We Remove Tattoos in Weeks, not Years!

Frequently Asked Questions

Still have some questions? We have answers.

How much is ART vs Pico?

One ART®️ typically gets the same results in 12 weeks that takes one year of 5-6 conventional Pico treatments to achieve. 2-4 ART®️s will remove most tattoos in 24-36 weeks. That would take competitors 12-15 treatments is 2-3 years. Not only does ART®️ remove tattoos faster, it also saves you time (fewer visits).

How was ART®️ developed?

ART®️ is a fast removal technique we developed in 2014 and began offering it in 2015. Our R&D was a collaboration with Dr. Rox Anderson, the inventor of the Principle of Selective Photo Thermolysis “SPM”. Simply put, SPM is a combination of laser pulse duration, wavelength and energy. The right combination will selectively heat and damage pigments without harming surrounding tissue. Tattoo removal is SPM on steroids!

In 2013, we met with Dr. Anderson and discussed collaborating on fast tattoo removal. We decided on a non-destructive study. Zapatat was the ideal research partner. We could do parallel testing that compressed the equivalent of 6 years R&D into 11 months in less than one year, had documented test treatments on 60 subjects, 10 for each skin type. The results were safe and effective fast removal for all skin types.

In 2014, we commercially debuted “Accelerate Removal Technique, ART” , treated 94 clients and routinely achieved more than 50% clearance without increased side effects. By 2023, we have performed over 2000 ARTs and continually improve. Today, one ART session routinely achieves 50-80% clearance after 12-14 weeks. 2-4 ARTs will usually remove most tattoos. That means tattoo removal of most tattoos in 24-48 weeks, not 2-3 years!!!

Tattoo removal relies on the body’s immune and circulatory systems. Any challenges to either of those will slow down any method of removal. 

What makes Zapatat®️different?

Zapatat®️ has been doing tattoo removals for 13 years.  We have continually explored ways of removing tattoo faster and with minimal side effects. Our dedication to research produced the Accelerated Removal Technique(“ART®️”),  the world’s fastest tattoo removal. ART removes most tattoos in 2-4 sessions and in less than a year. No one has replicated our research so ART®️  is exclusively offered by Zapatat®️. We do not require or even sell packages. Our clients come back because they see fast results.

We view possible side effects as unacceptable outcomes and work hard to minimize them. We hire compassionate skin experts and train them for about 2 months on our services. Each team member has experience with over 1,000 treatments and our lead specialist has over 5,000. We continually test lasers and have the best on the market. We develop our own laser protocols, including ART®️, using careful testing. We respect your time and offer a convenient location, evening and weekend hours, and short 15-minute (conventional) and 1.5 hours for ART®️ visits so that your treatment isn’t time consuming.

How does ART®️ compare with Pico?

There are no true Pico lasers on the market. The fasted is 450 pico seconds which is 50% of a nano second. That’s barely sub-nano. We tested nearly every “pico” laser and saw minimal or no advantage over ndYAG nano second lasers on conventional (single pass treatments). So the number of sessions is the same or just one less. Lastly, there was too much skin disturbance from “pico” to do multi–pass treatments. Our ART®️ has faster results than any sub nano laser. 

How many tattoo removal treatments will I need?

No two people or two tattoos are the same.  While there is no way to accurately tell, we estimate and guarantee the passes we think will be required.  Zapatat®️’s techniques produce the fastest results with the fewest possible treatments. Conventional, even Pico, treatments require 8-20 treatments (1.5 -3 years). The ART®️, in most cases, requires only 2-4 visits spaced 12 weeks apart. The number of treatments your tattoo will require depends on several factors including its age, quality, placement, density, as well as your age, physical condition, and lifestyle. 

Why don’t most pictures show complete removal?

The short answer is that our pictures are real. Most are taken before the last treatment. That’s particularly true for ART®️. People rarely come back once a tattoo is fully removed. So, unless they are removing multiple tattoos we don’t get perfect full removal pictures. If a shop has been in business for less than 2 years, they could not possibly have real pictures. Most of the pictures you will see are provided by the laser manufacturers or purchased shops. (They do not reflect to work done by the tech or at that shop)!

How does laser tattoo removal work?

