Laser Tattoo Removal

The laser removes tattoos by treating the pigment colors selectively using a strong laser beam. The beauty of this treatment is that there is no downtime and few unpleasant side effects. The amount of time and cost to completely remove the tattoo varies for many reasons: The size, shape, and color of the tattoo, for example. In addition, the individual’s skin type will also dictate the length the removal process will take.

Our Q-Switch laser technology works by delivering light at incredibly high energy for a tiny fraction of a second onto the skin. This selectively breaks up large molecules, such as tattoo pigments, and causes very little damage to surrounding tissues. The laser can also be used to remove freckles, age spots, unwanted hair, and pigmented lesions such as Mongolian spots. There is virtually no scarring or change in natural skin pigment.
Tattoo Removal San Antonio Texas

Laser Tattoo Removal FAQs (Click to View)

Who Can Benefit From Laser Tattoo Removal? 

Because each tattoo is unique, removal techniques must be tailored to suit each individual case. In the past, tattoos could be removed by a wide variety of methods but, in many cases, the scars were more unsightly than the tattoo itself.

Patients with previously treated tattoos may also be candidates for laser therapy. Tattoos that have not been effectively removed by other treatments or through home remedies may respond well to laser therapy providing the prior treatments did not result in excessive scarring.

What Can I Expect During Laser Tattoo Removal?

Depending on the size and color of your tattoo, the number of treatments will vary. Your tattoo may be removed in two to four visits, though many more sessions may be necessary. You should schedule a consultation, during which time a trained professional will evaluate your personal situation and advise you on the process.

Treatment with the laser varies from patient to patient depending on the age, size, and type of tattoo (amateur or professional). The color of the patient’s skin, as well as the depth to which the tattoo pigment extends, will also affect the removal technique.

In general, this is what will happen during an office visit for tattoo removal using the newer lasers:

  • Protective eye shields are placed on the patient.
  • The skin’s reaction to the laser is tested to determine the most effective energy for treatment.
  • The treatment itself consists of placing a hand piece against the surface of the skin and activating the laser light. As many patients describe it, each pulse feels like a grease splatter or the snapping of a rubber band against the skin.
  • Smaller tattoos require fewer pulses while larger ones require more. In either case, the tattoo requires several treatments and multiple visits. At each treatment, the tattoo should become progressively lighter.
  • Immediately following treatment, an ice pack is applied to soothe the treated area. The patient will then be asked to apply a topical antibiotic cream or ointment. A bandage or patch will be used to protect the site and it should likewise be covered with a sun block when out in the sun.

Most patients do not require any anesthesia. However, depending on the location of the tattoo and the pain threshold for the patient, the physician may elect to use some form of anesthesia (topical anesthesia cream or painkiller injections at the site of the procedure).

