While a tattoo may be an outlet for personal expression, it can also become a focus of regret. Today, as the number of tattoos steadily increases, so does the number of people looking to have their ink removed. This change of heart does not have to be a lifelong burden, however.
With over 14 years experience in tattoo removal, using various Q-Switched lasers, Bentkover Facial Plastic Surgery offers several revolutionary options in tattoo removal, to safely and permanently erase ink from the skin, including the newest PicoSure® technology. We also work with tattoo artists to completely or partially remove tattoos that are being redone and a large percentage of our patients are professional women.
Laser Tattoo Removal
The process of removing unwanted tattoo ink has been a challenge over the years. As tattoos become the norm, the technology to eliminate these areas has also significantly improved.
- The number of tattoos in the U.S. has increased more than 43% since 2012.
- Up to 21% of Americans have at least one tattoo.
- One in every five people will regret getting a tattoo.
- Employment is the primary reason for desired tattoo removal.
- A change in personal taste (or in the significant other) also is a primary reason a person desires to have a tattoo removed.
The PicoSure® Laser
The PicoSure® is one of the newest and most advanced lasers designed to permanently eliminate tattoo ink. The laser is vastly different from more traditional tattoo removal systems, which are known for providing partial results with semi-effective ink breakdown.
Using ultra-short pulses, one millionth measured in billionths of a second in length, hit the ink with tremendous pressure. As the laser targets the dark pigment, it shatters that pigment, breaking it into tiny particles, much smaller than with a Q-Switched laser. These ink bits are then metabolized by your white blood cells for safe elimination. This safe and effective laser will work on the full spectrum colored tattoo inks, including black, blue green, red, orange, purple, yellow and pinks.
The PicoSure® provides proven performance, as well as versatility, as each treatment can be adjusted to meet the specific patient’s needs. Usually about half the number of treatments are needed compared to even the best Q-Switched lasers.
PicoSure® For Skin Rejuvenation
The PicoSure® laser is a very effective, non-invasive fractional laser, unparalleled in that it’s almost painless. It can be used for rejuvenation for the face, hands, legs, décolleté or chest, and back, acne scars, pigmented lesions and some fine lines. The PicoSure® is can be perfect for those looking to improve the skin’s texture and tone. There is little or no down time.
Treatment with the PicoSure®
All laser treatments are performed in our Worcester office. Patients should wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing to the procedure, especially over the target area. The PicoSure® laser treatments normally take less than 15 minutes. While the PicoSure® laser is less painful than other techniques, there is still a degree of discomfort involved with tattoo removal, while fractional treatments for rejuvenation are almost painless. A topical numbing cream will be applied 30-45 minutes before the treatment. Ice is also applied when needed. On occasion, Dr. Bentkover will inject lidocaine in selected areas if needed for comfort.
Each tattoo removal session will be completed in a private treatment room. Once the area has been numbed, Dr. Bentkover will steadily pass the handheld PicoSure® laser across the targeted skin. While the laser breaks up dark pigment in the tissues, it does not harm the surrounding tissues. The length of the PicoSure® session will depend on the size of the treatment area. Most last only a few minutes.
After Your PicoSure® Session
Recovering from a PicoSure® session will take a few days, and healing normally occurs in two to three weeks. The initial 24 to 48 hours may involve some discomfort, and the treatment area will feel like a severe sunburn. Blisters are not uncommon and should be left alone to resolve on their own. During the first several days, patients should avoid any vigorous activity that may irritate the treatment area. To prevent rubbing, loose clothing should be worn. The treatment area should not be exposed to the sun, as this could result in permanent discoloration. It can take a week or more for the blisters to dry up and peel.
To decrease discomfort following a PicoSure® treatment, ice can be applied for 20 minutes every hour during the first day, then every two hours. A sterile dressing, Tegaderm™, provided by our office, should be worn for the first three to five days. The Tegaderm™ plus the ice will help to decrease the pain. We recommend Silvadene® cream twice daily once the Tegaderm™ is removed. You will be given a prescription.
