Because it was a mistake, because you can change your mind, because you want to cover it up, because it is not appreciated in the professional world, it is now possible to remove a tattoo without damaging your skin.
As tattoos are still permanent, tattoo removal lasers are able to meet an increasing demand. Doctors at the Centre Laser Lyon have at their disposal the RevLite laser from the Cynosure brand ©, Nd YAG laser Q-Switched.
Discover the technique of the tattoo removal laser on our video.
What is a tattoo?
To understand how the tattoo removal laser works, it is important to first explain what a tattoo is. A tattoo is made by injecting a pigment in the dermis. There are different types of tattoos depending on the method and type of pigment used.
Whichever kind it may be, the pigment (or ink) is made up of large molecules. These molecules are larger than the cells of the skin and therefore can neither “engulf” (swallow) nor eliminate them.
The pigment remains where it was placed and becomes permanent in the skin.
The principle of tattoo removal
The RevLite laser emits a very special laser beam whose photons carry such a high speed as they arrive at the ink molecules that they manage to break them into small pieces. This is called a photomechanical effect where light acts like a hammer on the ink.
Once the pigment is ground into a fine dust, macrophages (a type of white blood cell) are able to do their work to clean the skin by digesting these ink particles. Their action takes about 8 weeks, which explains the time spacing between laser tattoo removal sessions.
Which laser for tattoo removal?
The laser used for tattoo removal at Centre Laser Lyon is the Nd: YAG Q Switched – RevLite ™ laser from Cynosure ©.
It provides a photomechanical effect on the ink in the skin: the laser photons are so fast that when in contact pigments, they break them down without damaging the skin. The fact that this is a YAG laser, all skin types can be treated unlike the Q-Switched Alexandrite laser that can only be used on light skin.
The advantages of the Nd: YAG Q-Switched – RevLite ™ laser:
- It protects the skin allowing for the recovery of the treated area.
- No visible scars after the tattoo removal protocol.
- It processes the ink and the color pigments through the apparatus “Multilite” (except for yellow and pastels)
We can remove tattoos from all skin tones from the lightest to darkest and all ink colors. With one caveat, however, as regards to pastel (diluted with white ink) and permanent makeup. White ink, when in contact with tattoo removal lasers, will brown and leave a lasting impression. That is why we do not treat permanent makeup works, which are done with white blended in the inks.
The tattoo removal laser session
Before the session, you will be asked to apply a numbing cream on the tattooed area.
The feel of the tattoo removal laser is like a rubber band snapping the skin though very brief so different from the feeling of getting a tattoo.
The session will last about fifteen minutes but the use of the laser itself only takes a few minutes. The passage of the laser will whiten the tattoo. You’ll have the impression that the tattoo has disappeared instantly but it will come back after a few minutes.
A mild edema will appear and sometimes petechiae. As with the initial healing of your tattoo, you will again need to put a bandage on so that the skin stays humid and hydrated for a short week.
A covering bandage is applied after each session and will be renewed at the rate prescribed by the doctor until healing (usually achieved within 8 days).
Showering is fine but it is highly recommended not to take bath so that the tattoo does not stagnate in water. After one week, the dressing is no longer mandatory.
An itching sensation may occur which proves macrophage activity in the dermis. The tattoo will begin to clear after about three weeks.
The next session will be held after eight weeks.
The tattoo should not be exposed to the sun both one month before and one month after the laser session.
The number of sessions varies depending on several criteria:
- the type of inks or pigments,
- the amount of ink,
- the depth of the tattoo,
- its colors,
- how old it is.
It is imperative to wait at least six months between getting a tattoo and its laser removal.
After examination of the tattoo, your doctor will be able to inform you of the number of sessions to look forward to. He or she will give you a personalized quote based on the recommended treatment. Tattoo removal still requires several sessions. Their number does not depend on the size of the tattoo but the quality, quantity and depth of the ink and its pigments.
Potential contraindications of laser tattoo removal
- The skin on the tattoo removal area should not be tanned (risk of hypo-pigmentation) and should not be exposed to the sun in the month following a session (risk of hyperpigmentation).
- If pregnant or breastfeeding.
- The tattoo must have been performed at least 6 months ago.
Depending on the size, color and nature of the tattoo, the price varies from 90 to 300 euros per session. You will receive an invoice at the end of each treatment.
For a customized quote, make an appointment for a free initial consultation with one of the doctors of Centre Laser Lyon.