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What is Laser Tattoo Removal? 

Laser tattoo removal is much easier than many people think. If the love for your tattoo has faded, look no further. Ottawa Laser Clinic offers the most advanced tattoo removal laser in the world – the PicoSure. In fact, we were the first in the city to offer it!

So? Are you ready to say goodbye to that Celtic cross, sunflower or expression of love to the partner who’s no longer in your life? Well, fear not – it’s possible to get rid of what you thought was permanent ink!

The PicoSure

Until the arrival of Picosure, the standard technology was Q-Switched Nd: Yag laser treatments. This technology is currently over 14 years old and the method uses thermal energy to heat up and break apart ink particles, but the PicoSure does much more.

PicoSure’s cutting edge technology performs ultra-short pulses (one trillionth of a second in length!) which hits the ink particle with pressure so great, the ink shatters into tiny dust-like particles. Because the particles are so small, they are more readily absorbed and eliminated by the body. This can mean better clearance of the tattoo and fewer treatments overall! 


Tattoo removal with cutting-edge PicoSure means fast treatment time and less overall treatments required. As well, it treats almost all colours of ink and is gentler on skin compared to other laser tattoo removal methods, and poses less risk of adverse reactions.

Ideal Candidate

If you have a tattoo you want removed or have had a previous attempt at tattoo removal that was unsuccessful, you are an ideal candidate! There are very few reasons why you wouldn’t be able to have a PicoSure treatment, but we will always assess your health history during the consultation, in order to rule out any contraindications.

What to Expect

For many patients, the feeling of laser tattoo removal has been compared to what it feels like when getting a tattoo. The difference is that the procedure is much faster than getting a tattoo. We will work with you to provide the best option based on your individual needs and concerns. There are options for a topical anesthetic and air chiller cryoanesthesia to help numb the treatment area.


Prior to your tattoo removal treatment, you should:

  • avoid sun exposure, tanning beds and sunless tanning cream for 4 weeks in advance of treatment. Sun exposure can increase the chance of post-treatment complications.
  • use a broad-spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Apply to the treated area every 2 hours when exposed to the sun and it is recommended to make this a part of your skin care routine.
  • remove all makeup, creams or oils prior to treatment
  • apply Zensa numbing cream to the area 30-45 minute prior to treatment if desired to increase comfort during your laser tattoo removal treatment.

After your tattoo removal treatment, you should:

  • cleanse the treated area at least daily with water and mild soap, and then pat the area dry
  • avoid rubbing or scratching the treated area
  • Do not shave or pick area if crusting or scabbing occurs. Apply Aquaphor ointment (tattoo) or another moisturizer (face) to the area 2-3 times a day. Keep the area moist, and let the crusting/scabbing resolve on its own.
  • relieve discomfort by using cold gel packs and/or an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as acetaminophen
  • avoid contact sports or any other activity that could cause injury of the treated area until healed
  • avoid swimming, soaking or using hot tubs or whirlpools until the skin heals
  • contact your physician if there is any indication of infection (redness, tenderness or pus)
  • apply a thin layer of Aquaphor® ointment to the treated tattoo, after cleansing and while skin is still moist
  • apply a non-stick pad over the tattoo until it is healed
  • avoid sun exposure to the treated area. Use a broad-spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Apply to the treated area every 2 hours when exposed to the sun and do your best to make this a part of your skincare routine.
  • keep the area moist, if blistering occurs, by applying Aquaphor or antibiotic ointment 3 times per day.

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How do I get started?

You start by contacting us to book your free consultation. During your appointment, our laser technicians will review your health history, explain the process, develop a treatment plan and provide you with a quote based on the size of your tattoo.

What does laser tattoo removal feel like?

For many patients, the feeling of laser tattoo removal has been compared to what it feels like when getting a tattoo. The difference is that the procedure is much faster than getting a tattoo. We will work with you on the best comfort option, based on your individual needs and concerns. We might also recommend you apply a topical anesthetic prior to your treatment. There is also the option to use an air chiller called cryoanesthesia to numb the treatment area.

How many treatments will tattoo removal require?

The number of laser treatments needed for tattoo removal is dependent on a number of variables such as ink type, size of the tattoo, location on the body, type of laser used, lifestyle habits, etc. During your consultation, we will evaluate your tattoo and recommend a realistic treatment regime to help you achieve the best results.

How often will I need treatments?

While it typically takes 4-8 weeks for the body to absorb the ink particles, every patient and tattoo responds differently. By following our recommended post-treatment protocol, you will likely improve results and reduce the chance of small adverse events.

How will my skin look after the laser treatment?

The ideal clinical endpoint for the tattoo removal treatment is an immediate slight whitening or “frosting” of the skin, however that will subside shortly after the treatment is complete. Other observable effects include mild swelling and redness. It is important to keep the area clean and moist following the treatment. We will explain this process during your free consultation.

Does tattoo removal cause scarring?

PicoSure is a non-ablative laser which does not cause scarring. In some cases, a client might notice slight residual hypopigmentation after treatments, however this not a result of the removal process, but may have been caused by the original tattoo. The absence of any significant thermal effect and the pure reliance on photomechanical or acoustic shattering of the pigment makes the PicoSure the safest, most effective and most efficient tattoo removal device on the market.

My tattoo was treated with a laser in the past and didn’t clear, why would I try again now?

PicoSure has proven success in treating even dark, stubborn blue and green inks, as well as previously-treated, stubborn tattoos that were not successfully cleared by other lasers in the past.


Tattoo removal starts at $150 per session.
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