Everything You Want to Know About Tattoo Removal

(But Google Couldn’t Answer)

Some of our most common questions:


How exactly does laser tattoo removal work?

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Our lasers deliver very short pulses of high intensity light into the treated area. The tattoo inks and pigments then selectively absorb the light without destroying the normal surrounding skin tissue in the process. The tattoo is dissolved into smaller ink particles that are harmlessly removed by your body’s immune system in the weeks following treatment.

So wait, my body clears the shattered ink?

Two key processes break up the ink – the pigment in your tattoo will absorb the energy from the laser and break apart; also, the incredibly fast pulse (6-billionths of a second!) and energy of the laser will cause the ink to shatter like a sugar cube breaking apart. Once the ink is broken down by the laser, your body responds by moving fluid to the area to help flush away the ink. This immune-response will be obvious in the form of some swelling and redness in the area. Over the next few weeks the ink will be flushed away. This doesn’t happen overnight. Removing a tattoo takes a number of sessions.

How long is this going to take?

Laser treatment usually doesn’t take more than a few minutes, depending on the complexity and color(s) of the tattoo. On average we can have you in and out in fifteen minutes!

Will I need multiple treatments to completely remove my tattoo?

Removing a tattoo is a fading process that requires a series of treatments scheduled six to eight weeks apart. Black inks usually respond more quickly than bright colors because they absorb the light better. The depth, color, and amount of ink, as well as the location of the tattoo are all determining factors in how quickly we’ll be able to get your tattoo off. Most tattoos can be removed in six to twelve treatments.

Will my tattoo be removed completely?

In most cases tattoos are completely removed. The depth, density, and colors are the biggest determining factors. After each treatment a little more ink is fragmented deeper into your skin.

I’m not big on pain. Is this going to hurt?

Most patients say that the laser treatment feels like being snapped by a rubber band and that the discomfort is roughly equivalent to having a tattoo applied. Here at The Finery we focus on making the procedure as comfortable as possible. In preparation for a laser procedure doctors recommend that non-aspirin products be used for minor pain. Don’t use aspirin or Ibuprofen as this can produce bruising after treatment. We are also unique in using the Zimmer Cryo 6 cooling system. We cool the skin before, during, and after the procedure, reducing pain while decreasing thermal temperature.

Will I have a scar?

Our Q-switched and PicoSure lasers pulse is so quick that they’re able to dissolve the ink without destroying the live tissue in the process. Similar to running your hand over a candle very quickly, there is not enough time to burn the skin. Redness, swelling, blistering, and scabbing may follow tattoo removal laser treatments. But our laser technology combined with proper aftercare ensures that there will be no scarring.

Can I lighten an existing tattoo?

Many tattoo artists encourage customers to lighten an existing tattoo before covering it with a new one. This dramatically reduces any chance of the old tattoo appearing through the new one. In most cases, a minimum of three to six treatments is all that’s required to lighten an existing tattoo.

Is this treatment safe?

Laser treatment is a safe and effective method for removing tattoos when it’s performed by a certified technician trained to use tattoo removal lasers.

Will my insurance pay for this?

Currently this procedure is not included as a health insurance benefit. Insurance companies consider this a cosmetic or aesthetic procedure. If you have a Health Savings Account (HSA), Medical IRA or other Flexible Medical Spending Accounts (Medical FSA), you can NOT pay for the procedure using these funds. We DO offer interest free financing, call for more information.