While laser tattoo removal is a safe and effective way to treat unwanted tattoos, many first-time patients wonder how the treatment feels. If you’re in this group, you might want to know whether or not removal is painful or if removal will be more uncomfortable than when you initially received your tattoo. Our board-certified dermatologists and physician assistants have performed numerous laser tattoo removal treatments for over 20 years and the good news is that laser tattoo removal is often not as uncomfortable as you may think.
As the name suggests, laser tattoo removal works to remove unwanted tattoos by using a specialized laser to eliminate color pigments in the skin. We use FDA-approved PicoSure™ and PicoWay lasers, which are highly effective at removing tattoos of all colors, sizes and ages without causing any damage to the surrounding skin.
What Does Laser Tattoo Removal Feel Like? Since pain is subjective, it can be difficult to give a definite answer about what the treatment will feel like. Most of our patients who have received laser tattoo removal tend to describe the sensation as mild and manageable and compare the feeling to being snapped with a rubber band. Since we use the latest advancements in laser technology, our lasers treat tattoos faster than other technology which means there will be less time spent undergoing the mildly uncomfortable treatment.
The amount of discomfort you may experience during treatment largely depends on what area of the body your tattoo is located. Tougher areas of the body like the shoulders and upper arms tend to have more fat and muscle mass which keeps discomfort levels low. On the other hand, more sensitive areas of the body such as the joints and the chest are more prone to discomfort. Additional factors that can determine the level of discomfort include the age of the tattoo, the color of the ink, the size of the tattoo, the depth of the tattoo, and the amount of previous treatment sessions you’ve had.
If you are still worried about the treatment being uncomfortable, we are here to help. Our providers can recommend medications and ointments to use pre and post-treatment to make your experience more comfortable. For patients who are sensitive, we can use nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, to reduce discomfort. In addition, for smaller tattoos, we are able to use local injectable anesthesia to help make the application virtually painless.
If you’re interested in learning more about laser tattoo removal or have any questions about the treatment, contact Dermatology Associates of Atlanta today. Additionally, give us a follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more dermatology and skin care insights.