Serious About Removing Your Tattoo?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 15,107
    Dr. Alex Kaplan knows about tattoo removal. He started Celebrity Laser Spa with wife Amy after working as a volunteer physician for the Homeboy Industries tattoo removal program, removing hundreds of tattoos from former gang members at no charge. Dr. Kaplan had a tattoo of his own removed, and he knows how important it can be to a person once they make the decision to fully remove it. Interviewing Dr. Kaplan, I wanted to know all about the removal process. I don’t have a tattoo, but plenty of my friends who are enthusiastic about removing theirs sent me in armed and ready: How long does it take? How many treatments do you need? Can anyone get it, or are some skin tones prone to discoloration and scarring? One of Dr. Kaplan’s patients let us in on her treatment – she is removing hers for work – so we were able to get a firsthand look at the entire process: from the numbing cream to the laser treatment. Dr. Kaplan and Celebrity Laser Spa utilize the Picosure laser, which has been proven to remove tattoos in half the treatments as other tattoo removal lasers. (Typically three to six sessions are needed, depending on the size of the tattoo, the ink used, etc.) See for yourself what the process entails, learn the costs associated with removal, then decide if laser tattoo removal is right for you.

    Becca Frucht: Celebrities like Angelina Jolie, Heidi Klum, and Melanie Griffith have gotten their tattoos removed, so I am here at Celebrity Laser Spa to learn what it really takes to get rid of that tattoo.

    All right, Doctor, so what's the number one reason your patients get their tattoos removed?

    Dr. Alex Kaplan: It could be the number one reason is still ex's names.

    Becca Frucht: Of course!

    Dr. Alex Kaplan: But people are still also getting them removed for work, they have a new job or job restrictions.

    Becca Frucht: And I don't think your patient Lexi is actually getting hers removed for her job.

    Dr. Alex Kaplan: That's right.

    Becca Frucht: Can anybody with a tattoo get tattoo removable?

    Dr. Alex Kaplan: Just about anyone who is a candidate for tattoo removable there are some people that may have an usual skin disorder and we would deal with that in consultation.

    Becca Frucht: What is the process you used to get rid of your tattoo?

    Dr. Alex Kaplan: We start out with patient coming in for a consultation, they go over expectations and different options available, then for the tattoo we put on a numbing cream for at least half an hour. The process itself is very quick, most tattoos come off in about 30 seconds for one treatment.

    Becca Frucht: What? That's awesome.

    Dr. Alex Kaplan: And then we put on an after-care lotion and a bandage and they are able to go on their way.

    Becca Frucht: So what does it feel like? Does it hurt at all?

    Lexi Fitzsimmons: It hurts a little bit but with the numbing cream it's not nearly as that, but it feels like snapping like a rubber-band probably, but it's really fast and then afterwards they just put the ointment on and that's all.

    Becca Frucht: So in between your treatments how do you cover up your tattoo?

    Lexi Fitzsimmons: I either wear long-sleeves or I have Cover Fx and then there is a setting powder for that, so I can just make sure it stays put and doesn't smudge, which will be easy.

    Becca Frucht: Does this tattoo removal process because it uses laser cause discoloration or scarring of any kind?

    Dr. Alex Kaplan: With a PicoSure laser the risk of scarring and permanent discoloration are very low.

    Becca Frucht: So typically how many sessions does one need to get rid of their tattoo, it probably varies, right?

    Dr. Alex Kaplan: Now we average about three to seven treatments to get rid of most tattoos, in the past it was roughly double that.

    Becca Frucht: How much does it cost to get your tattoo removed, per session?

    Dr. Alex Kaplan: Well it depends on the size and a few other factors, but it averages about $250.

    Becca Frucht: All right, Doc, thanks for teaching us about laser tattoo removal today.

    Dr. Alex Kaplan: My pleasure and thank you!

    Becca Frucht: That's all from me.