Real Doctor, Beautiful Results
Laser therapy is the gold standard for removing unwanted tattoos. Lasers work by emitting a specialized light that is passed through the skin and preferentially absorbed by its target, be it an unwanted hair, vein, or in this case, the unwanted pigment from tattoo ink in the skin.
The laser causes the pigments to break up and disappear, leaving you with smooth, clear skin. We were the FIRST to use the PicoWay laser system in Israel! In our Jerusalem office, we use the Q-switched laser.
Trust your tattoo removal to THE expert! Dr. Friedman has been removing tattoos for over 25 years, having performed over 15,000 treatments.
Frequently Asked Questions – Laser Tattoo Removal
WHAT IS PICOWAY AND WHY IS IT BETTER THAN Q-SWITCHED LASERS?
PicoWay is the first safe and effective aesthetic laser that uses picosecond technology with two wavelengths. Ultra-short pulse bursts of energy are delivered to the skin in just trillionths of a second. The picosecond pulse width is 100 times shorter than the nanosecond technology used with traditional tattoo removal systems.
Clinical studies show that PicoWay is able to treat darker, multi-colored and complex tattoos more efficiently, with more significant removal in much less time. Even dark, stubborn blue, red and yellow inks, as well as previously-treated recalcitrant (difficult to remove) tattoos can be removed.
The Pico laser has many unique advantages over the older technology Q-Switch laser systems.
PicoWay vs Old Q-Switched Lasers
Much faster removal of black, blue and dark blue inks.
Fewer treatments required vs traditional (Q-switched) lasers.
Much more effective for red and yellow ink than Q-switched lasers.
Much more thorough ink particle destruction, yielding better results.
Will usually clear even resistant tattoos that have stopped fading in response to other lasers.
Reduced side effects.
Likely to cost less than traditional methods – as you will require less than ½ the number of treatments
DOES THE PICOWAY TATTOO REMOVAL LEAVE A SCAR?
Dr. Friedman has developed a very safe treatment protocol that almost never results in a scar.
DOES THE LASER TREATMENT HURT?
Patient comfort is our highest priority. The PicoWay uses lower energies, resulting in a less painful treatment. In addition, patients love our cold air machine which when directed onto the skin dramatically lowers the incidence of discomfort. For those who so desire, EMLA (anesthetic cream) can also be used.
Laser tattoo removal is easily tolerated. Patients will feel the pulses as quick tingling sensations, like very tiny rubber bands snapped against the skin. The tattoo ink absorbs a great deal of the laser energy and some patients may feel mild discomfort as we trace the design.
HOW DOES PICOWAY LASER TATTOO REMOVAL WORK?
In laser tattoo removal, laser light is used to break down the ink particles into small enough fragments that can be flushed out naturally by your body.
Laser tattoo removal has long been considered the most effective method, compared to chemical and abrasion based treatments.
Traditional (Q-switched) lasers used for tattoo removal rely predominately on photo thermal (heat) action delivered to the pigment of the tattoo and the surrounding tissue. The ultra-short pulse of energy of PicoWay goes beyond the photo thermal action of a traditional laser by creating an intense photomechanical effect that shatters the target ink into tiny particles which are easily eliminated by the body, while leaving the surrounding tissue unheated.
HOW MANY TREATMENTS DOES IT TAKE FOR TATTOO REMOVAL?
Every tattoo responds differently due to a number of variables. There are variations in ink colors and their chemical compositions, depth and density of ink placement, skin type and individual immune system factors.
During your consultation, Dr. Friedman will give you an estimate of the number of tattoo removal sessions needed to remove your tattoo. Based on the results of hundreds of treatments performed, PicoWay will usually remove a tattoo in less than half the number of treatments in less than a quarter of the amount of time, as compared to the Q-Switch lasers. In some cases, a black ink tattoo can be removed in as few as 2-3 sessions (and some amateur ones even in a single session). Recalcitrant tattoos can take up to 6-8x sessions – but in our experience those tattoos would take up to 20x sessions (or could not be removed at all) with older Q-switched lasers.
