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Three photos of a woman's arm with a bird tattoo at different stages of laser tattoo removal.

Many individuals are unaware of the more advanced options available to remove or significantly reduce the visibility of tattoos. One innovative solution is the MedLite® C6 laser, which can safely and effectively remove tattoos containing a wide range of ink colors on all skin shades. This blog explores several tattoo removal methods, how the MedLite® C6 laser’s technology works, and the benefits it offers.

Which Tattoo Removal Technique Should I Consider?

A form of self-expression for centuries, tattoos gained more mainstream acceptance in the 20th century. Today, getting ink is almost as common as having your ears pierced. Tattoos have become, for many, an admired personalized art form. However, as life circumstances change, so can your feelings about a tattoo. If you are rethinking one or more of your choices, you’re not alone; in fact, the frequent desire to remove unwanted tattoos has led to the development of several removal techniques over the years.

5 Traditional Tattoo Removal Methods

Historically, tattoo removal has included a variety of procedures, many of which were invasive and often left significant scarring.

  1. Dermabrasion: This method involves sanding down the skin to remove the tattooed layers. A rotating abrasive device is used to scrub away the ink physically. While somewhat effective, when used for tattoo removal, dermabrasion is painful and can lead to infection and scarring.
  2. Salabrasion: Similar to dermabrasion, salabrasion involves rubbing salt into the tattooed area and then abrading the skin, which is also painful and carries a high risk of scarring and infection.
  3. Cryosurgery: Another option involves freezing the tattooed skin with liquid nitrogen and removing the treated skin. While it can be effective, it is not precise and often results in significant skin damage and scars.
  4. Excision: Surgery can be used to cut out the tattooed skin and then stitch the remaining skin back together. Excision is suitable for small tattoos but impractical for larger ones. Scarring is inevitable, and multiple surgeries may be required for extensive tattoos.
  5. Chemical Peels: Acid-based solutions are applied to the tattooed skin to peel away the top layers. This method can be unpredictable and painful, with the potential for severe skin damage and scars.

While these techniques can remove tattoos, they often come with substantial downsides, including pain, infection, a high risk of scarring, and inconsistent results.

Tattoo Removal With the MedLite® C6 Laser

Advancements in laser technology have introduced more effective and less invasive tattoo removal options. Among the leading technologies is the MedLite® C6 laser, known for its precision and effectiveness.

The MedLite® C6 laser uses Q-switched technology, which delivers short, high-energy pulses of light into the skin. This light targets the tattoo ink without damaging the surrounding skin. Here’s a step-by-step look at how it works:

Selective Photothermolysis

The laser emits light at certain wavelengths that target different colors of ink and are absorbed by the tattoo pigments. This light breaks the ink into microparticles, and the photoacoustic laser makes them even smaller.

Ink Fragmentation

Once the ink particles are completely broken down, the body’s immune system can more easily process and remove them. The lymphatic system gradually flushes out the ink fragments over several weeks to months.

Multiple Sessions

Complete removal typically requires multiple sessions spaced several weeks apart. The number of sessions depends on the tattoo’s size, age, color, and the individual’s skin type.

Benefits of the MedLite® C6 Laser

The MedLite® C6 laser offers numerous advantages over traditional tattoo removal methods and even other laser systems:

  • Precision: The laser can selectively target tattoo pigments without damaging surrounding tissue, minimizing the risk of scarring and skin damage.
  • Effectiveness: The MedLite® C6 is highly effective at removing a wide range of ink colors, including difficult-to-treat shades like green and blue.
  • Minimal Discomfort: While mild discomfort may be experienced, the MedLite® C6 is generally less painful than older methods. Most patients describe the sensation as similar to a rubber band snapping against the skin.
  • Short Recovery Time: The non-invasive nature of laser treatment means that recovery is typically quicker and easier. Patients may experience redness and swelling, but these side effects usually subside within a few days.
  • Lower Risk of Scarring: Because the laser targets only the ink and not the surrounding skin, there is a significantly reduced risk of scarring compared to traditional methods.
  • Customizable Treatments: The MedLite® C6’s adjustable settings allow customized treatments tailored to each patient’s tattoo and skin type, enhancing the overall effectiveness and safety.
  • Safe for All Skin Types: Advances in laser technology make the MedLite® C6 suitable for a wide range of skin tones, reducing the risk of hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation.

Laser Tattoo Removal Preparation and Aftercare

Before undergoing laser tattoo removal, it’s important to consult with a qualified laser specialist who can assess your tattoo and skin type, as well as explain any potential side effects, the estimated number of sessions, and costs.

Pre-treatment tips include:

  • Avoid Sun Exposure: Keeping the area out of the sun before the procedure can help reduce the risk of complications.
  • Stay Hydrated: Good hydration before treatments support the body’s ability to heal and flush out ink particles.
  • Follow Instructions: Complying with the provider’s pre-treatment guidelines can optimize results and minimize side effects.

Proper post-treatment care is crucial for achieving the best results and avoiding complications:

  • Keep the Area Clean: Gently clean the treated area with soap and water, and avoid scrubbing.
  • Avoid Picking or Scratching: Allow any scabs or blisters to heal naturally to prevent scarring.
  • Apply Recommended Ointments: Use any ointments or creams prescribed by the specialist to promote healing and reduce discomfort.
  • Protect from Sun Exposure: Keep the treated area out of the sun, since UV rays may cause pigmentation changes.
  • Drink Plenty of Water: Continue to stay hydrated to ensure your lymphatic system eliminates the fragmented ink particles.

MedLite® C6 Laser Tattoo Removal in Pasadena, CA

The MedLite® C6 laser represents a leap forward in terms of safety, efficacy, and patient comfort. Pasadena Cosmetic Surgery is happy to provide this non-invasive tattoo removal option for our Los Angeles area patients. Call (626) 671-1756 to schedule your consultation today!