How Soon After a New Tattoo Can You Start Laser Tattoo Removal?

With so many people reaping the rewards of laser tattoo removal in Toronto, the industry has taken off in recent years. While many are successful candidates for tattoo removal, not everyone is set to reap the rewards so quickly. In the event of instant tattoo regret, any good tattoo removal specialist will advise you to wait for a while before opting for laser tattoo removal.

Why it’s important to wait after getting a new tattoo to get laser tattoo removal

“The adult human skin cycle dictates when a laser procedure can start. If you start too soon after tattoo placement you run the risk of increased adverse events including prolonged ink retention and scarring. A minimum of six weeks is necessary but we usually err on the side of caution and have patients wait seven , eight or more…”  –William Kirby, DO, FAOCD

laser-tattoo-removal-tattoo-placement-in-the-skinTo have a better understanding as to why it is necessary to wait this long for laser tattoo removal after getting a new tattoo, you must first understand what happens to a tattoo after it is placed in the skin.

The process of tattooing starts with damaging the epidermis (the top layer of skin) to allow for the ink to be injected into the dermis (the second layer of skin) with an electrically powered tattoo machine that punctures the skin between 50-3000 times per minute.The ink particles are embedded in a protein envelope which surrounds each of the cells that contain tattoo ink, entrapping and immobilizing them.  

Once the tattoo pigment is placed, the body will start to do its thing. The first reaction will be for the body to stop the bleeding, which is what causes swelling after getting tattooed. Then your “big eater” cells start to remove any remaining ink flushing it through your lymphatic system. Tissue reforms around the tattoo pigment as revitalized skin and traps the ink in the dermis once and for all.  Any remaining ink that was in the epidermis is removed as your skin goes through its natural cycle. This is evident when there is any visible scabbing after getting tattooed.

This cycle of healing and ink entrapment is a process that takes 2-3 months.  After this time, the tattoo will have settled into the dermis and can remain there for over a lifetime.The process of laser tattoo removal is to emit light energy that is absorbed by the tattoo pigment, heating it up and eventually destroying it.  The same “big eater” cells are responsible for the removal of these now destroyed ink particles.

Likely effects of removing a tattoo too early

If the tattoo is still going through the process of settling into the dermis and laser light hits it, it is most likely to start:

  1. Blistering

Although blistering can sometimes occur after laser tattoo removal treatments, new tattoos are prone to blistering as tattoo ink particles can still be lingering in the epidermal layer.  The energy from the laser cannot be properly dispersed because the ink has not yet settled, causing the top layer of skin to react.

  1. Scarring

Your skin goes through a lot when getting  tattooed and is noticeably going through a healing process during the weeks after. Like a cut that never gets to heal properly because it is constantly getting picked at most likely will develop a scar.  Tattoos should always be allowed to heal properly before anything else is done to it whether it be a newer tattoo or laser treatments to prevent scarring.  Scarring can also be caused by potential damage to the cells that are trying to eat up your ink particles.  Theoretically, the big eater cells can be destroyed by the powerful laser energy, causing tattoo particles to be released, having to be engulfed yet again.

  1. It can take longer to remove

Sometimes, especially with professional tattoos, putting a laser to a new tattoo before it has fully healing will not fade as fast as older ones that have settled.  It could take a few more treatments to see any results.

In retrospect, laser tattoo removals of new tattoos have had successful clearance, but we now know that there are unnecessary risks  involved that could create bigger problems in the future.  It is highly recommended that treatments start at a minimum of six weeks before starting laser tattoo removal for new tattoos.

After 3 Sessions
Laser tattoo removal is safe when done right, so make sure you attend a clinic that has a doctor on board. There are plenty of people who regret getting a tattoo in Toronto, however, laser tattoo removal clinics ready to help educate you on the process and the costs of laser tattoo removal in Toronto.