As of 2010, 38% of Millennials (born between the 1980s and early 2000s) have tattoos, compared with 15% of baby boomers. (Source: CBC)
As more Canadians get tattoos, more are also seeking laser tattoo removal for various reasons:
- Poor design/artwork
- Change of mind
- Change in relationship status
- Emotional maturity
- Social pressures
- Career advancement
Tattoos also become faded and distorted as you (and your skin) age.
As of 2002, up to 50% of those who get tattooed regret their tattoos. (Source: Straight)
Your parents had to use aggressive tattoo removal methods such as excision (surgical removal), dermabrasion, and salabrasion — or ineffective tattoo removal creams.
Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) is often touted, and might partially or completely remove a tattoo, but it also often leaves scars and discolouration that look even worse.
At Reviva Laser Skin Clinic, we can take off your tats safely and effectively. Visit us for a free consultation, and we will give you an estimate of sessions you need.
Q: Does laser tattoo removal hurt?
Laser tattoo removal can hurt, but is usually less painful than other tattoo removal methods. Some say it feels like tiny splatters of cooking grease or rubber bands snapping on your skin. After treatment, your skin will feel raw, as if sunburnt. A topical anesthetic or injection of a local anesthetic may be used, but many people find it unnecessary — after all, if you can stand to get a tattoo done, you can stand to get it removed. At Reviva in Greater Vancouver, we are also constantly learning about ways to minimize the discomfort of laser tattoo removal.
Q: How long does laser tattoo removal take? How many treatments will I need?
The number and length of treatments depend on several factors: the size and colour(s) of your tattoo, the length of time you’ve had the tattoo, your skin type and healing speed, and the laser(s) used. Most tattoos require 8 to 10 treatments, though older tattoos may need only 6 to 8. Amateur tattoos are also easier to remove, as the ink tends to penetrate the skin less deeply. Treatments range from mere minutes to one hour. Most tattoos are significantly reduced after the first treatment, but because results become visible as the tattoo fades over weeks or months, a two-month interval is usually given between treatments.
While the exact number of treatments needed cannot be guaranteed, the professional staff at Reviva will give you a general estimate.
Q: What is Reviva’s success rate for laser tattoo removal?
We have an excellent track record for laser tattoo removal. Because each tattoo and patient is unique, no clinic can guarantee 100% success. Older tattoos are more easily removed. Patients with lighter-coloured skin types also usually see better results. Our physician, Dr. Ngai, specializes in tattoo removal and will be able to tell you what you can realistically achieve with laser tattoo removal.
Q: What are the risks of laser tattoo removal?
With any medical procedure, there are risks involved. Fortunately for Generation Y, laser removal is relatively safe, with most tattoos now removed with little or no scarring. The risk of infection is extremely low if you follow the doctor’s post-treatment instructions. There is a slight risk of hyperpigmentation (darkened skin in the area) or hypopigmentation (lightened skin).
To minimize risk, you should do proper research and have the laser tattoo removal performed at a reputable clinic with trained medical professionals and well-maintained equipment. Be sure a licensed and trained doctor performs the procedure.
Q: Is laser tattoo removal expensive? How much does it cost?
The cost of laser tattoo removal varies according to the size, age, color(s), and complexity of the tattoo, but is very reasonable. Considering how even tattoo artists refer to tattoos that cannot be covered by clothing as “job stoppers”, most people would agree it is a small price to pay for career opportunities and peace of mind. Just for reference, a black tattoo about 2″ by 2″ in size may cost $80 to $90. To find out how much your laser tattoo removal procedure will cost, visit Reviva Laser Skin Clinic for a free, no-obligation consultation. You can also e-mail a photo of your tattoo to our tattoo removal specialists in Vancouver for a free estimate of the removal costs.
Q: How long does recovery usually take?
At Reviva Laser Skin Clinic, we understand that you want to get back to your daily activities right away, whether it’s your first or last session. You should follow the physician’s instructions to ensure proper healing, such as keeping the treated area out of sunlight and refraining from violently movement to the body part, but average recovery time is brief. You will be using antibacterial ointment for a day or two post-treatment, but heavy dressing is never required.
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People get different tattoos for different reasons, but they often share the same regret. Whether you are over a relationship, need a more professional look for the workplace, or have simply outgrown yourself, there may come a time when you just want that tattoo gone.
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Laser surgery remains the gold standard for removal unwanted tattoo in this day and age. There are other methods to remove tattoos but lasers can remove tattoos selectively, with minimal disruption to the surrounding skin.
February 7, 2013 | How to Eliminate Tattoos Safely
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December 6, 2012 | What are the common types of tattoo?
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November 28, 2012 | New Advances in Tattoo Removal
Compared with other methods, laser is safer, faster and with short recovery time. The use of a q-switched laser allows the selective fragmentation of tattoo pigments with minimal injury to the normal skin.