Tattoo Removal

At Ark-La-Tex Dermatology we use the Cutera Enlighten, which is a Pico + Nano and a dual pulse duration laser. This is the gold standard in tattoo removal.

How does laser tattoo removal work?

The Enlighten uses Pico + Nano second energy to safely penetrate the skin and target the ink in the tattoo. As the laser passes over the tattoo it is breaking up the ink into micro-particles that will eventually be eliminated by the body naturally.

Can multi-colored tattoos be removed?

In most situations all the colors can be eliminated after a series of treatment. The Enlighten is the gold-standard for tattoo removal and combines two wavelength, two pulse durations with the maximum power. Some colors are more difficult to remove and require more treatments. We provide a consultation to determine what your individual results will be.

How many treatments does it require?

Many factors determine the number of treatments needed. Most will require between 4 and 10 treatments. However, many things such as color, the type of ink used, skin color, location of the tattoo, and age of the tattoo affect the number of treatments needed for removal. 

Will the tattoo lighten with one treatment?

Every person will respond differently, but most will begin to lighten between the first and third treatment. Some tattoos may be completely cleared in 4 sessions. Again, the age of the tattoo, the ink used, skin type, and location can affect the speed of the ink break-down.

Can the laser cause scarring?

Most of the time no, but 99% of that is being compliant with the aftercare instructions. If you are not compliant with our post-care instructions then a blister could develop and a scar could form. Our staff at Ark-La-Tex Dermatology will give you written and verbal instructions for your post-care treatment. We strive to help you reach the most optimal result.

How far apart are the treatments scheduled?

Each treatment needs to be about 6-8 weeks apart. The laser is breaking the ink up into smaller micro-particles. It takes the body 4-6 weeks to begin the breakdown of the ink. So although the treated area may look healed, your body is still working to eliminate the ink. If another treatment is performed too soon it will not remove the tattoo any faster and would put you at risk of developing a scar.

Can I have just a portion of the tattoo removed?

Yes, the Enlighten is accurate and can remove unwanted parts of the tattoo.

Do you remove permanent make-up, such as lip liner, eyeliner or eyebrows?

We do not remove permanent make-up because of the ink that is used for cosmetic tattoos. This ink is formulated differently and attempting to remove this ink can cause it to turn black.

How much does it cost?

We provide consultations at Ark-La-Tex Dermatology. At your consultation we will examine your tattoo and complete an individual assessment. During the assessment we will measure the tattoo and go over a health history with each patient. The cost is determined by a preset scale that is based on age of the tattoo, size, colors, ink used and location on the body. All of these factors will provide us with a range. This range will give us an estimate of the number of treatments needed to remove the tattoo. Depending on the number of treatments you will be able to purchase a package of treatments. The packaged prices will give you a significant savings over an individual treatment price.

What should I do before my treatment?

You should shave the area to be treated. Also, avoid any sun exposure/spray tan or sunless tanner to the area for two weeks prior to the treatment. If the following medications are NOT prescribed by a doctor: aspirin, ibuprofen or any anticoagulants, avoid them for seven days pre-treatment.

What will happen when I come in for a treatment?

After your initial consultation we will begin treatment that day or at another scheduled appointment. When you arrive for your treatment you will be given the option of using a topical numbing cream. The cream will cover the area for 15-20 minutes prior to treatment. We also use a machine to cool down the area before treatment. Using this high powered Zimmer to pre-cool the area will also decrease any discomfort. Because the treatment usually takes only a few minutes many opt to forego the numbing cream. The procedure is described as feeling like several rubber-band snaps at one time. After the treatment we will cover the area with Aquaphor and a light bandage. We will schedule your next treatment.

What are the limitations after treatment?

Physical activity is restricted for the first 24 hours and sun exposure should be avoided to the area around appointments. If the body experiences excessive heat, during the initial period, it can cause a blister. Showers may be taken but luke warm water and mild soap is suggested.