, your body gradually forces them to the surface of the skin, and they gradually flake off. PicoWay Zoom is suitable for various skin types.

RevLite: This laser has varying laser wavelengths, making it suitable for many skin tones and unwanted tattoo colors. During treatment, a concentrated laser beam pulses on the skin to dissolve the colored pigments. RevLite limits the healthy skin tissue from exposure to heat, which makes the treatment safe and fast.

These two lasers are excellent options for anyone seeking tattoo removal. Dr. Ridenour will assess which laser best suits your tattoo removal during an initial consultation.

Who Makes a Good Candidate for Laser Tattoo Removal?

Having a tattoo removed can be either a challenging or easy decision. For some, the sentimental value behind their ink can make them want to keep it. For others, the decision’s very easy (especially if it’s a former lover’s name). If you’re having trouble deciding if laser tattoo removal is right for you, ask yourself the following:

  • Does your tattoo cause any embarrassment?
  • Is it hindering your professional development?
  • Does it remind you of a mental hardship from your past?
  • Has your lifestyle changed since getting the tattoo?
  • Has your tattoo decreased in quality because of age?
  • Does it prevent you from wearing certain clothing?

If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to any of these, laser tattoo removal may be right for you. You should be in generally good health and have realistic expectations to be considered a good candidate.

Your Laser Tattoo Removal Treatment

Before performing your laser tattoo removal, Dr. Ridenour may apply a topical numbing cream or inject the treatment site with lidocaine to minimize any discomfort. Once prepped, the laser handheld device is pressed on the skin. During an initial consultation, Dr. Ridenour will determine which treatment will best suit your needs. For both laser treatments, laser energy will be delivered into the skin. The experience is generally pain-free, but each pulse of laser energy on the skin’s surface may feel like a snapping of a rubber band. The procedure typically lasts for 15 minutes but can take longer depending on the size of your tattoo.

Your Laser Tattoo Removal Results

You may notice redness or swelling on the tattoo after your treatment. This is normal and should go away after one day. Blisters and scabbing can potentially appear too and takes several days to go away. Patients should not touch the scabs or blisters if they occur because it can cause irritation and may slow the healing process. The colored pigments will gradually fade into the skin with either laser treatments.

Multiple laser tattoo removal sessions are usually needed for the best results. Sessions should be spaced at least six to eight weeks apart to allow the pigments to fade and the skin to recover. Throughout several sessions, you’ll notice your unwanted tattoo fade and can live a life with confidence, without having to worry about a regrettable tattoo.

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As tattoos have become less taboo, they’ve exploded in popularity. It’s estimated that 29 percent of Americans have at least one tattoo. But the growing number of people with tattoos has also given rise to a number of people who regret their tattoos. Of that 29 percent, studies have shown that approximately 23 percent wish they can have at least some of their ink removed. There are various reasons to want to get a tattoo removed. Maybe it’s because it’s become a source of embarrassment or perhaps because you’ve outgrown what your tattoo symbolized initially. Thankfully, it’s possible to remove a tattoo and shed the regret.

Laser tattoo removal is a treatment that can successfully rid your body of unwanted ink. If you’re a resident of St. Louis, MO, or surrounding cities, with a tattoo that no longer fits your lifestyle, please contact Ridenour Plastic Surgery at (314) 501-7946 or visit our contact page.

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