Most lasers are designed to treat a variety of concerns, and many of those that get rid of unwanted tattoos can also be used to get rid of body hair. That’s true of the MedLite C6, the preferred tattoo removal laser at VIDA medical day spa, where you know we are more than a medspa. However, MedLite C6 can also be used as laser hair reduction. At VIDA, our skin care experts include MDs, those with board certifications, RNs, and CAEs. You deserve only the best to take care of your skin goals—whether you’re looking to get some ink erased or less unwanted hair in time for swimsuit season. However, not every “clinic” is equal.

Recently, a New Zealand “laser clinic” accidentally removed some of the ink from a client’s body instead of just the hair. Personal trainer Bronte Hill said she has a tattoo that she likes, which is a couple of years old, but she also wanted to remove the hair from the area. She told her provider about it and during the first pass (to remove hair), the provider “covered the tattoo with her fingers.” However, by the second pass, the provider had apparently forgotten about the tattoo and didn’t cover it up. “I think I was a little bit in shock,” says Hill. Laser zaps are quick, and it would be tough to catch a provider who wasn’t diligent in time.

However, another issue is the provider covering the tattoo with her fingers. There are much more effective (and safe) ways to ensure a tattoo isn’t accidentally lightened during laser therapy. Typically, a sticker or towel is the best way to keep tattoos safe. They are more opaque, so laser beams cannot penetrate these materials. In fact, the clinic Hill went to says that their policy is to cover tattoos with a cloth—but that clearly didn’t happen. The clinic is covering the cost of having the tattoo touched up, but only with a tattoo artist of their choice. Hill says she is returning to her original artist, who charges 200 percent more than the artist the clinic found. Hill says her tattoo is a fine line design, so she wants someone who is skilled in that specialty. “Fine line is such an art and you have to be quite delicate and intricate with it,” she explains.

Tattoos and Hair

The person who lasered Hill’s tattoo is no longer at the clinic. However, lasering over tattoos accidentally is more common than people think. How the tattoo is affected will depend on multiple factors, but a provider could accidentally remove a small black tattoo almost entirely with one pass or even leave the client scarred. Regardless, the tattoo will be traumatized. Hill did say that the provider told her she was stressed and didn’t usually work at that clinic, but of course there is no excuse for such a mishap.

If you are interested in tattoo removal (or laser hair reduction), getting the right laser is essential—just as important as choosing the right, quality provider. At VIDA, we exclusively used MedLite C6 Q-switched Nd: YAG laser for tattoo removal. Typically, we use other lasers for hair reduction. The MedLite C6 is a proven method for tattoo removal because of the measured light wavelengths that target dermal ink. The tattoo ink absorbs the energy, which shatters the ink. It is then safely metabolized and ejected from the body. MedLite C6 can achieve this without hurting or scarring nearby tissue, which wasn’t always the case with tattoo removal. In previous years, before lasers, people attempted to get rid of ink with salt abrasion and dermabrasion. This was followed by CO2 laser treatments, but that process was lengthy, painful, and rarely fully successful.

Today’s Q-switched lasers can significantly lighten even deep, old, colorful tattoos. No matter the type of tattoo, this laser is going to give you the best results. However, you will still need multiple treatments. The exact number of treatments will depend on the person and the tattoo. To learn more about tattoo removal or schedule your complimentary consultation, contact VIDA by calling the office or filling out the online contact form now.