Laser tattoo removal has become extremely popular over the past decade. So too has the number of “professionals” performing tattoo removal. What’s less common is tattoo removal experience. Most people interested in tattoo removal only want to know about cost and pain. Among other factors like a quality, well-maintained laser, the operator must have extensive experience. In this post we’ll discuss why tattoo removal experience is so important for safety and efficacy and how an experienced technician can save you time and money.
Tattoo Removal Experience vs. “Certified Laser Technician”
The legal requirements for a “Certified Laser Technician” varies by state but often times the regulations around that term are very loose and laser technicians simply need to work under the supervision of a physician. So it’s not safe to assume that the title “Certified Laser Technician” comes with sufficient experience. Courses that offer such certifications are often just a day or two long.
What Could Go Wrong?
Tattoo removal lasers can be very powerful machines. Proper settings must be input by the technician and adjusted as necessary in order to have the safest, most effective treatment. Use the wrong wavelength or not enough power, and you will not see the most fading as quickly as possible. More sessions mean more money. Use too high of power and you are more susceptible to painful burns, scarring, hypo-pigmentation, and infection. Scarring could also make it impossible to remove the tattoo because it prevents the light from targeting tattoo pigment in subsequent treatments.
Other safety concerns include vision. Improper use of safety glasses could result in damage to vision, including blindness. Does lowest cost still trump tattoo removal experience in your decision?
What Qualifies As Sufficient Tattoo Removal Experience?
Having the title “Certified Laser Technician” and a few years of experience are good. But consider the instance in which a clinic provides a range of services and tattoo removal is just one of those. This is very common. It’s likely the “expert” (e.g. a dermatologist) may only perform 20 treatments a month. Conversely, a clinic that solely does tattoo removal (Bare Tattoo Removal) may perform 20 treatments a day. Where would you rather go?
Sufficient experience is an individual preference but a couple years and 2,000 plus treatments is a good starting point. This is especially true when you factor in variations in skin type and ink colors. Tattoo removal experience on a skin type I (think Irish) with black ink is one thing, but how about skin type VI (think dark african) with purple ink is a different story. The technician may also have more experience with a different type of laser or lasers for different purposes (e.g. laser hair removal). Be sure to ask about the technician’s tattoo removal experience and get the details during a consultation to ensure you’re making the best choice.