Laser tattoo removal works on the Principle of Selective Photo Thermolysis. The laser generates high-energy, nanosecond bursts of single frequency light energy that is highly absorbed by ink particles. The ink heats and cools rapidly causing expand and contract (vibrate) and shatter. The ink fragments are then small enough to be absorbed and removed by your immune system. The surrounding skin is left unharmed. Lasers don’t remove ink, your body does most of the work. That’s why your health is important!

What type of laser do you use?

We use Lutronic, Spectra Laser System, nd:YAG-Q switch approved by FDA for use of tattoo removal including most colored tattoos in addition to Hollywood laser peels to treat acne, hyperpigmentation and other skin care treatments. For more info, check out this FDA article

Should I choose the ART®️ or conventional laser tattoo removal treatments?

 It’s up to you. Both conventional and the ART®️ work well. Both cost about the same overall. ART®️ provides faster results in less than half the total time and visits. Both are safe on any skin-type. Zapatat®️ has completed over 40,000 treatments and 2,000 ART®️ sessions. We are the world leader in multi-pass by a very wide margin. The total time to remove will depend on factors like the ink density, location on your body and your health. Higher density areas take longer while shading disappears in one treatment. ART®️ is ideal for out-of-towners, people in a hurry, who are doing cover-ups and for those who want fast removal in many fewer visits.  This Yelp review describes the experience.

Today I made my first visit to Zapatat to remove a tattoo I’ve only had a year a half. The first thing I noticed was the modernity of the office and how friendly the staff was. After a quick consultation, I decided to move forward with the ART treatment as I am trying to have my tattoo removed by a deadline. The initial reaction I had to the laser was surprising, but it hurt no more than the tattoo itself did. After the laser passed through the third time it no longer hurt and the fourth pass I couldn’t feel at all. My tattoo is very dark and I am African American, but I definitely saw fading. I will post before and after pictures when I go back in October. Super excited to work with the Zapatat staff. They’re very professional, knowledgeable and I felt so at ease in their office. I also talked to the owner who was delightful. If you’re looking for a clean facility and want to work with people who know what they’re doing, I suggest Zapatat! –R.D

How much does tattoo removal cost at Zapatat®️?

Zapatat®️ was founded to make tattoo removal more affordable. We took a sub-par $500 treatment and offered a better one for $75. Unlike most competitors, Zapatat®️ only charges the inked parts and not by the tattoos’ size. We publish our prices so there is no mystery. Our prices are generally 20% less than competitors and 80% less than a doctor (see “Pricing.“) That said, don’t decide purely on price. Providers who match our published prices generally are not very good and/or are trying to upsell you. Many higher priced providers don’t have much client volume or experience. Either way, deciding based on price will cost you more, will take longer and will increase risk of skin damage. Forget about Groupon!  One client says it best on Yelp:

“Clean office, knowledgeable and friendly staff, GREAT pricing. Was quoted almost TRIPLE the cost at Centers for Laser Surgery in DC. I got some work done there before and they scarred me and the tats barely faded. I can already see results on my arm from Zapatat. Been to a bunch of laser centers in the area, this one is the best. Great deal for great service. The laser was quicker than others I’ve experienced as well which is always nice since it’s pretty much agony. People who don’t say they see any results, GIVE IT TIME! It’s not going to happen in a day or a week. I’ve been through this several times, the first shot is to open it up. You will not see a lot of fading. The second time you will notice more. This is a major process, takes a good 10 times to get stuff out for most average tats. Give your skin time to adjust, it’ll work. It’s not like everything else in your life that you can just give a quick fix to and be done with it.” – C.L.

Does laser tattoo removal work on POC?

Yes, if the right laser is used by a good operator. About half our clients have darker skin-types so we have a lot of experience. African-Americans, Asians, Hispanics, and people of Mediterranean descent or others with pigmented skin need to be careful about choosing the right laser and operator. For those with darker skin types only the nd:YAG 1064nm laser is completely safe because that frequency isn’t well absorbed by skin pigmentation (melanin). Lasers with other frequencies such as the Alexandrite (755nm) and Ruby (650nm) destroy melanin and can cause bleaching or darkening of your skin that can be permanent. Here is Yelp feedback on this topic:

“I’ve visited the Arlington location for 4 treatments. My initial fear was my skin complexion. Being African American I thought it would cause scabbing that would look worse and appear darker than the tattoo I was removing but actually it turned out very well. The most damage was some swelling. I love them! S.M.

Does Zapatat®️offer “pain free” tattoo removal?