We believe that in any like-for-like comparison of black, blue and dark blue tattoos, the PicoWay laser is the best tattoo removal option.
PicoWay is the world’s first and only dual wavelength picosecond aesthetic laser cleared by the FDA. PicoWay achieves visibly clearer, ink-free skin faster. Even difficult ink colors such as blues and yellows, as well as previously treated tattoos, can be removed in fewer treatments with better clearance and improved recovery time.
The more effectively the ink molecules are reduced, the faster the tattoo can be removed. While our laser provides faster and more consistent results which can potentially require fewer treatments than with other lasers, which saves patients time and money – it is important to note that patients can still expect to receive multiple treatments based on various aspects of their individual tattoos.
During the consultation, Dr. Friedman, a laser tattoo removal expert, will examine your tattoo and give you an estimate on the number of treatments which will be necessary to fade or remove the tattoo. There is a great deal of variability in the kinds, mixtures and quantities of ink used in tattoos, and there is some variability in people’s natural ability to clear away tattoo pigment after laser treatment. Therefore, it is not possible to guarantee that a certain result will be achieved after a fixed number of treatments. Dr. Friedman will be able to show you photos illustrating the range of results, from fading through to complete disappearance of the tattoo.
Some lightly pigmented, black or dark blue, homemade tattoos can be removed in one treatment. Amateur tattoos (which usually have a small amount of superficial ink) often clear after two to six treatments. Some amateur tattoos have very deeply placed ink, which can require additional treatments. New tattoos usually need extra treatments because they have a higher concentration of ink than old tattoos, whereas older tattoos have less ink because as a tattoo ages, the body absorbs some of the ink. Tattoos on the face and trunk often respond faster to laser treatment than tattoos on the ankles. Multicolored professional tattoos, especially on the lower legs, tend to respond slowly to laser treatments, and quite a few multicolored tattoos will need 10 or more treatment sessions for satisfactory fading or complete removal.
DO ALL COLORS OF TATTOO INK DISAPPEAR EQUALLY AS WELL?
Black, red, dark orange and dark blue tattoos will usually respond relatively quickly to laser treatments. Green, purple, brown, light orange and light blue may require more visits. The new PicoWay laser is much more effective than older lasers at removing multicolored tattoos. Dark (blue/black) inks and red inks usually fade the best, while oranges and purples often respond well. Dark inks usually respond faster than bright colored inks because dark colors absorb laser energy better. However, light colors such as light green, yellow and turquoise can be difficult to remove. Sometimes chemicals like iron oxide or titanium dioxide are added to tattoo ink to brighten the tattoo – but these chemicals make it much more difficult to remove the tattoo. Fluorescent “Day Glow” pigments are almost impossible to remove. Some tattoos are now made with dark tar-based ink or “laser resistant ink” and these tattoos (which fortunately are quite rare) can only be removed by cutting them out.
WILL THE TATTOO COMPLETELY DISAPPEAR?
Lasers are the safest way to remove tattoos. But, not all lasers can erase all tattoos. The new PicoWay laser is 100X faster than nanosecond lasers, and can effectively and efficiently removes difficult red and sky blue colors in tattoos, as well as most other colors.
In most cases the tattoo can be made to disappear or fade to the point where you are the only person who can find a trace of it, because you know where to look!
Some people choose to over-tattoo (use “cover-art”) to hide an undesirable tattoo. If you have one tattoo on top of an older tattoo, extra laser treatments will probably be needed because there is likely to be a large amount of ink (ink from the new cover-up tattoo plus ink from the old tattoo).
Many tattoo artists encourage customers to have several laser treatments to lighten an existing tattoo before covering it with a new one. This will greatly reduce any chance that the old tattoo will be visible through the new tattoo. We welcome advice from your tattoo artist about the desired degree of lightening, and about the exact elements in the old tattoo which should be lightened or eliminated. You should wait a month or two after your final laser treatment before having a new tattoo placed in the treated area.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN AFTER LASER TATTOO REMOVAL TREATMENT?
