Should you do it, how much will it cost and how long will it take?
First, be prepared that it will take a year, or more, because you need to wait 2-3 months in between treatments. If you go for a consultation, they will tell you that it will take just 3-4 sessions depending on the size and what colors make up your tattoo. I think generally it takes more like 5-6.
As a basic rule, black and blue dissolves the best, and color is harder to remove. Seems counterintuitive I know but black and blue absorb the laser best.
Your tattoo may not totally disappear so you will have to decide before you commit if you can live with it or not. If you are a little unsure, give it more time. If you want to get something else over it, I highly recommend it because you will need to fade out what you have enough for the tattoo artist to put something over it.
I was paying about $300 per treatment for a tattoo roughly 1/4 bigger than a quarter. Serenity Medspa in San Francisco provided a consultation and then charged me $70. It was a better experience and if you prefer to use lidocain they will use it for an additional $50. An added benefit is they have the right laser frequency for odd colors in a tattoo, like green, purple and pink. You might want to ask that question before you get it done.
What to expect:
So, you’ve decided to take the plunge. Some are terrified of the pain, the swelling, or the scarring. I’ve had it done with both lidocain injections, which frankly I found more painful. With my last treatment they only used ice and this was the way to go.
You may have a reaction like swelling, or bruising, or something that looks like a giant blood blister. It will be easy to be alarmed since the first three days it will look pretty unattractive but be patient, it heals quick. Also, it may scab for a few weeks as it heals.
You do not have to be concerned about scarring. It can happen on occasion but if you go to a reputable place you can relax about it (this was my biggest fear).
Expect the colors to stick around longer than the black and blues. They may need extra zaps long after the rest of the tattoo has dissolved.
The longer you can wait in between treatments the better since your body takes time to carry away the pigment.
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