Have you asked what laser you're being treated with?
Today is the day I'm talking to you about the most important aspects of not just tattoo removal, but laser removal in general. Over the past year (a year on October 19th! Happy birthday to us!), I've encountered some really horrific removals gone very WRONG. If you're a client or friend of mine, you know how strongly I feel about the subject I'm about to discuss.
I've had extensive training and taken many classes in the laser removal field. When we first opened we solely provided tattoo removal services because at that time we only had a laser that was specifically intended for tattoo removal. We are still the ONLY studio with an FDA certified tattoo removal laser in Joplin, Missouri. This being said, there are many people who have had their tattoos treated with lasers meant for other types of laser treatments besides tattoo removal. People have been told their tattoos will never be able to be removed and their skin will be scarred and ruined. Let me be the first to tell you this is completely FALSE.
Tattoo removal works almost like any other laser treatment. Almost all lasers work by being attracted to color. Yes, that means that the hair removal laser you've been treated with is in fact attracted to color. That sounds like it would work, right? And let me tell you, it does! It can melt your tattoo, causing severe scarring and lesions, change your pigment color, and make it to where your tattoo is almost unremovable. That's what some people have been told their removal process will look like. But that is so wrong. So what's the difference with that laser and a tattoo removal laser? Why do lasers intended for other purposes cause such severe and permanent skin damage when used for tattoo removal?
The energy emitted by lasers at certain wavelengths are what make lasers certified for certain procedures. Hair removal lasers are emitted at very slow pulse widths. Meaning, they're hitting your skin slower and are penetrating your skin at a certain level (the wavelength used) to target the hair follicles. Tattoo removal lasers are a completely different procedure.
Tattoo removal lasers work by emitting certain wavelengths to target where your ink lies in your skin and the color of ink used. Tattoo removal lasers are penetrating your skin at a faster speed than hair removal lasers, making this more effective at breaking down the tattoo ink so your body can absorb it and flush it out of your system. Certain colors react to certain wavelengths in lasers. Black is treated with a 1046 wavelength. Lighter colors are treated with a 532 wavelength. These wavelengths are pulsed at nano seconds to break down your tattoo ink.
There is a specific science and technology to all laser removal treatments.
There is absolutely no reason for people to not expect the very best when it comes to their laser removal treatments because the RIGHT technology is out there and ready to be used. If you're being treated with a laser that is not FDA approved for tattoo removal, chances are you didn't ask very in depth questions or whoever was treating you wanted to just make a dollar and get you in and out of wherever you went. Is that your fault you didn't ask the right questions? Absolutely not. You go into a business and speak to a professional hoping that they have your best interest in mind, so you trust that individual. It is not your fault that a professional did a very unprofessional (and unethical in my opinion) thing by treating you with a laser that is not FDA approved for tattoo removal.
How can we avoid this?
Ask questions! A lot of them! I love answering questions about tattoo removal and comparing our hair removal laser to our tattoo removal laser and explaining the differences. At Blacklist Laser we are extremely upfront about the lasers we use to treat you with. All you have to do is google our lasers and information will be at your finger tips about them. Making it impossible for us to give you inaccurate information about the laser or the procedures.
If you've had unsuccessful removal treatments, give us a call! We'd love to speak to you about how we can help your removal process and how to make you feel more comfortable in your skin!