If you are considering a tattoo, but are really on the fence about it and are keeping laser removal in the back of your mind, there are a few things you should know about laser tattoo removal. Yes, laser removal is an excellent way to remove those tattoos that you find later, really shouldn’t be, but before you use that as your backup plan, learn a little bit more about laser tattoo removal before you take the plunge. You may find that you need to be a little more sure about your final answer before the needles start etching…

Laser Light Amplification is the method used to remove tattoos today. Gone are the days of dermabrasion by sander or surgical removal, thank goodness. Laser light amplification works with stimulated emission of radiation as the standard treatment for tattoo removal. The reason for this is that this form of removal offers a low risk and bloodless method of tattoo removal with very few side effects.

The tattoo is removed n an out patient basis, and it may be done on one visit, or over a series of visits. Keep in mind that the larger your tattoo is, the more visits you will need. How many visits you require will also depend on how old your tattoo is, and what pigments are used in your tattoo. Generally speaking the older your tattoo, the fewer visits you will need, and the more blue and black that you have in your tattoo, again, fewer visits.

You may or may not need local anesthesia, which is an anesthesia applied to the affected area only. You will not be under general anesthesia for the procedure. Some people don’t need any anesthetic at all if the tattoo is small enough. The colors in your tattoo will depend on what laser is used. For future reference, yellow and green in a tattoo are the most difficult colors to remove, and blues and blacks are the easiest.

Each treatment will only take a few minutes, and if you need more than one treatment, at least three weeks is recommended in between treatments. This time is used to allow the pigment residue to be absorbed by your body.

Is it painful? Uncomfortable is a better word, with the experience being described as having hot specks of bacon grease snapping on your arm, or by your skin being snapped with a rubber band. If you’ve gotten a tattoo however, it shouldn’t be anything less unpleasant.

You can take non aspirin products such as Tylenol before you go if you think that may help with the discomfort. Stay away from anything aspirin based or with ibuprofen as those agents may increase bruising following the procedure.

You also need to consider the fact that laser tattoo removal is very expensive and in most cases, more expensive than getting the tattoo. It can range from several hundred dollars to thousands of dollars depending on size, type, and location of your tattoo, as well as how many visits you need.

Still considering using laser tattoo removal as your backup plan? Think twice before you ink.