Read these frequently asked questions about laser tattoo removal.



How does laser tattoo removal work?

Laser energy is gently delivered to the tattoo, targeting the ink and shattering it into tiny particles. The particles are eliminated by the body's natural processes, resulting in the lightening of tattoo ink.


What is enlighten™?

Introduced by Cutera in 2014, enlighten™ is the most advanced laser technology for the effective and safe removal of tattoos. 


How does enlighten™ differ from other laser tattoo removal options?

enlighten™ has the ability to deliver extremely short and high-powered picosecond laser pulses that quickly and efficiently break down the ink particles in tattoos. Picosecond laser pulses have been shown to remove tattoos more completely and in fewer treatment sessions than the more traditional laser systems of the past.


Which tattoo colors can be removed?

All ink colors, including difficult blues and greens, can be removed. Previously treated tattoos can also effectively be removed.


How many treatments will I need?

The total number of treatments needed depends on the composition, depth, and color of the ink, as well as the size of your tattoo. During the complimentary consultation, your tattoo will be examined and a realistic treatment regimen will be recommended to help you achieve the best results. Multiple treatment sessions are often required.


Why are multiple treatments required?

Tattoo ink is deposited deep in the skin, and in order to reach all of the ink, multiple treatment sessions are needed. Depth, size, and color of the tattoo also impact the number of treatments needed.


How often will I need treatments?

Typically, the body needs 6-8 weeks to fully break down tattoo ink. Prior to the 8-week mark, the treatment area may not be healed, even if it appears to be. Receiving treatments less than 6-8 weeks apart will not quicken the removal process and will also increase your risk of scarring.


Will I see results after the first treatment?

Every patient and tattoo responds differently to laser tattoo removal. Some patients see results after the first treatment, while others may require multiple treatments. Following your recommended post-treatment protocol will increase your chance of optimal results and reduce your chance of adverse side effects.


Will my tattoo completely disappear?

In many cases, yes. However, it is very important to know that some ink colors are more difficult to clear than others.


How much does treatment cost?

Treatment cost depends on several factors, including your tattoo’s size and number of treatments required. During the complimentary consultation, you will be given a price estimate for your specific treatment regimen.


I’ve had 10+ treatments, and my tattoo is still visible. Can enlighten™ remove remaining ink?

Unlike traditional lasers, enlighten™ is great at removing previously treated tattoos and can even remove recalcitrant tattoos (tattoos previously treated more than 10 times).


Can I have only a portion of my tattoo removed?

Yes, energy is delivered so precisely that even the smallest area of a tattoo can be removed without affecting the surrounding tattoo.


Can I lighten my tattoo to have another tattoo drawn on top of it?

Yes, tattoos can be lightened in preparation for a coverup tattoo. We recommend that you wait 6-8 weeks after your last treatment before having another tattoo drawn on the area.


How soon after a tattoo procedure can I have it removed?

Tattoo regret can happen at any time, sometimes as early as the day after the tattoo is completed. Because your skin needs time to heal from the tattoo procedure, we require each patient to wait 6-8 weeks to start the removal process.


What are my post-treatment limitations?

You should limit your physical activity for the first 24-48 hours to avoid irritation and harm to the treatment area. After that time period, you may go about your normal routine. However, sun exposure should be limited until the treatment area is completely healed.


Will I experience any treatment complications?

Most patients experience redness and swelling immediately following the treatment, but these side effects are temporary. It is important to take care of your tattoo and be compliant with aftercare instructions provided by your practitioner to avoid any unexpected issues.


Will I blister or scab after treatment?

While blisters and scabs can be a normal response to laser tattoo removal, most patients do not experience them. In the case that you do, it is important not to pop or pick at them. If the blister pops on its own, keep the skin covered with ointment and gauze to promote healing and prevent scarring.


Does laser tattoo removal hurt?

Depending on areas treated, you will experience slight discomfort during the treatment. Patients often compare the procedure to a rubber band being snapped against their skin. Despite any discomfort, each treatment is extremely quick, so even the most sensitive patients are able to withstand treatment.  


Can enlighten™ remove permanent makeup?

We do not recommend treating permanent makeup, as there are several risks associated with it. Some cosmetic inks have metallic bases and tend to turn black when treated with a laser. Once this darkening occurs, it takes much longer to remove.


Does insurance cover laser tattoo removal?

Most insurance companies do not cover laser tattoo removal since it’s considered an elective cosmetic procedure. However, we offer payment plans and installment options that we are happy to discuss with you during the complimentary consultation.