Before You Go
Questions to ask your doctor
Pre-procedure prep for alexandrite laser tattoo removal: Stay out of the sun for at least a month prior to treatment with an alexandrite laser. Failing to do so could result in skin discoloration and an uneven complexion.
On the day of treatment: If you're removing a tattoo from a hairy body part (like your forearm), you'll need to shave before being zapped with an alexandrite laser. Hair could interfere with the treatment.
What To Expect
During treatment, you'll be instructed to wear protective goggles, which help to shield your eyes from the laser. The alexandrite hand piece is guided over your unwanted tattoo, allowing enough time for the laser energy to penetrate your skin.
Who should do it: In some states, lasers can be used by nurse practitioners. For tattoo removal, it is a better idea to receive treatment by a board certified dermatologist or other licensed skin-savvy physician.
Duration: The duration of your treatment will, of course, depend on how large your tattoo is. A benefit of using an alexandrite laser for tattoo removal is that most devices feature an adjustable spot size.
How Painful Is It?
Tattoo removal with an alexandrite laser can be painful. That's because the laser penetrates deeply into the skin.
Options for anesthesia: Anesthesia is not required when treated with an alexandrite laser, but because tattoo removal can be notoriously time consuming (especially for grandiose graphic images), you might consider numbing your skin first.