For the first half-hour after laser tattoo removal treatment, the tattoo looks white, and may swell slightly. The tattoo may feel hot (like a sunburn) for a while and it will probably be red and swollen for the rest of the day.
Very dark or large, professional tattoos, will remain tender and swollen for a few days. There may be some lightening or darkening of the skin for several months after laser treatment. Protect the treated area from sun exposure until the skin is completely healed and the skin color has returned to normal.
The tattoo usually fades over 4-6 weeks. The degree of fading will be easier to see when you compare your tattoo with pre-treatment photographs.
HOW FREQUENTLY CAN I RETURN FOR MORE TREATMENTS?
Tattoo fading is a slow process and depends on participation by your body’s immune system to work. We recommend that you wait at least 6-8 weeks to get the greatest value from each laser treatment.
Quick fading or removal can sometimes be accomplished on black tattoos by using low powered treatments every week or two. In general, however, it is best to wait at least 6 weeks between laser tattoo removal treatments. Sometimes it is possible to fade or remove the tattoo with a smaller number of treatments if you are willing to wait 8-12 weeks between treatments, so that your body has a longer opportunity to clear away the tattoo pigment.
WILL I SEE RESULTS AFTER THE FIRST TREATMENT?
Every patient and tattoo responds differently. Some patients see improved clearance after the first treatment, while others may require a few treatments to see results. Following the recommended post treatment protocol will likely improve the results and reduce the chance of adverse events.
CAN I HAVE ONLY A PORTION OF MY TATTOO REMOVED?
Yes, PicoWay delivers energy so precisely that even the smallest areas of a tattoo can be removed without affecting the surrounding tattoo.
HOW LONG ARE LASER TATTOO REMOVAL TREATMENTS?
Depending on the size of the tattoo, laser tattoo removal treatments usually range from 5-20 minutes.
I HAVE HAD 15-20 TREATMENTS ON MY TATTOO AND IT IS STILL THERE. CAN THE PICOWAY REMOVE THE REMAINING INK?
Unlike traditional lasers, PicoWay is great at removing previously treated tattoos. PicoWay can even remove recalcitrant tattoos (tattoos previously treated more than 10 times).
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO HAVE PICOWAY TATTOO REMOVAL?
The cost of laser tattoo removal depends on several factors, including the size of tattoo and the number of treatments it will require. Cost will be determined by Dr. Friedman at the time of your initial consult. Treatment costs vary depending on type (amateur versus professional), number and type of colors, and the location of your tattoo.
I GOT MY TATTOO ONE WEEK AGO. CAN I HAVE IT REMOVED RIGHT NOW?
Tattoo regret can happen at any time, sometimes as early as the day after a tattoo is completed. Because your skin needs time to heal from the tattoo procedure, we require each patient to wait at least six weeks to start the removal process.
CAN I LIGHTEN THE TATTOO TO HAVE ANOTHER ONE PUT ON TOP?
Tattoos can be lightened in preparation for a cover-up tattoo. We recommend that you wait six weeks between your last treatment and placement of your new tattoo.
The most common problem with laser tattoo removal treatment is incomplete fading or removal of the tattoo. This is mainly an issue with complicated multicolored tattoos. Not all tattoo inks respond and rarely certain colors can get worse. Heavy professional tattoos in particular may not completely fade. Significant and sometimes irreversible darkening of tattoo ink may occur, where the pigment is impossible to remove. This is mostly a problem with flesh-colored, red, tan, and white inks, and a small test area can be done to detect this problem.
Although true scarring is very unlikely, there can be some mild change in the texture of the skin (perhaps 1-2% of cases). Sometimes there is pre-existing texture change in the skin caused by the tattooing process itself. Please tell us if you have a tendency toward forming unusual scars. Please note, however, that PicoWay laser tattoo removal has provided vast improvement in this area.
