About Laser Tattoo Removal
You thought it was permanent, but it's not! Tattoos can be permanently removed at Toronto Cosmetic Clinic with the MedLite® C6 Laser.
Laser tattoo removal is a cosmetic procedure that removes unwanted tattoos on the body with therapeutic laser technology. At Toronto Cosmetic Clinic, the laser platform used is the MedLite® C6, one of the most advanced laser platforms in cosmetic surgery today.
Medlite® C6 Laser
Laser tattoo removal is most effective when the right device is used during the procedure. That's why Toronto Cosmetic Clinic uses only the gold standard: the MedLite® C6.
The MedLite® C6 is a laser platform that offers a full range of wavelengths optimized for a wide variety of tattoo colours, while leaving the surrounding skin unharmed. It is classified as a Q-switched Nd:YAG laser meaning that it is set to remove multiple shades of a colour at once. Older methods of removing tattoos with more than one colour meant switching the type of laser. Now technology has allowed for customized wavelengths to be delivered based on the tattoo dye so each session is tailored to the individual.
Over the course of a short series of sessions, the targeted tattoo will gradually fade then disappear!
Tattoo Removal Process at Toronto Cosmetic Clinic
Before undergoing the laser tattoo removal procedure at Toronto Cosmetic Clinic, you will be asked to visit our patient consultant for a complimentary consultation to determine whether this will be effective for your situation.
The MedLite® C6 laser will direct short bursts of light at the unwanted tattoo. Each pulse may create a sensation that is similar to a quick snap from a rubber band. Though the procedure is relatively painless and does not require anesthesia, a topical anesthesia may be applied at the onset of the session to reduce discomfort. The procedure is performed by a highly trained and educated medical esthetician, under the direction of a physician. The length of your procedure varies depending on size, colour, and depth of the ink.
Recovery from a session is fairly quick. The treated area will be dressed with antibacterial ointment immediately following the procedure and the area should be kept clean to reduce the risk of infection. You can return back to most of your daily routine activities, except for those that involve getting the skin wet such as swimming or heavily exercising for 24 hours after.
You will return to Toronto Cosmetic Clinic within 6-12 weeks for your next session. Your medical esthetician will advise you when it is most optimal to come in based on the type and colours of your tattoo.
Who is Laser Tattoo Removal For?
Laser tattoo removal is suitable for men and women who no longer wish to have an existing tattoo on their body. Ideal candidates are those who have no skin problems in the area the tattoo is located, such as keloid scarring or a skin disorder, and have realistic expectations of the procedure. Those with a history of abnormal scarring may not be suitable for laser tattoo removal.
How Does a Laser Actually Remove a Tattoo?
The laser works by directing an intense beam of light at the tattooed skin in short bursts. These pulses of laser light pass through the top layers of the skin to reach the ink of the tattoo, which absorbs the laser. This breaks the ink up into tiny particles. The body then can eliminate the dispersed ink naturally by the immune system, much in the same way it eliminates toxins and excess fluids. Therefore, age and overall health play a role in the laser tattoo removal process.
Laser Tattoo Removal Cost
The cost of laser tattoo removal at Toronto Cosmetic Clinic is based on the surface area that is covers, the amount of detail, and if there are a multitude of colours. The prices quoted are the cost per session. Package prices are available if you want to purchase several at once, your patient consultant can go over this with you. A general guideline we use for pricing on each session is as follows:
- 2 x 2 inches is $75 per session
- 4 x 4 inches is $150 per session
- Each inch after 4”x4” is $25/inch
The number of session will vary based on the tattoo as explained below.
How Many Sessions Do You Need?
Removing a tattoo with the MedLite® C6 EO Q-switched Nd:YAG laser is a gradual process. The especially laser is designed to vibrate and shatter molecules, so that the dye of an unwanted tattoo disrupts into particles so tiny that they can be eliminated by the body more easily. Since the effectiveness of this procedure relies on the body's natural filtering system, results appear gradually.
The tattoo will not simply disappear. Rather, it typically fades over a period of time following each session, which is why treatments are generally scheduled every 6-8 weeks. An average of 8-15+ sessions may be required for professionally applied tattoos. In the case of amateur tattoos, 4 or more treatments are the average. The exact number varies depending on such factors as the age of the tattoo, colour of the dye and its composition.
According to the manufacturer, HOYA ConBio™, it is usual that a targeted multi color tattoo fades by over 95%.
Reasons to Get a Tattoo Removed
Regret- Age seems to play a role in tattoo removal. Many lack the foresight when getting a tattoo at an early age, especially when it's in an obvious place. For example, someone with the logo of a favorite rock band on their forearm may think that it would be something they'd cherish for life, only to find it embarrassing when they hit their thirties.
In fact, a recent survey conducted by researchers in the UK found that one quarter of those who had a tattoo regretted it one month after.
Some people get a name or picture of a current love placed on their arms or elsewhere only to find the tattoo outlasts the relationship. Years ago, tattoo artists had only one option - they had to cover the offending tat or change the lettering of the names. Fortunately, complete tattoo removal can now be performed with the power of lasers.
