Tattoo Removal FAQs

Tattoo Removal Frequently Asked Questions

Laser Tattoo Removal Questions Answered

Our results speak for themselves. New FDA-approved technologies provide greater power then previous tattoo removal lasers with minimal risk of scarring and discomfort.*

Prime Med Spa offers the latest advancements in tattoo removal lasers, including both Q-Switched and Picosecond lasers. These tattoo removal lasers utilize an acoustic wave created by the laser beam to shatter ink pigment. This energy wave shatters the ink molecules at such a high rate of speed that they vibrate and break-up microscopically.* The more effectively the ink molecules are reduced, the faster the tattoo can be removed.* This creates an opportunity to remove difficult colors faster with potentially fewer treatments saving you time and money.*

From start to finish we are relentless in quality control. If you are looking for a specialist that strives to give you the best in tattoo removal, you have found us!

Question: What makes Prime Med Spa different?

Answer: Prime Med Spa has invested in the leading laser technology available in the U.S. to accomplish the safest and most efficient tattoo removal possible.* In addition to offering the best lasers on the market, we provide our customers with an unlimited tattoo removal option. With our unlimited tattoo removal membership, our patients have peace of mind knowing that they can come every 6-8 weeks for a laser treatment until the tattoo is completely clinically removed without any additional charge. This takes the big unknown out of the tattoo removal process, which is “how many sessions will I need.” In reality, there is no reliable way of predicting how many treatments you will need, so we eliminated this uncertainty by providing an unlimited treatments option. Our bottom line is striving for the best results possible for you. We care about you and will customize each of your laser treatments. We are also not a commissioned-based practice and do not push pricey packages on you and then turn the laser energy down so that you will need to purchase more packages. Be aware of this unfortunately very common practice at other tattoo removal businesses in San Diego.Accidental or traumatic tattoos are caused by the forceful penetration of the skin with particles of foreign matter. The skin heals over the object and results in a traumatic tattoo. This can include pencil lead, dirt, sand, grease, paint, grass, metal, gunpowder, wood, and asphalt (aka: road rash).

Car, motorcycle, and bicycle accident victims commonly have these kind of tattoos. In most cases these can be removed successfully in 1 to 2 treatments.* Volatile substances such as gunpowder should not be considered for laser tattoo removal as they can still ignite.

Question: What is involved in a consultation? Is there a fee?

Answer: This is the first step. A consultation is required before any laser treatment, and usually takes 30 to 60 minutes. It involves taking a health history, evaluating the tattoo, explaining the procedure, reviewing risks and benefits, options, answering questions, and establishing the price per treatment. Client must be at least 18 years of age and have photo identification. At Prime Med Spa, consultations are free of charge.

Question: How are tattoos removed?

Answer: The standard of care for tattoo removal has been validated for nearly 25 years, and this is through using Q-switched lasers, and in recent months also Picosecond lasers have arrived on the market. Both types of lasers are used at Prime Med Spa and both are highly effective and safe. Any other method of tattoo removal such as surgical excision is not safe, and not the standard of care, and in many cases constitutes malpractice. Earlier methods involved the use of dermabrasion, salabrasion, surgery and C02 lasers, but these methods left behind scarring or lighter skin in place of the tattoo. Also commonly seen on the internet are tattoo removal creams—which do not work.*

Question: Is the process painful?

Answer: The laser emits light in very short flashes called pulses. The impact of the pulse is described as a snap of rubber band.* We offer injectable or topical numbing so you may feel minimal or no pain at all.* Additionally, Prime Med Spa offers oral sedation and analgesics to patients who have a driver. Also pain is reduced by using the Zimmer Cryo 6 cooling system, a natural way to numb. Remember tattoo removal does not have to hurt and we will take extra time to make sure you are comfortable.*

Question: Will I have a scar?

Answer: Answer: The chance of scarring is less than 5%, if you follow the after care instructions.* The risk of scarring can increase for pregnancy, dark skin tone, poor circulation, immune system deficiencies, taking Accutane, some health conditions, taking certain medications, or having a history of keloids or elevated scarring.*

Question: How many treatments will it take to remove my tattoo?

Answer: Each person is as unique as their tattoo. At Prime Med Spa our removal rates for professional tattoos may take 2 to 10+ treatments, with 10 being the average.* Homemade tattoos may take 1 to 4 treatments, with 2 treatments being the average to remove.* Permanent make-up used in eyebrow tattoos may take 1 to 5+ treatments.* Fading for a cover-up tattoo may take fewer treatments than a complete removal.* Accidental or traumatic tattoos may take 1 to 2+ treatments to remove.* The number of treatments depends on the amount of ink used, type of ink, depth of ink placed in skin, location, age, colors, and each person’s individual health considerations.* Our “fewer treatments is better” approach is our goal for you. Laser sessions are spaced out 6 to 12 weeks apart or longer. The “industry standard” for laser tattoo removal is 15-25 treatments.* Our removal rates are much lower because we use the latest generation of Q-Switched and Picosecond lasers.

Question: Do all colors of ink disappear equally as well?

Answer: No, but black ink removes the best. Red, orange, pink, and warmer colors respond well.* Purple and yellow is variable but usually removes well.* Now (since May 2008) we are able to more successfully remove green and teal blue ink.* White, flesh tones, and permanent makeup can turn darker with laser, and must be tested before treatment.*

Question: Will the tattoo completely disappear?

Answer: In many cases, yes. However, it is very important to know that over 100 types of tattoo inks are used today and none of them are regulated by the FDA. Without standardized inks, it makes it difficult to predict the degree of removal of any tattoo. If we don’t think your tattoo can be removed, we will decline treating you.

Question: What type of after care is necessary?

Answer: A healing ointment and a bandage may be applied to the area, but most tattoo treatment areas are left open to the air to allow the skin to release heat. The treated site should be kept clean and dry that day, and out of the sun. A shower can be taken the next day, and the site should not be scrubbed. Avoiding water activities (other than daily showers), and pressure to the site is important while healing. Every client will receive a customized take-home kit with each treatment. After care kit and follow-up, non-laser appointments are included at no additional cost.

Prime Plastic Surgery consists of the top board-certified surgeons in the country providing the highest caliber of patient care. We offer cosmetic and reconstructive procedures, both surgical and non-surgical, to help patients achieve truly life-changing results. Our surgeons are members of several prestigious organizations, including:

  • American Society of Plastic Surgeons
  • American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery
  • International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery
  • American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities

Discover what the Prime difference can do for you. Request a consultation online or call our practice at (858) 285-4667.

Contact Prime Plastic Surgery

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