Let’s discuss the question that I am hearing the most – “How much does this hurt?”
It is a good, important question and it has a simple answer: it most often feels like a rubber band snapping the skin. However, there is a more complicated answer that I would like to give to you.
Laser tattoo removal, much like tattooing itself, works on the dermis of your body’s skin. The dermis is where your skin’s collagen fibers, nerves, sweat glands, and blood vessels live and function. When you get a tattoo, the needle pushes the ink through your epidermis into your dermis where your nerves live, and that is why getting a tattoo is uncomfortable.
In order to remove the ink from your dermis, laser tattoo removal sends light energy down into the dermis to break up the large ink pigment molecules into smaller pieces. The body can then absorb and remove those pieces over the course of several weeks. Because the laser light heats and breaks up the molecules, there is a small amount of pain associated with this process. In addition, there can be pain when the skin absorbs a small amount of the laser light into its own pigment.
The good news is that both of these sources of pain can be minimized. Here at Evanesce, we use an additional technology called the Zimmer Cryo. It pushes out super cooled air at -30 degrees Celsius. This process both numbs the skin, and greatly reduces heat related damage to the skin. This is why we feel comfortable telling potential patients that even though the process is not pain free, our technology makes it possible for anyone to experience laser tattoo removal at Evanesce.