How Tattoo Removal Works

Tattoo Removal

Let’s face it – regret happens. Sometimes people end up wishing they had never gotten that tattoo, even though it was very appealing at the time. Luckily, tattoo removal is an option!

The Picosure laser is a great method for removing tattoos on any part of the body. It uses photomechanical heat energy to break down the tattoo ink resting within the skin. Once the ink particles have been broken apart, the body assists with the rest of the tattoo removal process by absorbing the remaining particles into the skin. This is a harmless procedure and the result is clear, tattoo-free skin!

The number of tattoo removal sessions required to erase the tattoo from the skin is dependent on a number of factors, such as the size and color of the tattoo, the type of ink that was used, and the age of the tattoo. To clear an average hand-sized tattoo, an estimated three to four treatment sessions will be required.


Tattoo Removal Recovery

Tattoo Removal

Each tattoo removal treatment session lasts around ten minutes, which allows you to resume your daily activities without the need for downtime! However, you should of course be aware of your skin’s recovery process.

During the first 72 hours of the tattoo removal recovery process, patients may notice swelling or bruising, but scabs, crusts, or blisters are even more commonly experienced. When these scabs separate, a temporary loss of pigment may occur. These symptoms may last for two weeks or more. Typically, it takes longer for the skin to make a full recovery from the first tattoo removal session in comparison to subsequent treatment sessions.

There are a few things you can do to assist with the recovery process and ensure it is as pain-free as possible. It is recommended you keep the area dry while it is healing. If it does get wet, be sure to pat it dry as rubbing it will cause further irritation to the skin. During the first few days, it is a good idea to apply antibiotic ointment to the treated area. Applying cool compresses can also provide relief for any discomfort or inflammation that may be present.

Avoid baths, pools, or anything that will cause your skin to be fully submerged in water until the scabs and blisters are fully healed or the chances of infection increase. It is okay to shower as early as two hours following your procedure, but be sure the treated area is not exposed to high water pressure. Lastly, do not pick the scabs!


Tattoo Removal Costs

Tattoo removal costs vary depending on the size and type of tattoo, but on average a patient can expect to pay anywhere from $200 to $500 per session. Since the number of sessions required to clear the skin of the tattoo varies greatly, the overall cost could be much higher for some patients.

If you’re interested in finally parting ways with your tattoo, call us at 843-881-2130 to set up a consultation.


A picture of Patrick J. O’Neill, MD wearing his doctor attire.

About the Author

Upon completing medical school at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, SC, Dr. O’Neill completed nine years of residency training. These nine years included a full general surgery and a plastic surgery residency, both at the Medical University of South Carolina, and a hand and microsurgery fellowship at the Kleinert Institute for Hand and Microsurgery. Dr. O’Neill has extensive certifications, training, skills, and knowledge that make him a successful physician who can carry out your next plastic surgery procedure. His expertise and technique will result in the beautiful and natural look you desire post surgery.

Board Certified:
American Board of Surgery
American Board of Plastic Surgery
Sub-Certification in Hand and Microsurgery

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