What Are the Possible Side Effects of Laser Tattoo Removal?
There are minimal side effects to laser tattoo removal. However, you should consider these factors in your decision:
  • The tattoo removal site is at risk for infection. You may also risk lack of complete pigment removal, and there is a slight chance that the treatment can leave you with a permanent scar.
  • You may also risk hypopigmentation, where the treated skin is paler than surrounding skin, or hyperpigmentation, where the treated skin is darker than surrounding skin.
  • Cosmetic tattoos like lip liner, eyeliner, and eyebrows may darken following treatment with tattoo removal lasers. Further treatment of the darkened tattoos usually results in fading.
Is Laser Tattoo Removal Safe?
Thanks to newer technology, laser tattoo removal has become much more effective with very little risk of scarring. Laser treatment is often safer than many traditional methods such as excision, dermabrasion or salabrasion (using moist gauze pads saturated with a salt solution to abrade the tattooed area) because of its unique ability to selectively treat pigment involved in the tattoo.In many cases, certain colors may be more effectively removed than others. It is known that blue/black tattoos respond particularly well to laser treatment, while green is very difficult to remove.
Does Insurance Cover Laser Tattoo Removal?
White Pearl Medical Spa does not accept insurance as the treatments and services provided are not medically necessary. Since tattoo removal is a personal option in most cases and is considered a cosmetic procedure, most insurance carriers will not cover the process unless it is medically necessary. If you feel your particular situation may be medically necessary, White Pearl Medical Spa would be happy to recommend another physician’s office to better assist you.
How does Laser Tattoo Removal work?
Lasers used for laser tattoo removal work by targeting specific pigments within the tattoo, breaking them up, and allowing the body to absorb them. Similar to how sunlight is attracted to darker pigments (wearing a black shirt on a hot day), lasers can most easily eliminate darker pigments like black and blue because they typically contrast with skin more.Many factors are taken into consideration when determining the appropriate laser tattoo removal treatment including the size and color(s) of the tattoo.
Is laser tattoo removal guaranteed to completely remove my tattoo?
In short, no, not 100%. There are many different factors that affect the results of laser tattoo removal treatments. These factors include skin type, tattoo color, type of ink used and how the tattoo is done. Typically a series of treatments are required for optimal results. Many patients look to laser tattoo removal to remove their tattoo, many others look to fade it significantly so it is easier to cover.
Which ink colors are easiest to remove using laser tattoo removal?
The general rule of thumb is that the darker the ink, the easier it is for the laser to target the ink. As the color lightens, the correct laser wavelength becomes imperative. Also, as the dark ink fades and degrades with each treatment, the challenge is to use higher energies to keep pace with the progress.
Are there colors that laser tattoo removal will not treat?
Laser tattoo removal technology has come a long way since first introduced. A variety of wavelengths and energy levels can be used to treat the majority of tattoos. In addition, skin type will affect how the laser can be used to effectively and safely treat the tattoo. Typically greens, and tones closest to the patients natural skin tone will be the hardest to treat.Lighter colors or colors that mimic the skin’s natural pigment are more difficult to remove because the laser light has difficulty distinguishing the tattoo’s pigment from the surrounding skin color. The same is true for individuals with darker skin tones and similarly pigmented tattoos. Other pigments, like green, absorb only specific waves of laser light and need to be treated with specific lasers, and may get to a point when they can not be lightened any further. Multicolored tattoos are the hardest to remove because their pigments are often more concentrated and are placed deeper within the skin.
How does my skin type affect this treatment?
Skin type/skin color is a huge factor in which tattoo colors can be effectively, yet safely, treated. For example, the darker the skin, the more challenging it becomes when treating lighter colors to avoid negative or adverse outcomes.
Does it matter if the tattoo was done by a professional/amateur, regarding the results for laser tattoo removal?
Along with many other medical professionals, we disagree that amateur tattoos are less challenging and are resolved in 2-3 treatments. This can sometimes be the case but not always because results depend more on the quality of the ink, type of ink, and level of ink in the skin/tissue. Oftentimes, an inexperienced hand lends to the ink being deposited in different layers of the skin/tissue. Also, amateur tattoos may already have a degree of fading which then requires the correct energy/power to effectively treat the ink.
What will the treatment area be like immediately after the laser tattoo removal treatment?
Again there are a few factor that will affect how your body reacts and heals after the treatment. The tattoo itself will determine the setting for the treatment, some colors and line thickness will react differently, also the depth of the ink placement can also affect the initial reaction. Irritation and soreness similar to a burn is typical. Many patients will experience blistering, oozing, scabbing and peeling. This is normal and it is important to keep the area clean and hydrated so that it may heal properly.The location of the tattoo must be considered for after care as some areas are more prone to contamination and irritation. If the tattoo is covered, near an area when clothing may rub more, near sweat glands, or generally more sensitive areas, etc. Some of these areas will require additional cleaning or protection and patients should discuss any and all concerns with their technician, as well as any reactions that cause concern.
What are the size breakdowns that determine cost?
White Pearl Medical Spa has simplified our definitions to help patients plan for their treatment costs. Since tattoos come in all shapes and sizes, we provide two basic sizing breakdowns to help determine treatment size.Small is defined as a tattoo about 2”x2” in size, or coverage up to the size of a dollar bill. Medium is defined as a tattoo about 5”x5” in size, or coverage up to the size of two dollar bills. Large is defined as a tattoo about 9”x9” in size, or coverage up to the size of three dollar bills.Obviously the dollar bill sizing reference is not exactly the same as the measurement listed, it is to act as a guide so that patients are able to easily measure the area for their own planning in terms of cost and time.
How long does a session take?
To promote a more comfortable treatment, we use topical numbing 30-60 minutes prior. After the patient has had enough time to numb the treatment area, we begin the laser tattoo removal treatment.A Small area will take up to 30 minutes. A Medium area will take up to 45 minutes. A large area may take up to an hour. These times may vary depending on the amount of colors in the tattoo, as the laser technician will need to make adjustments to the wavelengths and energy settings.Patients should always keep in mind that tattoos of any kind may represent a challenge with multiple visits, discomfort, and no guarantees. Be mindful of this when deciding on whether or not to get a tattoo that was designed to be permanent.