There can also be some loss of natural tanning ability in the treated area, which usually improves with time. You can reduce the chance of irregular tanning by protecting the tattooed area from sun exposure. Hypopigmentation (lightening of the skin) or hyperpigmentation (darkening of the skin) are quite infrequent, and are almost always temporary. African, Asian and Mediterranean people can have their tattoos safely treated without changing the surrounding skin color.
Allergic reactions can occur after treatment, especially if you are already having an allergic reaction (redness and itching) in your tattoo. Allergic reactions are rare, and can usually be treated with antihistamines. Allergic reactions are usually caused by metallic dyes, which contain mercury, manganese, chromium, cobalt, or cadmium. In contrast to drugs and cosmetics, tattoo pigments have never been controlled or regulated in any way, and the exact composition of a given tattoo pigment is often kept a “trade secret” by the manufacturer. In most cases, neither the tattoo artist nor the tattooed patient has adequate information about the composition of the tattoo pigment.
It is important to be patient and remain positive while undergoing treatment, as this promotes better healing and relaxation. It is best not to pass judgment on your progress until the healing process has completed.
CONTRAINDICATIONS FOR PICOWAY
PicoWay can be used on all Skin Types.
Most common contraindications that prevent PicoWay treatment from taking place include:
Active sun tan or sunbed exposure (active tanning to be avoided for a minimum of 4-6 weeks prior to treatment, depending on depth of tan)
Artificial tan/use of tanning products (at least 3 weeks discontinuation)
WHAT IS AFTERCARE LIKE?
During the laser tattoo removal treatment, your tattoo may turn white briefly. It then swells slightly and may turn red, but this usually lasts only a few hours. It is important to keep the tattoo covered with ointment and a bandage for the first day. Usually, it feels like a mild sunburn and does not hurt unless rubbed against.
Between your treatments, it is important to keep the tattoo covered from the sun to prevent hyperpigmentation (darkening). You will receive detailed instructions during your appointment.
Typical aftercare instructions include:
Do not lather the treatment area with soap – use water only. The area must be kept covered 5-7 days post treatment.
Do not shave the treated area if crusting is evident.
Sun and sunbed exposure should be avoided for at least 6 weeks post treatment, as this increases the risk of burning and possibly pigmentary changes. A sun block (SPF 30 or greater) is advised during treatment intervals.
Patients are instructed to avoid putting perfumed or alcohol based products on the treated area until the area is fully healed.
Patients are also instructed to avoid injury to the treated area, particularly through sporting activity, swimming or hot baths / showers, for a minimum of 48 hours after the treatment session.
Patients are instructed to contact the clinic immediately should any adverse skin reactions occur, or if they have any concerns relating to treatment.
Avoid heat treatments such as saunas/steam rooms etc. for 7 days post treatment.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF LASER TATTOO REMOVAL TREATMENT?
In most cases, the laser tattoo removal treatment leads to satisfactory fading or complete removal of the tattoo without significant side effects. Serious side effects are very unusual.
WHAT QUESTIONS SHOULD I ASK BEFORE CHOOSING A LASER TATTOO REMOVAL PROVIDER IN ISRAEL?
Is the laser FDA approved laser tattoo removal?
Is the laser a Pico technology laser?
Does a board certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon perform the laser treatment?
Is the doctor available 24/6 in case of question or concerns?
Does the same medical doctor who performs the consultation also perform the laser treatment?
Read more about Tattoo Removal
How Do I Get Started?
Dr. Friedman and his staff will be happy to discuss our treatments for all concerns regarding your skin. Please feel free to call for a private consultation at one of our offices in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv. Dr. Friedman and his staff provide personalized care to residents of the Jerusalem and Tel Aviv areas with state-of-the-art technology for optimal health, aesthetics and patient satisfaction. To receive more information or schedule a consultation, please feel free to call 02 563 5673 or 03 612 2322 to speak with our friendly staff.