Do you have a tattoo that you would rather no longer see every day? If so, you have probably researched how to get it removed and have come across laser tattoo removal. Of course, you may not want to undergo a treatment unless it’s effective. Well, the PiQo4 tattoo removal process as used by Still Waters Day & Medical Spa in Pensacola, FL is both effective and faster than previous laser removal treatments.
How Effective Is Laser Tattoo Removal?
Effectiveness of the PiQo4 Laser on Tattoos
The actual effectiveness of the PiQo4 laser on your tattoo depends on several factors, including how large your tattoo is, what colors are in your tattoo, and how long you’ve had the tattoo. The PiQo4 laser is the newest laser tattoo removal technology on the market, and it’s significantly more effective than others. Patients have even reported a change in color intensity immediately after their first treatment, but typically, patients undergo between three and 10 sessions to achieve the best results.
The reason multiple sessions are usually necessary for laser tattoo removal is that tattoos often consist of multiple layers of ink, so the laser must break up the pigment in each layer before the tattoo will fade entirely. Although 100% removal is not guaranteed, we will continue your treatments until you achieve the best results possible. Remember that white ink does not degrade, so if you have a lot of white in your tattoo, some ghosting will still be present.
“Ghosting” is the term for tattoos that have mostly faded, but are still slightly visible. This is typically the point at which laser treatment is considered successful, as all pigment has been removed as much as possible. However, PiQo4 laser technology has advanced to where most tattoos can be faded so they are completely invisible from a distance and are extremely faint up close. Again, several factors go into overall effectiveness, so have your tattoo evaluated by a professional first.
The PiQo4 Difference
Previous tattoo removal laser technologies either focused on breaking up small particles of ink or large particles of ink, but not both, which consequently left ink behind. Since tattoo ink particles come in different sizes, this wasn’t the most effective way to remove tattoos. The PiQo4 is able to target 15 sizes of ink particles ranging from two millimeters to 15 millimeters, which allows the laser to go deeper into the skin and break up more ink particles each session.
Additionally, the PiQo4 laser is more powerful than its predecessors, providing up to 10 times more energy than other technologies. Moreover, the PiQo4 uses two different kinds of laser pulses to provide optimal treatment. The Nanosecond pulses deliver short bursts of laser energy to break down larger and deeper ink particles. Then, the Picosecond pulses target the smaller and shallower ink particles for dual efficacy. Essentially, the Nanoseconds turn rocks into pebbles, and the Picoseconds turn the pebbles into sand.
This technology has also been engineered to utilize four wavelengths to target the most tattoo ink colors on the most skin types as possible. Each color family absorbs a different wavelength of light, so rather than just being able to remove blacks and grays, the PiQo4 can remove the nine most frequently used ink colors for tattoos: black, dark blue, light blue, green, yellow, red-orange, red, pink, and purple. As such, full color and black and white tattoos are removable.
One of the primary benefits of PiQo4 laser tattoo removal is that you’ll probably need fewer sessions to remove your tattoo than in the past with prior technology. Lighter black and white tattoos may take just two treatments, while darker black and white or colored tattoos could take as many as 10 sessions. Previously, most tattoos would take up to 20 sessions to remove to an acceptable degree. Even then, ghosting was a major problem.
While no one can say for sure how many sessions you’ll need to remove your tattoo, if you’re getting treated by the PiQo4 laser, we can say that you’ll undergo fewer treatments than you would without this technology. You’ll also have to wait about six weeks between treatments to make sure your skin heals, so a five-session treatment plan could take up to six months to complete. More difficult tattoos could take as long as a year to remove.
About Tattoo Removal
As long as all aftercare directions are carefully followed, tattoo removal by laser is very safe. You won’t even experience scarring, as the laser pulses are so fast that they only affect the ink particles, leaving the surrounding tissue unharmed. Of course, if you have a history of scarring, please talk with your provider about the treatment to ensure you’re a good candidate.
