Fashion trends come and go, but unlike most fads, a tattoo is forever. That mistranslated Chinese character or Tweety Bird ink on your forearm might have seemed like a good idea at the time, but we tend to outgrow certain phases of our lives. Over time, an old or ill-advised tattoo can even stifle your job hunt or make you feel self-conscious about your skin.

If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone — nearly 17% of people experience some regret after getting a tattoo. Fortunately, it’s possible to start fresh and rid your body of unwanted ink with the NaturaLase QS. As the most powerful laser available for tattoo removal, the NaturaLase QS can leave your skin clear and free from pigment in fewer treatment sessions than any other system on the market. We know that researching tattoo removal can feel overwhelming, so we’ve selected the best option for our patients to take the guesswork out of the equation.

If you’re interested in removing your tattoo and are considering the NaturaLase QS, the Cosmetic Surgery and Laser Center of El Paso is the only location in the Southwest where you can find this extremely effective treatment. To understand why the NaturaLase QS is so reliable, you must first learn what makes tattoos permanent and how the device works with your body to eliminate your ink.

The Science Behind Your Tattoo

Ever wonder why your tattoo doesn’t simply flake off over time? Tattoos are meant to be permanent, and artists make sure their designs last by using dye-filled needles to deposit ink just below the skin’s surface, where it can avoid the natural shedding process. As modern tattoo devices penetrate the dermis at a high frequency, they also trigger the body’s immune response, causing white blood cells to rush to the affected area and “clean up” the invading ink particles. The problem is, they’re too big, so most of the color stays in place as the wounds heal, becoming integrated into the skin. The result is a vibrant, visible tattoo suspended in the dermis indefinitely.

Effective tattoo removal is accomplished by breaking up these pigment particles so the body’s immune system can dispose of them naturally. While several creams and lotions claim to diminish the appearance of unwanted tattoos, they cannot penetrate deeply enough to target the offending ink. Instead, these products use ingredients that might cause some degree of fading, but not without potential side effects or skin damage.

The Drawbacks of Tattoo Removal Cream

Many people look for easy, convenient and affordable solutions to remove their tattoo, opting to use topical creams that can be applied without any special skills or knowledge. While these products are certainly more accessible than other treatments, getting rid of unwanted ink usually requires a professional’s expertise to ensure safe and consistent results.

Most tattoo removal creams claim to work by peeling away or bleaching the top layer of the skin. There are several brands available, but none can reach the dermis to target the ink directly. At best, these creams might fade your tattoo a little and leave behind a distorted version. At worst, serious side effects can occur that may be permanent, including skin discoloration or scarring. The risk varies depending on the active ingredients, but the two most commonly used are hydroquinone and trichloroacetic acid.

Hydroquinone is a skin-bleaching agent that works by reducing melanin production, resulting in lighter pigmentation in treated areas. Used by professionals to treat liver spots, freckles and other blemishes, hydroquinone can fade the surface of the skin but doesn’t do much to remove tattoo ink embedded in the dermis. In some people, it can actually worsen pigmentation concerns and cause problems like redness, itching or blistering.

Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) is an ingredient often found in chemical peels, used to remove the top layer of the skin and stimulate cell renewal. At the right strength, TCAs can improve the tone, texture and clarity of your complexion, but higher concentrations that aren’t safe for at-home use are needed to have any effect on tattoo ink. The resulting skin damage can lead to complications such as chemical burns, permanent scarring and skin discoloration. Other side effects might include inflammation, redness, peeling and uneven tattoo removal.

No matter which ingredient is used, topical creams can’t penetrate deeply enough to alter the pigment in tattoo ink, providing unreliable and superficial results. Due to their potential side effects and lack of efficacy, no tattoo removal creams have been approved by the FDA. At the Cosmetic Surgery and Laser Center of El Paso, we offer our patients proven treatments like the FDA-approved NaturaLase QS for the safe and effective removal of unwanted tattoos.

Why Choose the NaturaLase QS for Tattoo Removal?

