Doctors of USF Health

Cosmetics-Dermatology

Laser Tattoo Removal

Laser Tattoo Removal

Advances in laser technology have revolutionized tattoo treatment today. Prior to laser treatment, tattoos were removed with invasive, painful and often risky procedures leaving unsightly scars. Today by using lasers for tattoo removal, patients can expect much less risk for scarring and damage to the skin. The laser works by delivering a bolus of light that is attracted to the tattoo ink creating a photoacoustic affect to break up the ink particles. These particles are then absorbed by the body’s macrophages, tiny cells that scavenge the skin for unwanted materials. Different color tattoos actually take different wavelengths of light to be destroyed. At the university we use our q-switched laser with three available wavelengths allowing us to treat all skin types with any color tattoo. Each tattoo is unique therefore the removal technique is tailored to best suit each individual patient’s needs. The number of treatments are usually based on the color of the tattoo, the skin type of the patient, the location of the tattoo, the amount of times it was ink’d, and the healing response of the skin.

What are the benefits of Laser Tattoo Removal?

  • Reduces appearance of the tattoo over time
  • A safer alternative to other tattoo removal options

What to expect during and after Laser Tattoo Removal?

  • Cool air is used to minimize discomfort during the treatment and a topical numbing cream is often applied prior to the procedure
  • During the treatment you feel a snapping rubber band sensation that is tolerated by most patients
  • Multiple treatments are needed to achieve the best results, we like to allow 6-8 weeks in between treatments
  • After the treatment an ointment is applied to the treated area and should be reapplied with a bandage daily for 3-4 days following treatment
  • Mild blistering, redness, peeling, scabbing, and swelling can be expected after the treatment

Please Note: Cosmetics Procedures are not covered by Health Insurance.