Location of Tattoo
The PiQo4 laser treatment is safe for tattoos on all parts of the body except around the eyes. Lasers can damage the eyes, so providers will not use this technology to remove tattoos near the eyes.
If you want to lighten a current tattoo so it can be more easily covered up by a new tattoo, this technology is perfect. You won’t need as many sessions to get your tattoo light enough to effectively cover it up. Ghosting won’t be an issue either, since you’ll be using more ink to hide any remnants of your old tattoo. We’ll continue treatments until your artist is pleased with the results and can give you the new tattoo you desire.
Before each treatment, make sure you shave any hair covering the tattoo (even light hair), and wash the skin that will be treated. Don’t use any lotions or deodorant on the treatment area once you’ve washed it. Wear comfortable clothing to the clinic so that the tattoo can be accessed more easily. You may also want to eat a light meal or snack a couple of hours before you come in as well.
In the weeks before treatment, do not tan or burn the skin of the treatment area. A sunburn will make the treatment painful and a tan will make removing the tattoo pigment more difficult, as darker skin absorbs the laser instead of all the energy being directed to the tattoo. Using a spray tan is also discouraged.
Many patients see some results immediately after their session; however, it can take up to 21 days to really see dramatic fading. This timeline is also dependent on your body’s immune response to the laser, which is responsible for flushing out the broken-down ink particles after they’re targeted by the laser. Darker tattoos may also take a little longer to show fading as well since the ink is usually thicker.
To get the best results possible from laser removal, you need to carefully follow the aftercare instructions you’re given by your provider. These instructions include washing the treated area daily and patting it dry, refraining from rubbing or scratching the treated area, avoiding sun exposure, and staying out of pools and whirlpools until it’s fully healed. Essentially, aftercare for tattoo removal is very similar to aftercare when you get a tattoo.
In the past, people with darker skin were not good candidates for tattoo removal because their skin absorbed most of the laser energy. However, the PiQo4 laser has leveraged new technology that allows darker-skinned people to also get their tattoos removed. More sessions may be required, but this varies based on the other factors mentioned here, including the age and size of your tattoo.
Even though all people with tattoos can be treated with the PiQo4 laser, there are some factors that make tattoo removal easier. These factors include the following.
- Light skin
- Black and white tattoos
- Older tattoos
- Healthy immune system
- The tattoo is not near the eyes
The PiQo4 laser can work both for professional and amateur tattoos; however, amateur tattoos are typically harder to remove because the ink is often unevenly distributed. Professional tattoos are characterized by even coloring, which makes laser removal more predictable. This doesn’t mean you can’t get rid of an amateur tattoo. It just means you may need more sessions to remove it to your satisfaction.
Age of Tattoo
You’ll want to wait until your tattoo is at least six months old before considering laser removal. This gives your skin time to heal from the tattooing process and allows the ink pigments to settle in your skin. There is no limit on how old your tattoo can be, and in fact, older tattoos are easier to remove than newer ones because your body has already done part of the work of breaking up the ink particles for you.
Getting a Coverup
If your goal is to lighten your tattoo enough to get a coverup tattoo, you will want to wait until about six weeks after your last laser removal session before getting the skin re-tattooed. This allows your skin to heal completely and accept the new ink. Your artist will be able to tell you if your skin has healed enough.
Length of Removal Sessions
The length of your laser tattoo removal session depends on the size of the area being treated. A small- or medium-size tattoo will take about 15 minutes, a large tattoo will take between 20 and 30 minutes, and an extra-large tattoo can take up to an hour. Your provider will be able to give you a better estimate when you go in for your consultation.
Ready to Get Your Tattoo Removed?
If you’re ready to get your unwanted tattoo removed from your body forever, you can get started with sessions right away. Contact our expert technicians at Still Waters Day & Medical Spa in Pensacola, FL to schedule your consultation appointment today.