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Tattoo Removal 101: What You Should Really Know

Woman with tattoo on wrist

If you are considering laser tattoo removal, there are a few things you should know right off the bat. Here’s what we tell Saratoga Springs and Albany patients about CUTERA® enlighten™ treatments at The Plastic Surgery Group:

Don’t expect perfection. While the results of the CUTERA enlighten laser are dramatic, there are a variety of factors that come into play when determining the effectiveness of treatment – and not all tattoos are created (or removed) equally.

Size matters when it comes to tattoos. Yes, the larger your tattoo, the longer your treatment sessions will be. The size will also impact the overall cost of your treatments as the price is determined based on the size of the tattoo.

CUTERA is most successful with black ink tattoos. Black ink is generally the easiest to remove, while pink, green and light blue ink can be the most challenging. This is because the laser singles out the contrasting pigments of the ink and your skin. With 2 wavelengths and 2 different durations, the CUTERA enlighten laser adjusts for differences in color and density. So what does this mean for you? If you have a variety of colors in your tattoo, chances are you can expect more treatment sessions than someone who just has a black tattoo.

It’s not a massage. But then again, getting the tattoo was likely not relaxing either. Most patients report minimal discomfort and compare the laser pulses to a pinching or snapping feeling. Afterward, the treated area may be irritated, comparable to a mild burn.

Make sure there is room in your calendar. On average, patients require 6 to 8 treatments (if not more) for best results. Treatments will be booked between 10 and 12 weeks apart, and they typically take anywhere from 5 minutes to 30 minutes depending on the size of the tattoo. There is no downtime following the treatment, so patients can return to their normal routine immediately. It’s essential to protect the treated area by applying laser ointment (which we will provide you) and keeping it out of direct sunlight.

You’ll be happy you did it. After almost 1 year offering the CUTERA enlighten laser, we’ve seen the incredible results achieved for patients first-hand. It’s definitely a process, but a process that’s well worth it.

Laser Tattoo Removal Before & After


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