Frequently Asked Questions

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What is laser tattoo removal?

Laser tattoo removal involves the use of laser energy to break down tattoo ink which the lymphatic system then removes. The laser used during this type of procedure doesn’t damage the skin around the tattoo, but targets the ink. Patients can expect to need multiple sessions for a total removal of their tattoo. The number of sessions required depends on the kind and color of tattoo ink they have, how big their tattoo is,  deep into their skin the ink goes, and the overall health of the patient.


Is laser tattoo removal safe?

Yes, this procedure is considered safe for most individuals. During the procedure, some patients experience slight discomfort depending on where the tattoo is located and how deep it reaches below the skin’s surface. Patients will likely have skin irritation that resembles a sunburn right after their laser tattoo removal session. The main risk from having this procedure done is getting an infection during the healing process. Following instructions for keeping the area clean minimizes the risk of infection. In general, the affected area should be covered while it heals.


How effective is laser tattoo removal?

Laser tattoo removal is effective for all types of tattoos. Patients should keep in mind that certain factors make some tattoos harder to remove than others. Certain colors, such as red, green and yellow tones, don’t break down as easily, while others, including blue and black tones, are easier to remove. Having darker skin can also make it more difficult to completely remove tattoos, since the skin rather than the ink absorbs more laser energy.


What type of laser do you use? I have read about some called ‘Q-switched’ and newer ‘Pico’ models that are supposedly better. Is yours different?

First, we use a ‘Made in the USA’ Cutera Enlighten laser that operates in both Nanosecond (Q-switched) and Picosecond pulse durations, so we really offer the best of both worlds. There are many laser companies out there that say that they have the best product but simply, they don’t.  From independent testing, the Cutera Enlighten laser has been proven to be the most powerful and best laser in its class.  It has both pulse durations in multiple wavelengths.  When using the Q-switched duration, it out-performs all of the other competitor Q-switched lasers.  Combining that with the Pico-second duration, it becomes an incredible device that other Q-switched lasers can’t compete with.

The Cutera Enlighten uses the latest and greatest technology in the field. Tattoo removal companies that just offer Q-switched laser removal are not using the best equipment for your skin. The technology does eventually work (although not always 100% effective), but it takes many more procedures to get the same results. At the Oregon Tattoo Removal Clinic, we use a combination of the best wavelengths and the most-optimal pulse durations tailored to your tattoo and your skin.  We want to remove your tattoo as quickly and as safely as possible, and will not extend the number of treatments and cause you to pay more of your hard-earned $.


What types of payment do you accept?

We accept VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, and of course, cash!


I would rather sign up for your Treat to Complete option so I can feel comfortable knowing my tattoo will be gone, but I don’t have all the funds now.  Do I have any options?

Yes you do – we are happy to offer financing through PayPal Credit.  This makes it easy for you to take care of all your financing ahead of time.  During your consultation, we’ll be happy to discuss how this works.


How does the Enlighten laser differ from other laser tattoo removal options?

The enlighten features extremely short and high-power picosecond laser pulses which efficiently and quickly break down the ink particles in tattoos. A ‘picosecond’ is one-trillionth of a second, and is 1,000 times shorter than the ‘nanosecond’ pulses used in existing lasers for tattoo removal. Picosecond laser pulses have been shown to remove tattoos more completely and in fewer treatment sessions than traditional laser used historically in the past. Q. How does Enlighten tattoo removal compare to Picosure and other laser tattoo removal?


How many treatments or sessions are required?

The total number of treatments vary depending on the composition, depth and the color of the ink, as well as the size of the tattoo. You should be prepared for multiple treatment sessions, and your provider can give you a better idea of the total number of treatments needed during your consultation and once your treatments begin.


Why are multiple sessions required?

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


Will my tattoo completely disappear?

In most cases, yes. However, it is very important to know that some ink colors are more difficult to clear than others. We will let you know if we see any potential issues during your consultation.


Is the procedure painful?

Patients compare the procedure to a rubber band being snapped or hot grease against their skin. Topical anesthetics and ice are available to minimize discomfort.


Are there any side effects following treatment?

Most patients experience redness and swelling immediately following the treatment. These side effects are temporary.


Is there any downtime associated with the treatment?

Patients can return to regular activities immediately following the treatment.


Is your laser really different or all they essentially the same?

Most laser tattoo removal devices have multiple limitations:

  • They aren’t safe for ALL skin types (Picosure)
  • They don’t get ALL colors (most all other devices)
  • They don’t have pico technology (most devices) which cause a plateau in removal
  • They don’t have Q-switched technology (Picosure) which don’t remove black well
  • They don’t have a device that has both pico AND Q-switched (Enlighten has both)
  • They go too superficial and can cause serious side effects (Picosure)
  • They take on average 10-15, even 20 sessions (Enlighten is 4-7 sessions on average)

What happens during an office visit?

Visiting us is essentially the same as seeing your eye doctor or even going to a spa for a massage.  Here are the steps:

  1. Booking
    1. You will book online using our website booking platform.  This will be either for a consultation or a removal treatment.
  2. Arrival
    1. You will come into the office location at the appropriate time (at least 10 minutes early for your first visit!)
  3. Check in
    1. You will check in at the front desk for your appointment
    2. If this is your first visit, a number of forms will have to be completed (client registration, questionnaire, etc.).  These will be done via your input into an office iPad.
    3. If this is for a treatment, you will pay for your treatment.
    4. If this is a consultation, no fee will be charged.
  4. Waiting room
    1. You will wait in the reception/waiting area until your appointment time or the treatment room is available.
    2. If requested for your treatment, numbing cream will be administered to the treatment area.  Note that this will require you to come in at least 30 minutes prior for it to take effect.
  5. Treatment/Consultation
    1. You will proceed to the treatment room for removal or consultation.
    2. At the end of the treatment, we will discuss a post-treatment protocol/after-care procedure.  We will schedule your follow-up appointment if you require one.
  6. Exit
    1. You are free to leave the office!
  7. Follow-up
    1. The day after treatment, our laser technician will contact you as a checkup. They will provide more after-care information as necessary.


