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Tattoo Removal Specialist

Open Canvas Laser

Aesthetic Medicine located in San Luis Obispo, CA

Millions of people get tattoos, thinking they’ll never regret the decision — only to find they’ve outgrown their tattoo because of maturity, lifestyle changes, or new circumstances. If this sounds like you, Wilton McLeod, DO, Emerald McLeod, FNP and the caring professionals at Open Canvas Laser in San Luis Obispo, California, have the knowledge and experience to safely and effectively remove tattoos for both men and women. To see if tattoo removal is right for you, call or schedule an online consultation today.

Tattoo Removal

How are tattoos removed?


Lasers are the standard of treatment to lighten, fade, and remove tattoos. In the past, doctors typically use what’s known as a “Q-switched” laser to break up the color pigments in your tattoo, but that proved ineffective at removing certain colors of tattoo ink.

Now, a new technology is available called the PicoSure® laser. With rapid pulses of energy that travel at a trillionth of a second, PicoSure works by vibrating and shattering the tiny particles of pigment in your tattoo — without burning your skin.

PicoSure works on hard-to-remove colors, including blue and green. PicoSure can be effective to remove tattoos when other laser treatments have failed.

What should I expect during tattoo removal?

Laser tattoo removal may feel something like the feeling when you got your tattoo in the first place. Because PicoSure doesn’t solely rely on heat to break apart ink particles, it’s likely you’ll feel less discomfort during treatment compared to older laser systems.

To help you feel comfortable during treatment, Dr. McLeod applies a topical anesthetic cream or gives you a shot of local anesthetic beforehand to numb the treatment area. Treatment typically takes 10 minutes or so, and you’ll be asked to come back every 6-8 weeks during the course of treatment.

The number of sessions you’ll need will depend on several factors, including the location and size of your tattoo, ink characteristics, and your lifestyle. Dr. McLeod discusses all of these factors with you to come up with the right treatment plan.  

What should I expect after tattoo removal?

After your session, your body’s scavenger cells will clear away the ink residue. Dr. McLeod’s team will walk you through how to care for the treatment area to promote healing and optimal results.

It’s common to see some pinpoint bleeding, redness, blistering, crusting, and even a change in color in the treatment area. The change in color may or may not last.

Scarring is a risk, particularly if the treatment area gets infected. However, the process of getting your tattoo may have caused a scar already, so removing your tattoo is likely to make this scar more visible.

Overall, PicoSure laser removal may provide you with better results after fewer treatment sessions and a shorter recovery time compared to traditional tattoo removal systems.

If you’re tired of covering up an old tattoo and you’re seeking a fresh start, call or schedule a consultation online today with Dr. McLeod and learn whether the new PicoSure technology is right for you.