Tattoo removal in fewer sessions

March 13, 2012 7:04:25 PM PDT
It may have seemed like a good idea at the time, but 10 years later that tattoo of a fairy on a lily pad somehow doesn't fit into your new life, at least that's how Jessica feels.

"After having my son and being in a professional environment where I work it just hinders what I can wear, it being on my arm. So, it just made me rethink the whole thing and I just want to get rid of it," said Jessica, the patient.

That's why she's come to Schweiger Dermatology to undergo a new technique for tattoo removal.

Rather than using only a single pass of the laser requiring multiple visits over months or years, this method requires four passes of the laser in one session.

"Now with this new technique we're finding maybe one treatment or two treatments they can get rid of almost 100% of the tattoo," said Dr. Eric Schweiger, of Schweiger Dermatology.

Between each pass of the laser there's a 20-minute resting period, it's one of the reasons this treatment takes a little longer but is also more effective.

That 20-minute wait allows the white oxygen bubbles you can see forming on the just-lasered tattoo to dissipate.

And that allows the next pass of the laser to penetrate more deeply.

"In the past, when we were doing a second pass, it wasn't going anywhere. It was just hitting the top of the tattoo and doing nothing," Dr. Schweiger said.

Dr. Schweiger adds that this new technique has no increased side effects, works with most inks, and 75% of the tattoos treated during the research were gone after the initial treatment.

At $400 per pass of the laser, it's not cheap, but Jessica says it's worth it to say goodbye to a tattoo that no longer fits her lifestyle.

"I'm excited, I'm excited. Just for the simple fact that I won't have to see it any longer," Jessica said.

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