Tattoos are a body modification created by injecting ink into the skin and are permanent unless removed using a laser. Laser tattoo removal can reduce or eliminate the appearance of unwanted tattoos anywhere on the body.
3 Reasons to Choose DermMedica for Laser Tattoo Removal
- Painless Laser Tattoo Removal! No one else offers painless laser tattoo removal in the BC Interior. Why suffer through the pain when you don’t have to.
- Dr. Crippen is certified in cosmetic laser procedures by the American Board of Laser Surgery.
- We have been performing laser tattoo removal treatments in Kelowna for over 20 years.
One of the lasers we have for Laser Tattoo Removal is the Fotona QX MAX – The Highest power available today in a Q-Switched laser. We also have two other tattoo lasers including a Cynosure Accolade 755nm and a Hoya Con Bio Medlite laser which are both excellent lasers for tattoo & pigment reduction. Some other brand names of tattoo/pigment lasers you may have heard about include both the Picoway and Picosure lasers (not currently available).
Illustration of how Laser Tattoo Removal works:
Top 3 Tips for Laser Tattoo Removal:
Watch part of a large Laser Tattoo Removal session performed by Dr. Crippen.
DermMedica is fortunate to have two different lasers for tattoo removal. Unlike some other tattoo removal lasers, our Alexandrite laser can treat the dark green and blue colours that are normally very difficult to lighten.
Frequently asked questions
How do you remove a tattoo?
With use of a special laser, we can break apart very small ink particles in the skin. Over time, this ink will be taken away by your own body. Lasers are the only way to remove tattoos without causing scarring to the skin.
How many treatments are needed?
The number of treatments varies depending on the size and colour of a tattoo. It can take anywhere from one to a dozen laser sessions to remove a tattoo. Coloured tattoos are more difficult to remove and typically require additional treatments. Each tattoo is different depending on the ink used, how deep the ink is in the skin, and how long an individual has had the tattoo.
Will the tattoo be 100 percent gone?
It is not always possible to fully eliminate every tattoo. We always try to remove as much of the tattoo as possible during each session and over the course of treatment. Some patients opt to just lighten their tattoo for a more desirable cover-up piece of art.
Does the treatment hurt?
We use medical anesthetic to completely numb the treatment area. As a result, very little to no discomfort is to be expected. As a medical facility, we can perform this procedure so you have no discomfort during your laser session. Without anesthetic, the treatment is very uncomfortable, more so than having the tattoo put on in the first place. Just ask anyone who has had a laser tattoo removal session without freezing!
What should I do if I’m interested in having a tattoo removed?
If you are interested in laser tattoo removal in Kelowna please call us (250-868-3070) or book a consultation online. We always need to see the tattoo in person to give you an accurate assessment and quote.
A guide to tattoo pigments
Most people don’t know what actually makes up the ink that is deposited in the skin when they get a tattoo. Some of the inks are made of run of the mill chemicals while others like red ink contain mercurial sulphide.
|Compostion of Tattoo Pigments|
|Black||Iron Oxide (Fe3O4)Iron Oxide (FeO) Carbon Logwood||Black ink is made from magnetite crystals, jet, wustite, bone black, and carbon. These pigments are often used in India ink.|
|Brown||Ochre||Ochre contains iron oxide and clay. In its raw form ochre is yellow in colour. After being heat treated it changes to a brown-red colour.|
|Red||Cinnabar (HgS) Cadmium Red (CdSe) Iron Oxide (Fe2O3) Napthol-AS pigment||Rust or iron oxide is reddish in colour and often used to make red ink. Cinnabar is the ore form of mercury. Both cinnabar and cadmium can be toxic and result in skin reactions. Naphthol Red is a synthetic pigment. It is less toxic and lower risk than other forms of red pigment.|
|Orange||disazodiarylide and/or disazopyrazolonecadmium seleno-sulfide||Orange pigments are made by condensing two mono-azo pigments. They are fairly stable and can be difficult to remove.|
|Flesh||Ochres||To make flesh tones many pigments are combined. It can be difficult to predict how easy they will be to remove with a laser.|
|Yellow||Cadmium Yellow (CdS, CdZnS) Ochres Curcuma Yellow Chrome Yellow (PbCrO4, often mixed with PbS) Disazodiarylide||Tumeric and curcurmin are used to make curcuma. Yellow pigments may contain cadmium. This can be a cause of allergic reactions. In order to obtain a bright yellow effect more pigment is often used with yellows.|
