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The advent of lasers has permitted the removal of most tattoo inks with a very low risk of scarring. We have the state of the art and latest laser technology (Picoway and RevLite) which can significantly lighten or remove a wide variety of tattoo inks. Lately, the decision to obtain a tattoo has become increasingly popular, and so has the decision to remove them. An estimated 45 million Americans have tattoos and many of then now feel that having a tattoo does not fit their new image.
Frequently Asked Questions
Today, cosmetic medical lasers designed to eradicate tattoos range from a single wavelength of light to a broad spectrum of light, the varieties of which are intended to obliterate the ink in the tattoo without damaging the skin. Certain colors of light are absorbed by specific corresponding colors of the tattoo ink. The light energy vaporizes or fragments the ink particles. Your body then absorbs these ink fragments naturally and the color fades over a few weeks. This treatment is very similar to the methods used for years to treat birthmarks.
Laser tattoo removal is the safest, quickest, and most likely to leave your skin intact following treatment. Our state of the art and latest laser technology (PicoWay and RevLite) can help to achieve that goal. Other treatment options are surgical excision, chemical peel and traditional dermabrasion. These various treatment options are invasive treatment methods and often result in scarring.
First, the area to be treated is cleaned. The laser hand device glides over the surface of the tattoo and delivers laser energy. The size and color of the tattoo determine the length of treatment time. A tattoo roughly the size of a quarter may take approximately seconds to one minute to treat. Some patients request a topical anesthetic cream to be applied prior to treatment, minimizing the stinging effect of the Picoway or RevLite laser. Additionally, our state of the art cooling device (the Zimmer Cryo6) provides topical anesthesia and assists in laser tattoo treatments. This device cools the top layer of the skin (epidermis) before, during, and after the laser energy has been applied without interfering with the laser beam. Many patients tolerate treatment without topical anesthetic, and report the treatment as being similar to rubber band snaps. Finally, an ointment and protective dressing are applied to keep the area moist and promote quick healing.
Size, color, location, age of the tattoo, depth of the tattoo ink placement, the type of tattoo parlor used (amateur vs. professional tattoo placement), and skin phenotype are among many factors that determine the number of treatments necessary to effectively complete removal. During the consultation, the tattoo you want treated will be examined and any questions you have will be answered by our staff at our McLean, VA and Woodbridge, VA dermatology offices. Be sure to contact our office if you experience side effects not described during your consultation. Our office also offers an accelerated tattoo removal known as R20. This unique treatment style uses the same laser technology but instead of one treatment pass over the tattoo, multiple laser passes are performed with the goal of delivering more energy and, hence, shattering more ink. The goal is to have a much higher ink clearance between sessions.
The results and appearance of the tattoo vary from patient to patient. After each treatment session you will see the tattoo become lighter. Due to the various levels of professionalism, types of inks used in tattooing, and the depth of ink injection the results and number of treatments may vary. Typically, multiple treatments will be required and are scheduled 4 to 8 weeks apart. With the advent of state of the art Picoway and RevLite lasers, the number of necessary treatment sessions have been cut in half compare tot traditional laser tattoo systems.
Skin & Laser Dermatology Center treats patients for all skin care concerns, including skin cancer surgery, cosmetic dermatology, sclerotherapy, laser peels, laser hair removal, hyperhidrosis, rosacea, and acne treatments.
Our Clients Say
My eyelid surgery results for the facial wrinkles look very natural. Very skilled dermatologic surgeon.
Dr. Bajoghli always has time for his patients, you never feel that he is rushing you and after you leave if you have any concerns he is very responsive to the point of giving out his cell phone number. I can’t say enough about him and his staff.
Nurse Rassmussen answers all of my questions, listens to my concerns, examines my skin, goes over my treatment protocol and gets me out the door quickly, but without feeling rushed, so that I can get on with the rest of my day. I have already recommended this practice to a couple of friends, and I will continue to do so with confidence.
I really appreciate the polite and professional service that Dr. Bajoghli’s practice provides in my dermatologic health. All of his staff make you feel welcome and are concerned for your care. Speaking as someone who neglected his skin care when I was young, I appreciate having a physician who is personally concerned for his patients.