More than one treatment is normally required in tattoo elimination. Although the PicoSure® has the ability to eliminate all colors of tattoo ink at a faster rate than other methods, multiple sessions will still be required to attain the desired results. The number of sessions required is related to the colors used, the depth of color, the size of the tattoo, and its location. Tattoos closer to your heart clear quicker than those on your extremities. Most patients should expect a series of four to six treatments, spaced at least for six to eight weeks apart. For skin rejuvenation of scars, sunspots and wrinkles, a series of six four treatments is standard.
Potential Risks of the PicoSure®
While scarring is possible with any laser tattoo removal, it is rare, especially when the treatment is performed by an experienced professional. Dr. Bentkover will conservatively treat the pigmented area in a meticulous and precise manner to avoid scarring. This also decreases the chance for hypopigmentation, which can occur in patients with darker skin or having dark tattoo inks removed. The removal process may, in some instances, result in an area of thin skin. During your tattoo removal consultation with Dr. Bentkover, he will review all potential complications and risks.
Cost of a PicoSure® treatment
The total cost to remove a tattoo will depend on the individual patient’s tattoo. The size, type of ink, and age of the tattoo can all factor into the number of treatments that may be required. On average, PicoSure® treatments start at $250 each for a business card size or smaller. A tattoo that is the size of two business cards is usually about $400 per session. The advanced PicoSure® technology means that fewer treatments are required, sometimes cutting the total number in half. There is no additional charge to treat more than one color of ink. We will give you a quote for larger tattoos at your consultation. A discount of 10% is available when purchasing four or more treatments in a package.
We also treat many tattoos that have had prior treatments with inferior technology or by non-professional personnel.
A PicoSure® consultation appointment with Dr. Bentkover is $100. If you are treated the same day, this amount will be deducted from the cost. At the consultation appointment, Dr. Bentkover will look over your tattoo(s) and discuss your desired results. He will then explain all of your tattoo removal options, including the PicoSure®, and show before/after photographs of his recent patients. If it is decided that the PicoSure® tattoo removal process is right for you, a personalized treatment plan will be created, and the total cost of treatment will be established.
Tattoo Removal at Bentkover Facial Plastic Surgery & Laser Center
The PicoSure® can bring exceptional tattoo removal for most patients.
If you are unhappy with the appearance of an unwanted tattoo, schedule a consultation at Bentkover Facial Plastic Surgery. Dr. Bentkover has more than 25 years of cosmetic laser and plastic surgery experience.
The PicoSure® laser utilizes ultra short pulses of energy to quickly break down tattoo ink. This innovative tool safely and permanently eliminates tattoos of all sizes and colors.
Candidates should be in good health and fully understand the tattoo removal process. Patients should be committed to the recovery process and have realistic expectations for their final results. Dark skin can be a contraindication for tattoo removal.
Depending on the size of the tattoo being treated, each PicoSure® session normally takes less than 15 minutes.
Depending on the individual tattoo, four to six PicoSure® sessions are are typical to receive optimal results. However, some tattoos may require more treatments.
Dr. Bentkover recommends waiting between four and six to eight weeks between PicoSure® tattoo removal sessions, allowing the body time to break down and eliminate the excess ink.
The PicoSure® can successfully treat any color of tattoo ink, including red, blue, green, orange, yellow and black. Yellow is one of the more difficult colors to remove.
Yes, most tattoos can be completely removed using the PicoSure® , however in some cases full elimination may not be possible.
Treatments with the PicoSure® do not normally result in scars. Dr. Bentkover will discuss the risk of scarring during the consultation appointment.
The PicoSure® is considered safe, with little chance for complications. However, like other laser treatments, there is always the small risk of blistering, infection, scarring, and hypopigmentation or hyperpigmentation.
Unfortunately, the tattoo removal process is uncomfortable. The PicoSure® provides a faster, less painful treatment than other lasers. Additionally, the PicoSure® requires fewer sessions, making the removal process easier.