How long after the final treatment can I have a new tattoo placed in the same area?
We typically advise artists to wait 4-6 months after your final Tatt2Away session, depending on your skin and your body’s wound healing response. Wounds heal from the bottom up and the outside in. The new tissue gradually covers the area, causing the scab to drop off. There are several stages every wound must go through in the proper sequence and time frame to heal optimally: hemostasis, inflammation, proliferation, maturation, and remodeling. One of the most important stages in the Tatt2Away process is epidermal maturation; epidermis is considered mature when it resumes its normal barrier functionality and signs of inflammation (redness) vanish.
Aside from aftercare compliance, factors that affect these stages, and thus individual healing and the time frame prior to getting a new tattoo, include: age; overall health; drug, alcohol, and tobacco use; nutrition; and stress. Your Tatt2Away technician knows skin and healing, as well as how to assess when you’ve healed sufficiently for the artist to begin your DEScoverup. At each stage of the treatment process, the technician will be assessing the healing progress.
How many treatments will it take?
The number of treatments depends on the size of the tattoo you want removed as well as the health of your skin. Tatt2Away uses a 4” x 3” hexagonal pattern template with strategically spaced “circular treatment tiles,” also called tegulae, for maximal healing and minimal scarring. A minimum of three treatments using the hexagonal pattern is necessary for full coverage, regardless of size of the tattoo. It’s possible that one or two additional sessions will be needed to remove any missed fragments of ink.
If your tattoo is larger, two template treatments can be done at one time, but more than that puts too much stress on the body and interferes with optimal healing. If you’re looking to fully remove a large back piece, you might be looking at 12-15 treatments. If you’re looking to simply modify it for a DEScoverup, you can expect fewer treatments.
The most accurate way to determine the number of removal sessions and healing time is to schedule a consultation with a Tatt2Away technician at your nearest Tatt2Away center, who has a practiced eye and can give you an answer based on your individual factors.
How long does it take between each treatment?
The minimum time between each treatment is 8 weeks and increases 2 weeks with every treatment, assuming your healing is progressing optimally. Compliance with Tatt2Away’s aftercare program, and your overall health and habits, will affect both your healing and the actual time between treatments.
Tatt2Away technicians are experts both in the Tatt2Away process and in working with skin, and will advise you specifically based on your tattoo, its size, and the treatment plan. Additionally, they’ll monitor the healing process as treatments progress. Any sign of inflammation extends the time frame between treatments to ensure proper healing.
How does this process affect different skin colors?
Tatt2Away is effective on all skin colors. While very dark or very light skin tends to be more sensitive regardless of procedure or reason for the wound, Tatt2Away does not adversely affect your skin based on color like laser treatments can. More important is your overall health and skin condition, as well as your ability and willingness to comply with the aftercare procedures. Lack of compliance may compromise the results regardless of skin color or skin sensitivity.
You can request a limited test treatment of one or more tegulae (dots) during the initial consultation. The cost of a test treatment is determined by the individual studios and is generally not included in a free consult, as a sterile treatment kit will need to be used even for a small test. Some studios may deduct part of the cost of the test from your first session. In addition, all Tatt2Away technicians are experienced in assessing people’s skin types, health, and healing ability, all of which affect a person’s outcome. Individual policies may vary from location to location.
Will it cause hypo-pigmentation, scarring, or keloids?
Just like with tattooing, the best way to ensure optimal healing is to impress upon the client the importance of following the specific aftercare procedure. Due to its similarity to tattooing, Tatt2Away shares some of the same risks to the skin. This includes the extreme importance of avoiding contaminants and infection risks as well as direct sunlight exposure during healing. Just like with tattooing, if a patient’s skin is prone to keloiding, it is possible for a keloid scar to develop. Failure to adhere strictly to all aftercare procedures can increase these risks. Tatt2Away technicians are trained to look for possible complications, including failure to comply with aftercare, and refuse treatment or refer a patient to a dermatologist.
Tatt2Away is effective on all skin colors. Skin that is very light or very dark tends to be more sensitive to treatments and may take longer for pigment to return to normal after treatment. Tatt2Away does not adversely affect darker skin colors like laser removal can. More important is the client’s overall health and skin condition, as well as their ability to follow directions. Lack of compliance with aftercare may compromise the results regardless of skin color or skin sensitivity.
You can suggest a limited test treatment of one or more tegulae (dots) during the initial consultation. The cost of a test treatment is determined by the individual studios and is generally not included in a free consult, as a sterile treatment kit will need to be used even for a small test.
How much does it hurt?
Because Tatt2Away is similar to getting tattooed, you can expect about the same level of pain. Some Tatt2Away clients have found the process to hurt less than when they were tattooed. From those who have a low pain tolerance, some shops may provide a numbing solution such as topical lidocaine.