While tattoo removal used to mean cutting away the pigmented skin or "sanding" it off with dermabrasion, today laser tattoo removal is considered the preferred approach for most people. At the Dermatology & Laser Center of San Diego, we use the most advanced methods for tattoo removal so patients get the best results.
Lasers use highly-focused energy to break up the pigments used in tattoos, enabling it to be removed by the body's natural waste system. Since different colors respond to different types of light energy, a laser with variable wavelength capability is typically used to achieve the best effects. Dark colors are the easiest to remove since they absorb the most energy, but other colors can also be removed using lasers.
During your initial consultation, your tattoo will be evaluated as far as its size, the colors it uses, its “age” and other factors to determine the best approach for removal. During the procedure, the tattooed area will be gently cleansed and a topical numbing agent will applied to decrease discomfort. The laser energy is emitted from a special handheld device that's passed over the surface of the skin. The energy level may need to be adjusted throughout treatment for different types of pigments. The length of each treatment and the number of treatments you'll need depend on the size of the tattoo.
After your procedure, a special ointment will be applied to the area to protect it and prevent infection during healing. You'll also be given detailed instructions on how to care for your skin, including when and how to wash the area and how to protect it from infection. Your skin will be slightly sore and red, similar to the way your skin feels and looks after a sunburn. The area may also form a scab, which should be left in place to aid in healing.
Laser tattoo removal procedures are extremely safe, but as with any medical procedure, there can be side effects, including:
We accept all PPO insurance plans. Our primary PPOs are Tricare, Healthnet, Cigna, Aetna, Anthem Bluevross, Blueshield of California, United Healthcare, First Health, Pacificare, and Beech Street. If your insurance plan is not listed, please contact our office.
We accept Visa, Master Card, Discover, and CareCredit.
"The entire experience with Dr. Willoughby and his office/medical staff was excellent. I feel well taken care of in their care."
"I would highly recommend Dr. Mafong and his staff. They are very friendly and have your best interest at heart. It's a very easy going, comfortable environment."
"The whole patient/doctor appointment went very smoothly for my FIRST VISIT! Actually looking forward to my next annual visit! Would not hesitate to recommend!"