Choosing Your Technician

The laser tattoo removal industry has quickly grown in the last several years. For the industry, that means more and more technicians coming into this field. Some are well trained and dedicated to their job, while others have very little understanding about the procedures they are performing. It also means a few things have changed for clients interested in getting a tattoo removed. The idea of tattoo removal is not such a scary, foreign idea anymore. More and more people have gone through the procedure and are willing to talk about their experiences. It also means clients now have many more options. Figuring out who is best qualified to perform your procedures can often be difficult.

At times the field of laser tattoo removal can be very hard to navigate. Even clients that do their research are often confused or overwhelmed by the abundance of outdated and incorrect information. Though online resources can be helpful, it can still be quite confusing. Words like “Nd:YAG, pulsewidth, and nano/picometers” aren’t in most people’s everyday vocabulary.

So how do you determine who you should or shouldn’t let work on you?

Know what questions to ask. Employees of a laser clinic should never be upset answering questions regarding their abilities or their equipment. Most lasers technicians have dedicated large amounts of time to their training and careers. You should expect them to enjoy discussing the equipment, science, and the results they have achieved.

consult questions2

Although these questions aren’t foolproof, they will help to determine someone’s qualifications. Also, it is a good start to allow you to get to know your technician. Along with looking at portfolios, trust your instincts. Were all your questions answered? Equally as important, are you comfortable with your decision? If you feel pressured or are unsure about treatment options, take the time to get a second opinion.

Check back soon for Part 2 of this topic: What to expect during your procedure.

Nine Bar Removal Project

Laser Tattoo Removal

The gradient laser removal project started August 17, 2007 when Adam Walsh of Hold Fast tattooed the bars on the inside of my right arm.  We chose 9 because an approximate spacing of a half-inch seemed to work well aesthetically, and 8 treatments seemed to be a reasonable estimation to remove a black tattoo.

I began treating the tattoo on September 19, 2007.  This was of course quite soon to start the removal, but the process was as much about experimentation as it was to show my clients how the process worked. As you can see by the first treatment, the ink was quite resilient, breaking down in an uneven fashion.  This result is actually fairly uncommon, usually only seen when treating newer tattoos.  Also, in treatment number two you can see an unusual result.  The white patch on the right side of the bar was from a scab that I accidentally pulled off.  Of course total ink removal is a plus, but I could have been left with a scar.  Thankfully I was not.

Treatments three through five all went as planned with only one constant issue.  The 9th bar, and sometimes number 8, would often blister post treatment.  This was most likely attributed to heat generated by my bicep touching the area when my arm was bent.  Treatment six also went as planned with another minor problem.  Again I accidentally pulled a scab from the area.  This time however the area did not loose color.  In fact, the opposite happened.  The scab was more superficial and the underlying dermis was exposed leaving a very dark area in the tattoo.  It took a few months, but in time the epidermis regenerated and the color evened out.

Treatments seven and eight went well. I increased the energy quite a bit to knock out as much color as possible. I was a bit more aggressive than normal, but the project was nearing completion and results needed to be more dramatic if possible.  Bar number 9 is not perfect.  There is still a bit of tattoo ink left, the tissue feels slightly different and depending on ambient temperature the area will turn red at times.

The removal project ended with the final laser treatment on February 17, 2009 and the outlines tattooed on April 2, 2009.  Overall I am happy with the final product with one minor exception. As can seen in the photo, the bars that were once straight and symmetrical, have changed shape dramatically as they were progressively treated.

In time the bars will continue to fade and the outlines will soften.  So, in the future I will be updating the photo and possibly the story behind the project.

Credit and Special Thanks to Stacy Potter for the photo.

Results

We have several things going on right now. Testing a new post treatment gel, honing pain reduction techniques and further research into topical tattoo removal products, but today’s blog is all about results.

Of course everyone wants to see a portfolio, and laser removal technicians want to display their best work. We agree, however, there is more to laser tattoo removal than just final results. It would be fantastic if tattoos were removed in just one session, but that’s rarely the case. So, what should you expect after one, two, three treatments? Below is a collection of photos in different stages of removal.

Click Images for Larger Photos
BA1T

MT1T

TT3T

JA4smallT

Tattoo removal is more than just science
At Fade Fast better artwork is our passion