No laser can give a pain free treatment because what you feel is the ink heating and breaking. We don’t offer “painless” tattoo removal for several reasons. Painless tattoo removal requires many small injections that you may find worse than the treatment itself. There is evidence that injected anesthetics lessen the laser’s effectiveness by reflecting or scattering the laser beam. Finally, injected anesthetics are long lasting and lessen the likelihood that you will do the immediate aftercare that is necessary in minimizing side effects.

Will my skin be damaged?

Skin damage is highly unlikely at Zapatat®️. Our side effect rate is extremely low even though we treat the most challenging skin-types and tattoos. Our goal is to remove your tattoo and keep your skin undamaged. Some people worry about getting scars, or about having their skin whitened or darkened. Zapatat®️ never scars and skin whitening or darkening is rare and/or transient. We accomplish this through our skin expertise, our in-house training, our experienced laser techs and by using the right lasers. We use up to date nd:YAG lasers and a 1064nm frequency. That is the safest most gentle frequency and can be used on all skin colors with very low risk of side effects. Because dark ink responds to 1064nm we think it should always be the “go-to” laser frequency. We switch frequencies only as needed to remove colored ink. Even then we take care to minimize side effects. People who are African-American, Asian, Hispanic or of Mediterranean descent should avoid Alexandrite and Ruby lasers.

What does tattoo removal feel like?

Most clients describe laser treatments like rubber bands slapping against the skin. The sensation and intensity can vary from person to person and can depend on the tattoo’s location. Thanks to our advanced lasers and skilled specialists, the treatment is usually 3 to 10 seconds of laser time. Inferior lasers take 20-30 minutes and cause a lot of pain and skin injury. The laser sensation lessens as treatments progress. We use cryo-cooled air to reduce sensation by half and provide topical numbing for very sensitive clients or large tattoos.

Who else does ART®️ tattoo removal?

ART®️  is exclusively offered by us. ART®️  took time and testing to develop the treatment protocols and to do it right. We have completed over 2,000 fast removal ART®️ and have refined it to a very high level. Our ART®️  fast removal technique removes tattoos in half of the time and treatments compared to conventional treatments.

What should I expect after tattoo removal treatment?

We will talk about after care several times because it’s so important. After the treatment we will cover the tattoo site with Aquaphor, a breathable dressing and will give you some cold packs. You won’t feel pain but will feel heat and then sunburn for a day or two. Some people will experience itching. Only some people will get blistering or scabbing. Either way is normal. It’s important that you leave blisters and scabs alone. Do not pop or pick them. We will gladly drain a blister if it is bothering you. Do not be concerned if you do not get blistering or scabbing. You may or may not see immediate results but the fading will mostly happen over time. Heavily inked tattoos may not show visible fading after the first one or two conventional treatments even though it is working.

Why do you stress aftercare?

Good aftercare minimizes side effects and boosts treatment effectiveness. That’s why we give you so many verbal and written instructions and are always available to answer your questions anytime after your treatments. It’s one reason we ask if we can call you a day or two after your first treatment. You want to eliminate skin irritation and enhance recovery from the laser treatment. You also want to eliminate any chance of infection. Since the laser is sterile you should neither need or should not use antibiotic ointments. Neosporin and Bacitracin can cause unwanted skin reactions! Our specialists will instruct you about aftercare and will provide written instructions. We can provide you with an aftercare kit for a nominal charge. Please follow our aftercare instructions exactly.

How often can I get treated?

We recommend intervals that will minimize cost, safety and effectiveness. Conventional treatments are generally at 6-8 week intervals between treatments and 12 weeks for ART®️ . Shortening the time will not result in faster removal and will increase risk of side effects. We will specify the waiting period after each treatment depending on how you are responding.

How long is an appointment?

Your first appointment will generally be one hour including paperwork, consultation and treatment. Follow-up treatment appointments will take 15 minutes or less. The ART®️  will take between 45-90 mins depending on the size of your tattoo. We do not double book appointments so there is seldom any waiting.

Do I have to pre-pay for my removal?

We don’t ask you to pre-pay for anything at Zapatat®️. We do ask for $50 deposits to reserve your appointment which will go towards your treatment.

Does Zapatat®️ do anything other than tattoo removal?

Until 2016, our center only offered tattoo removal, completing well over 11,000 treatments. By popular request, we have begun performing laser facials and skin pigmentation correction treatments. We are constantly looking for improvements in laser technologies and techniques to always give the best service for every treatment type we offer.