You did your research and have decided to go forward with a tattoo removal procedure, or rather a series of them. By now you know that your unwanted tattoo is not going to disappear in a day, a week, or even a month. It's a journey. Understanding what to expect along the journey can help you set reasonable expectations and plan for the best time to book each procedure.
Going on a fun in the sun vacation soon? You'll definitely NOT want to plan a removal treatment two days before leaving. Among other things, the treated area needs to stay out of direct sunlight and out of water. Regardless, do you really want to be dealing with skin that is healing while you're on holidays? Not likely.
And what about those initials of an old partner you desperately want to remove before you get married? Don't leave it till 2 months before your wedding. Adequate healing time is required between procedures and two treatments won't be enough to get rid of a tattoo. Even if you're a quick healer, you'll want to wait at least four weeks between treatments.
You will feel heat while the procedure is being done. You'll also hear a crackling noise as the laser rapid fires (about 10 shots a second), causing the ink to break up. The average treatment will take only a few minutes.
Following the treatment, you will experience some bleeding, crusting, scabbing, and/or swelling. The area will heal in about 2-3 weeks. It will take about 6 weeks for your body to clear away the ink that was broken up during the treatment.
How much the ink will fade during that first treatment will depend on factors like the age of the tattoo, how much ink was used for the tattoo, and how deep the ink is in the skin.
In some cases you may not see a huge difference after the first session. In other cases there will be a significant difference. Your consultation prior to beginning the treatments will have provided some indication of what results to expect for your removal.
Even if you had a challenging tattoo to remove, you will have seen significant fading by this stage.
Reevaluate with your specialist to address any road blocks you may be experiencing that might prevent you from a full tattoo removal.
If the treatments are proceeding well, continue procedures through to complete removal.
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