|Green||Chromium Oxide (Cr2O3), called Casalis Green or Anadomis GreenMalachite [Cu2(CO3)(OH)2]Ferrocyanides and Ferricyanides Lead chromate Monoazo pigmentCu/Al phthalocyanineCu phthalocyanine||Green ink usually contains a variety of pigments including yellow, red and Prussian Blue.|
|Blue||Azure Blue Cobalt Blue Cu-phthalocyanine||Cooper salt-based blue pigments are the safest. They are often used in kids products and contact lenses. Other blues are made with azurite, lapis lazuli, cobalt aluminum oxides and chromium oxides.|
|Violet||Manganese Violet (manganese ammonium pyrophosphate) Various aluminum salts Quinacridone Dioxazine/carbazole||Purple pigments vary in how stable they are. Some are photoreactive and lose colour after being exposed to light. Others like dioxazine and carbazole are more stable.|
|White||Lead White (Lead Carbonate) Titanium dioxide (TiO2) Barium Sulfate (BaSO4) Zinc Oxide||White pigments can either be used alone or to change the colour of other pigments. They can be unpredictable to remove and sometimes become darker or turn black with laser treatment.|
Some of our own Before & After Pictures of Laser Tattoo Removal
Quick Answers About Laser Tattoo Removal
Will skin with tattoos removed look like the skin around the tattoos? Or will it be lighter or darker in shade?
Normally after laser tattoo removal, the skin that has had a tattoo removed looks a bit lighter in colour compared to the surrounding skin. Your skin colour also plays a role in this. If you have darker skin, the skin can be much lighter than normal for you. Generally most of the skin pigment returns in 6-12 months, but this can sometimes be unpredictable.
is the feeling of laser tattoo removal as bad as getting a tattoo or better? I've heard the procedure described as a little uncomfortable. If I had no problem getting the tattoo in the first place, will it be really easy for me?
Laser tattoo removal definitely has some discomfort associated with the procedure. There is no laser tattoo removal procedure that could be described as comfortable. We use a variety of methods to help with this during our procedure.
Does tattoo removal leave any scarring? Is there ever a possibility for permanent scarring with the tattoo removal treatment? I want to get rid of my tattoo, but do you also recommend treatments after that to get the skin looking healthy again?
Occasionally laser tattoo removal can cause scarring or whitened areas of the skin. This is due to a combination of the ink used and the amount of treatments needed for complete removal. Scarring can also be caused by individuals who have little knowledge or experience in this procedure.
Is the tatto removal laser precise enough to remove only parts of tattoos? I want a tattoo partially removed, without damaging the other parts. Is this something you can do.
This is a common question we get for laser tattoo removal because some patients only want certain areas of the tattoo lightened or removed because they want to re-do that area again with another artist. The laser can be fairly precise but the spot size of the light beam is usually no less than 4mm in diameter. You would need to see the laser physician in consultation to know if this would work in your specific situation.
New vs Old Tattoos. Is it easier to remove a new or an old tattoo?
This is a common question from our laser tattoo removal patients. What we have found is that if the tattoo is brand new (within a few weeks), it does seem to respond better to laser therapy than if it is older than that. Ideally, if you have a tattoo you dislike from the outset and you want it removed, don’t wait long to do so because you’re only prolonging the number of laser removal sessions. We have treated tattoos as new as a few hours old, and some that have been on a person for over fifty years. There is quite a bit that we can do for tattoos of every age.
Can I choose sedation for any laser treatments? I've had a tattoo removed before, and something about the constant little tingle really does not work out well for me. My skin is very sensitive to it. Is it a thing" to have any of these procedures while sedated?"
Laser tattoo removal is a procedure where we use very intense light energy to destroy and break up ink particles in the skin. This procedure is uncomfortable and patients will experience pain. There is no way around this, however, for some tattoos we can use local freezing injections (just like we would if stitching a cut) so that you will feel nothing during the treatment. This isn’t feasible for very large tattoos or on certain areas of the body. Sedation is not typically performed for laser tattoo removal due to the risks involved.