As many of us mature, accumulating responsibilities at home and at work, the exhilarating thrill of imprinting our bodies with colorful tattoos conceived in our youth begins to fade, and we are left with a desire to remove the artwork. Alternatively, we may have encountered a tattoo artist who either lacked the skill to materialize our vision, or who botched a tattoo, causing embarrassment and a strong desire to erase the unsatisfactory image. Weight gain and/or sagging skin may also be factors in the decision to remove a tattoo.

Although laser tattoo removal has been around for years, it is just recently that the technology has truly reached its zenith. Today, the non-scarring PicoSure laser has replaced the more abrasive Argon and CO2 lasers, as well as techniques such as dermabrasion and salabrasion. PicoSure now offers the safest, most sophisticated, and effective tattoo removal available to date.

How does the PicoSure technology work?

During the procedure, pulses of thermal energy lasting just trillionths of a second (“picoseconds”) penetrate and shatter the tattoo’s ink particles while sparing the surrounding virgin skin. The ink molecules are then removed from the body like a coat of dust. While green inks can be the most difficult to remove, black and red inks are easily reduced by the PicoSure laser.

Before laser tattoo removal…

  • Avoid tanning sprays, creams, beds and excessive exposure to sunlight for one month
  • Apply 50 SPF sunscreen with UVA and UVB protection frequently
  • Make sure skin is free from all oils, lotions, makeup, creams and cleansers

During treatment

Laser tattoo removal will typically begin with the administering of local anesthesia which will prevent any discomfort during the procedure. Depending on the size and location of the tattoo, removal usually requires between three and ten 30-minute sessions, spaced out over the course of 4-6 weeks. The reason for the resting periods between laser sessions is that the body needs time to flush out the ink particles at a healthy rate.


Tattoo removal is far less painful than receiving a tattoo. However, patients may experience some redness and swelling after their laser treatment. This usually disappears as the healthy underlying skin tissue regenerates. Painkillers, ice packs and soothing ointments may be provided by your doctor upon discharge. Be sure to carefully follow your aftercare plan, avoid the sun, and reach out to the PPSD staff if you have any concerns during your recovery.

Selecting Charlotte, NC’s best tattoo removal experts

Just as it’s mandatory to entrust only a licensed, vetted visual artist with the artwork on your skin, so too is it imperative that you choose a qualified, board certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon to perform your laser tattoo removal. Our PPSD laser experts achieve safe, comprehensive outcomes, preserving your skin’s integrity through a precise, conservative approach that is always customized to your unique needs and wishes.

Because we treat such a wide variety of dermal conditions, our physicians can offer a perspective which takes not only your tattoo, but the whole condition of your skin into account, working to restore health and vibrancy on a cellular level.

During your private consultation in Charlotte, your doctor will explain the advantages of the PicoSure technology, giving you a clear roadmap of what to expect at every stage of your visit. He or she will examine the placement of the tattoo to be removed, its age, color scheme and design, as well as your medical history and allergies. Most patients leave their consultation feeling relieved and excited to finally be rid of a tattoo they no longer enjoy.

Learn more about the PPSD approach here: