Dr. Rice Explains PicoSure Laser Tattoo Removal

It seemed like a good idea at the time, right? But then you got tired of the tattoo, or ditched the girl you thought you’d be with forever. Now what?

In the old days, it meant many sessions to get rid of that bugger, using a Q-switch laser. That’s pretty much the equivalent of torture. It hurt like hell every time and your skin looked like you lost a few rounds fighting a hot grill. Yet still, the tattoo was visible after all of that.

Enter the new PicoSure Pressure Wave aesthetic laser. The biggest thing to happen in tattoo removal in the last 20 years! Dr. Sean Rice of Rice Cosmetic Surgery is one of the early adopters of this technology and, frankly, the doc is loving it, based on what it’s done for his patients.

The editors at AmongMen.com wanted to know more about it, having a few tats ourselves that might need to disappear:

AmongMen: So what’s the big deal about this machine?
Dr. Sean Rice: It works. It’s a real breakthrough. Tattoos can be lightened or removed entirely in less than half the time than the past generation’s – and with minimal discomfort.

AM: We’re not scientists, but how does this thing work?
Dr. Rice: It delivers blasts of energy to the skin that are super fast – just in trillionths of a second. These bursts break up the ink into tiny dust-sized particles that are eliminated by the body.

AM: Eliminated as in…?
Dr. Rice: Your immune system takes care of it and flushes it out.

AM: What are the side effects? There’s always some, right?
Dr. Rice: There are always some risks, but they are very rare, like risk of burn.

AM: Are there are tattoos this doesn’t work on?
Dr. Rice: Even inks that have traditionally been very difficult to remove, like dark blue and green, respond well to this treatment. After just one session, patients will see immediate results. The tattoo will look softer, somewhat grainy, and continues to fade. There’s about a 30 per cent reduction very early in the process.

AM: How long does it take to remove a tattoo?
Dr. Rice: It depends on the tattoo, the size, colours and technique used. Colours fade at different rates. Dark skin responds differently to the laser than light skin. And an amateur tattoo [like ones done with a ballpoint pen, the kind you might get in prison] take longer because the ink goes deeper into the skin that ink applied by a professional. Expect anywhere from one to six sessions.

AM: And here comes the big question… how much does it cost?
Dr. Rice: Sessions go for between $400 and $450 each.

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