Regret Your Tattoo? Safely Remove It At Our Treatment Center

For thorough San Antonio, TX, tattoo removal, visit the skin care professionals at White Pearl Medical Spa. There are many reasons for wanting to remove tattoos. Your job may require it, or maybe your decision is more personal. In any case, if you are tired of your old tattoo or you’ve simply outgrown it, why not get it removed?There are two main techniques used to remove tattoos. The most common technique is laser removal. The laser breaks apart the ink below the top layers of the skin. The body disposes of the ink particles naturally. Intense Light Pulsed Therapy is a more modern technique for removing tattoos. It is virtually pain-free and requires fewer sessions than laser removal.Whatever method you choose, our highly trained staff will explain the procedure to you from start to finish. Several sessions will be spread across four to six weeks. We will also thoroughly discuss aftercare to make sure that the process goes as smoothly as possible and yields quality results. Our staff is dedicated to client satisfaction. We offer flexible hours to make San Antonio, TX, tattoo removal easily accessible. Call White Pearl Medical Spa today to find out how we can help you. We are sure that you’ll appreciate our staff’s professionalism.

Tri-Lase™ Q-Switched & Erbium YAG Laser


The Newest Innovation in Q-Switched ND: YAG Technology

The Tri-Lase combines the two most popular wavelengths for skin resurfacing, Q-Switched ND: YAG & Er: YAG and can be used for treatment for tattoos and pigmented lesions while the Erbium YAG laser for superficial rejuvenation. With the Tri-Lase laser, you will be able to provide your patients with healthy and more youthful skin.The Tri-Lase is a cost effective, smart investment that provides aesthetic laser facilities, a cash based procedure that will fulfill a specific niche for practices. With the Tri-Lase, your patient base will increase and a high yield return on investment can be quickly realized.

Q-Switched ND: YAG Capabilities (superficial resurfacing)

Uses: tattoo removal • pigmentation lesionsWhen treating benign pigmented lesions and tattoo ink, the safety profile of the Tri-Lase nanosecond pulse width makes it possible to attain reliable and predictable clinical results with minimal risk of adverse reactions and textural changes to the skin. The PhotoAcoustic power of the Tri-Lase selectively shatters and destroys the target chromophore while preserving the surrounding healthy cellular structures. The macrophages of the skin’s immune system will then start cleansing the fragments from the body resulting in impressive clinical results that are easily obtained and repeatable.
Tattoo Removal San Antonio Texas
Tattoo Removal San Antonio Texas
Tattoo Removal San Antonio Texas

At White Pearl Medical Spa in San Antonio we help you reveal the real you.

White Pearl’s skin care experts will customize a treatment menu that will accommodate your lifestyle, skin requirements, objectives and budget. Contact White Pearl Medical Spa now for a complimentary, no-obligation appointment.
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White Pearl Medical Spa San Antonio