Career- Still, the biggest reason for someone wanting to remove a tattoo is due to their job. Although tattoos are going mainstream, many people prefer to have them removed so they won’t be held back when they decide to enter the job market in a serious way.
Pigment Problems- One reason tattoos are removed is due to the nature of the dye used in the tattooing process. Pigments used in the dye can cause allergic reactions in some people, resulting in inflammation and itchiness which may not be immediate. In many cases, it's the red part of the design that gets inflamed and itchy, becoming so irritated that its removal is necessary.
A new exciting advance for tattoo removal has become quite popular. Its called the R20 technique. The R20 stacks up to four treatments into one single session, by spacing the passes 20 minutes apart.
This is good news for those who are antsy and do not want to wait a year for the tattoo removal sessions to be complete. Not all tattoos are good candidates for the procedure though- only small and certain coloured tattoos (usually black) are able to undergo this new tattoo removal technique.
The R20 can completely remove an amateur black tattoo or lighten a professional in less time, all dependent on the type of ink that was used.
Treatments are performed with MedLite® C6, and pricing is based on the size and detail of the tattoo.
Why Tattoos are Permanent
Tattoos are permanent marks that are made in the skin. Modern day tattoos are created by a machine, also known as a gun or iron, which features a needle that injects pigment into the skin thousands of times per minute.
The skin has several layers. Of these layers, two are the epidermis and the dermis. The outer layer, or the epidermis, constantly sheds while the under layer, the dermis, remains constant and unchanged. When you get a tattoo, coloured dye is injected past the epidermis into the dermis where the dye is sealed permanently into the skin as collagen hardens around it.
Laser Tattoo Removal vs Other Methods
Currently, laser tattoo removal is considered the safest and quickest treatment available in the field of cosmetic/plastic surgery. The method is much unlike other treatments, such as harsh dermabrasion or even surgical removal. Surgical excision of a tattoo will work for tattoos that are small in size, and will remove the entire tattoo, but a linear scar will be left in its place. Thus the most effective method with least risks and complications is removal through a laser, specifically a Q-switched laser as you are left with no scarring, if any.
When do I see the results?
Patience is key! This is something that you must keep in mind when undergoing laser tattoo removal treatments. You will notice a gradual fading of the tattoo in the time following each session. Do not expect results to be immediate, as the dyes used in the unwanted tattoo are eliminated by the body in a natural process. How fast a tattoo fades depends on an individual's body and health. During each session, your medical aesthetician will take a photo so that you may monitor your progress.
What kind of tattoos can be removed?
Cosmetic tattoos (aka permanent make-up), amateur tattoos, and professional tattoos can be removed.
Are there any colours that cannot be removed with laser?
All colours can be removed; however those that are white will need more sessions than those that are black or blue in colour.
How long after I get a tattoo can I have it removed?
You should wait about one month for the tissues to heal and then you can proceed with your first laser tattoo removal session.
What is the recovery like?
Immediately after a session, treated skin may be sensitive and appear white or red in colour. In some cases you may blister after the treatment. Make sure to keep the area covered and apply a topical antibacterial ointment.
There is hardly any downtime related to laser tattoo removal. You should be able to go back to work or resume most regular activities immediately after the procedure. Swimming, hot tubs, baths and extreme exercising are to be avoided 24 hours after treatment. You can shower, however you need to keep the area bandaged and sealed, as to not get it wet.
As with all treatments using lasers, the treated skin should be protected from sun exposure. UV light exposed before/after laser tattoo removal sessions can increase your chances of scarring.
Can I undergo tattoo removal if I am pregnant?
No, if you are pregnant or breast feeding it advised not to undergo laser treatments for the safety of your baby.
What are the risks?
Like all cosmetic and medical treatments, there are risks related to laser tattoo removal. Aside from increased sensitivity, risks include pigmentation irregularities, infection and scarring. For those patients who are a skin type VI (6) on the Fitzpatrick scale, their risk to permanent scarring is increased, due to the large amount melanin contained within the epidermis of the skin.
What are the side effects after the treatment?
Most patients will have some degree of blistering, peeling and pinpoint bleeding. Others may swell and have slight bruising to the area that was treated. This will subside in a few days.
What is a Q-Switched Laser?
Well, the laser beam which is emitted by the MedLite® C6 can be delivered in pulses, which is what is meant by “Q-Switched”. These pulses of laser light are incredibly powerful. A Q-Switched laser is beneficial for laser tattoo removal because it more effectively breaks up the dye of the tattoo into particles that can then be eliminated by the body. Pulsed lasers are also used for laser hair removal. At Toronto Cosmetic Clinic, we use a Q-Switched Nd:YAG laser.
Does laser tattoo removal burn the skin?
It is understandable to think that the unwanted tattoo is “burned off”, because it is eliminated by the power of a laser. However, this is a fallacy. Laser tattoo removal works by exposing the ink of the unwanted tattoo to light energy emitted at a specific wavelength. The ink, not the skin, absorbs the light and disintegrates into particles that are then eliminated naturally by the body. Laser tattoo removal is not designed to target or damage the skin; it targets only the unwanted tattoo.