Our laser tattoo removal treatments utilize the gentlest techniques for the most comfortable experience possible. The high quality, gold-standard devices at our clinic are capable of effectively removing dyes that could not be treated with older technology. Ask about our Alexandrite Laser, capable of removing dark greens and blues.
The DermMedica clinic is owned by Dr. Craig Crippen, an M.D. certified to perform these cosmetic procedures by the American Board of Laser Surgery. We have been performing these treatments for both men and women, safely, and in a relaxing environment, for more than 20 years.
Some of our own Before & After Pictures
Watch a Laser Tattoo Removal session performed by Dr. Crippen
One of the tools we have for is the Fotona QX MAX – The Highest power available today in a Q-Switched laser. We also have two other devices including a Cynosure Accolade 755nm and a Hoya Con Bio Medlite laser which are both excellent for tattoo & pigment reduction. Some other brand names you may have heard about include both the Picoway and Picosure lasers (not currently available).
Top 3 Tips for Successful Removal:
Illustration of how Our Removal Treatment works:
A guide to common 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 that may be bad for your health.
|Compostion of Common 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 and other minor health problems. 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.|
|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 treatment.|
Quick Answers About Our Procedure
How do you remove a tattoo?
With use of our devices, we can break apart very small ink particles in the skin. This method doesn’t involve any surgical means, and avoids the type of scarring that comes with grafts. It is an alternative to dermabrasion and considered more effective. Over time, this ink will be taken away by your own body. This is the only way to remove dyes without causing scarring to the skin.
How many treatments are needed?
The number of treatments varies depending on the size and colour. It can take anywhere from one to a dozen sessions to remove a tattoo. Coloured dyes 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 it.
Will the tattoo be 100% gone?
It is not always possible to fully eliminate every type of dye, though lasers are more effective than dermabrasion and other techniques. We always try to remove as much as possible during each session and over the course of treatment. Some patients opt to just lighten theirs for a more desirable cover-up piece of art.
Does your tattoo removal procedure hurt?
We use a medical anesthetic to completely numb the treatment area. As a result, little to no discomfort is to be expected, especially compared to surgical means. As a medical facility, we can perform this procedure so you have no discomfort during your session. Without anesthetic, the treatment is very uncomfortable, more so than having it put on in the first place. Just ask anyone who has had a session without freezing!
Does the removal leave scarring?
Occasionally, any type of removal can cause scarring or whitened areas of the skin. This is due to a combination of the ink used and the number of treatments needed for complete removal. Scarring can also be caused by men and women who have little knowledge or experience performing the procedure.
Is it easier to remove a new tattoo or an old one?
This is a common question from our patients. What we have found is that if it 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 sessions. We have treated ones as new as a few hours old, and some that have been on a person for over fifty years.
What should I do if I’m interested in having a tattoo removed?
If you are interested in Kelowna please call us (250-868-3070) or book a consultation online. We always need to see the area in person to give you an accurate assessment and quote.
Will skin look the same after treatment? Or will it be lighter or darker in shade?
Normally after the procedure, the skin that has had dyes 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.
Can I choose sedation for any removal treatments?
Our procedure uses very intense light energy to destroy and break up ink particles in the skin. This procedure can be uncomfortable and patients will experience pain. There is no way around this, however, for some, 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 version or on certain areas of the body. Sedation is not typically performed due to the risks involved.
Is your treatment precise enough to target only certain parts?
This is a common question we get because some patients only want certain areas lightened or removed because they want to redo that area again with another artist. Our devices 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.