How long does each treatment take?

The procedure itself is relatively quick on most tattoos, taking a few minutes to complete, depending on the size and complexity of the tattoo. A typical office visit, including preparation and treatment, will take between 15 and 30 minutes.

How soon can I come in for a follow-up treatment?

Each person is different, but typically, treatments are spaced every 6 weeks. You body needs time to flush out the ink particles and repair itself from the laser energy absorbed during the treatment.


I have an important event coming up and I really want my tattoo removed quickly.  Can I come in more often so I can get it done sooner?

The short answer is probably not!  We will not take shortcuts in your care that can possibly cause you side effects such as scarring or hypo-pigmentation.  The laser itself doesn’t remove the ink, rather it breaks up the particles so that the body’s lymphatic system can flush these particles out.  This process takes time.

During the treatment, the laser directs high energy into the dermis of the skin.  The skin also needs to be completely healed before we will perform another removal treatment procedure.  Otherwise it’s like taking already sunburnt skin and going out again in the sun – it’s damaging!

Each person’s body and recovery time is different, and depends on factors such as age, health, or the location the tattoo is in.  We will book your follow-up treatment at approximately 8 weeks and then determine the best-possible waiting/recovery period going forward.


I can get my tattoo removal at another company for a lower cost. Will you match the price?

At the Oregon Tattoo Removal Clinic, we pride ourselves in not being a low-cost provider, but provide the best possible tattoo removal treatment in terms of the technology of the laser and the thoroughness/professionalism of our staff. That being said, we are considerably less expensive then dermatology offices and again, offer better results due to our laser technology.

Other tattoo locations use very different lasers and technologies.  Do you really want an older/cheaper laser pointed at your skin, when cost is the driving factor?

Do removal treatments hurt?

Overall, it will hurt much less that getting your tattoo in the first place as removal treatments are in seconds compared to minutes or hours of when you got your tattoo.  Many people say it feels like a rubber band snapping on your skin.  At the Oregon Tattoo Removal Clinic, we can provide you a number of options to reduce the pain involved in removal treatments.  Just ask us for more information!


Where is your office located?

It is in Tigard on Hwy 99, one mile south of 217.  We are three blocks South of Main Street.  See our Contact Us page for more information.


Q. Can Enlighten be used on all skin types?
A. Yes, Enlighten is safe for all skin types. Individuals who are pregnant, on blood thinners or undergoing skin cancer treatment do not qualify to have laser tattoo removal.

Q. If my tattoo has plateaued with other laser tattoo removal, can Enlighten lift it?
A. Yes. Enlighten is the one laser to lift to the plateau where you no longer see results from other devices including Picosure.

Q. How many Enlighten laser treatments will it take to remove my tattoo?
A. Generally, a person will receive 4-7 treatments, however, the number of treatments depends on the amount, type of ink used, and the depth of the ink in the skin, as well as the location of the tattoo, and individual health considerations. Black ink usually fades the quickest out of multi-colored designs. There are no guarantees as to how many treatments you will need or how much lightening you will see with each treatment, but you can expect to see lightening with each treatment.

Q. How often should my tattoo be treated?
A. Treatments are spaced 6-8 weeks apart, depending on your skin type and where you are in your treatment cycle.

Q. Does the Enlighten tattoo removal laser hurt?
A. Most people describe the treatment as hot fast drops splattering with the pulse of the laser. Unlike the hours it takes to receive a tattoo, a 3-inch tattoo laser removal treatment time is less than 5 minutes. A topical anesthetic is applied prior to treatment for added comfort, and there is no pain after.

Q. Is Enlighten laser safe? Are there side effects?
A. Enlighten is an FDA-approved laser designed to provide a safe and comfortable procedure. Side effects can include blisters, pinpoint bleeding, hyper or hypopigmentation, texture changes, and possible infection or scarring.

Q. Can Enlighten laser remove cosmetic tattoos as well?
A. The enlighten is safe to treat the eyebrows and lip liner. It cannot be used to remove eyeliner tattoos.

. How much does Enlighten tattoo removal cost?
A. The cost varies based on the size of the tattoo, and the number of treatments needed. Other factors determining numbers of treatments needed include the color of the ink, type of ink, and the depth of a tattoo. High quality, professional tattoos may require more treatments since there is more ink and it reaches deeper in the skin.

Q. What Should I do to care for my tattoo after an Enlighten treatment?
A. In the first 24 hours, you will want to apply ice periodically. You need to ensure the area is not rubbed or scratched. You will also need to rest and elevate the treated area, as well as limit activities. Avoid any soaking of the area including steam rooms, saunas, swimming pools and pedicure bowls until fully healed. Keep the tattoo moist with balm, and avoid scratching or rubbing the tattoo. After 24 hours, and until the tattoo area is healed, you can resume all activities except swimming. Avoid sun exposure and tanning beds at all times during your treatment course, and in general in the area 4 weeks pre/post treatment. Additional instructions will be given at your session.


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