The NaturaLase QS is the most advanced tattoo removal device available on the market. As the only Q-switched Nd:YAG laser able to deliver two joules of energy in a single pulse, it can effectively target all tattoo ink colors in fewer sessions. Because it works in four different wavelengths, the NaturaLase QS even removes exotic pigments like green, turquoise or yellow, which no other device can do without a large number of treatments. Coupled with a larger spot size of 15mm, the NaturaLase QS also covers a wider area without sacrificing power, reducing the risk of burns or scars while still reaching the deeper layers of the skin.

For our patients, this translates into safer and more consistent treatment outcomes. A device with high energy output and large spot size is crucial to the successful removal of ink particles or pigmented lesions with minimal damage to the surrounding tissues. The NaturaLase QS does all of this and more, setting a new standard in laser tattoo removal.

Ideal Candidates for Laser Tattoo Removal in El Paso

Removing a tattoo is just as personal as the decision to get one. For some, an emotional attachment to a particular piece may make it worth keeping, while others simply want to be rid of something that no longer resonates with them. If you’re considering laser tattoo removal but aren’t sure if it’s the right choice, ask yourself the following questions to help determine if it’s time to let go of your unwanted ink:

  • Does your tattoo make you feel embarrassed or ashamed?
  • Does it remind you of a difficult relationship, experience, or time of your life?
  • Does it feel like it’s holding you back?
  • Has the meaning behind your tattoo been lost or changed?
  • Do you find yourself trying to keep it hidden?
  • Has your tattoo changed in appearance as a result of aging or sun damage?
  • Have you tried other methods to eliminate your tattoo?
  • Do you often think about tattoo removal?

If you find yourself answering ‘yes’ to a lot of these questions, then laser tattoo removal may be a wise decision. Candidates for this treatment should be in good health and have reasonable expectations. They should also understand that the required number of sessions may vary depending on the size, color and condition of the tattoo. During your consultation, your provider can determine if laser tattoo removal is right for you and develop a customized treatment plan for reaching your goals.

What to Expect During Laser Tattoo Removal

Not long ago, laser tattoo removal was a long, painful and expensive process that entailed hours of treatment and recovery. Older devices generated a lot of excess heat that could cause scarring or hyperpigmentation, and the results were often less than desirable.

The NaturaLase QS avoids these pitfalls by delivering ultra-short pulses of energy that act more like acoustic waves, bypassing the surface of the skin to eliminate specific pigments or colors. As it reaches its target, the energy breaks up the ink particles and shatters them into smaller pieces that can be removed by your body’s immune system.

All of this is accomplished with a handheld device that your provider will move across the skin in targeted areas. The procedure is about as uncomfortable as getting a tattoo, but a topical anesthetic may be applied to ensure your comfort. Appointment times will vary depending on the size of your tattoo, as will the number of sessions needed to reach your goals. Different ink colors respond to different wavelengths, so multiple device settings may be used over the course of your treatment to ensure optimal results. Laser tattoo removal is performed in a series, producing gradual improvements until the treated ink is barely noticeable.

Tattoo Removal Results & Recovery

The NaturaLase QS requires fewer treatments and less downtime than other devices. After your appointment, you’ll be able to return home and resume your normal routine, but you may notice some redness, swelling or frosting in treated areas. This is normal and should subside on its own. A bandage or ointment may be applied to aid the healing process, and you’ll be advised to avoid sun exposure to minimize the risk of hyperpigmentation. Your doctor will provide you with detailed aftercare instructions and be available to address any questions or concerns you may have after treatment to ensure a smooth recovery.

The NaturaLase QS can eliminate unwanted tattoos more quickly and efficiently than other devices, but multiple treatment sessions are still required to achieve a good result. It’s recommended to wait at least six to eight weeks between appointments to allow your body to heal properly and dispose of treated pigments. During this time, you’ll notice your tattoo gradually fade, becoming less and less noticeable with each session. Eventually, it will become barely detectable to the naked eye, although some tattoos are harder to remove than others. Your doctor will examine your skin to develop a customized treatment plan and discuss your expectations to inform you of the most realistic outcome.

Learn More

Your unwanted ink doesn’t have to define you. At the Cosmetic Surgery and Laser Center of El Paso, we offer laser tattoo removal with the NaturaLase QS to give you clear skin and a clean slate. To learn more about this treatment or discuss your options for removing tattoos or pigmented lesions, Contact Cosmetic Surgery and Laser Center of El Paso today to schedule your personalized consultation.

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