Lasers that generate a high powered beam of laser light in an extremely short pulse are the most suitable lasers for tattoo removal treatment. The very short pulse of high powered laser light is absorbed by the tattoo ink particles, breaking them down into smaller pieces, enabling your natural immune defences to absorb and disperse the ink. A gradual fading of the tattoo occurs over a series of treatments.
Tattoo removal is not an instant fix – Most tattoos require between 5 and 10 treatments to achieve complete removal, and the treatments must be spaced at least 6 weeks apart.
Laser tattoo removal requires multiple treatments because not all of the tattoo ink can be shattered in one treatment session. When a tattoo is applied, the ink is injected at different depths within the dermis. As the laser light is applied to the skin, the shallowest layers of ink in the dermis absorb the energy and shatter, but the deeper layers may not have been affected. Only once the body flushes away the top layers of ink can the deeper layers be treated. In effect, every successive tattoo removal treatment affects deeper and deeper layers of ink until none remain.
Rest time between treatments are required because it takes time for the body to flush away the shattered tattoo ink from the location of the tattoo. As the body can only flush away the ink at a certain speed, it’s beneficial to wait as long as possible between treatments to see maximum fading from each session. Also, the waiting period allows any scabs or blisters to heal, minimising the possibility of over-treating the area and causing unwanted side effects.
After your consultation, once you are fully comfortable and ready to proceed, we shall go to the treatment area, with one of our female or male qualified laser operators. Your tattoo will be treated and then we shall cover the area with a soothing lotion, and you will be given care instructions. Our aim is to make things as comfortable as possible for you, in a clean, sterile and friendly atmosphere.
Most patients describe the sensation as similar to a hot pin prick or the flick of an elastic band. Whist mildly uncomfortable, most people tolerate treatment well. A skin cooling device may be utilised to reduce any discomfort. Also if at any time you are nervous, worried or anxious, please feel free to express this and we shall do our best to reassure you.
An instant whitening of the skin is seen after treatment, but this generally fades quickly. The area is likely to feel tender for a few hours and can be red and swollen for up to 48 hours. Some tattoos will form a graze which must be left to heal naturally. Initially the tattoo is unlikely to look any different but will fade over the next 4 to 8 weeks as the body disperses it.
Very rarely the skin may become lighter or darker, or a small blister may form. Change to skin texture and scarring is possible, though uncommon, and is more likely if any grazes are not allowed to heal naturally. You will be given after care instructions and we will be here to help and advise you whenever needed.
This depends on several factors, including the density and colour of inks and the age of the tattoo. Amateur and professional tattoos have varying degrees of quality, some inks may have been tattooed much deeper than others. This means some tattoos are easier and faster to remove than others. Usually the process takes between 1 – 5 sessions. Each session must be a minimum of 4 weeks apart. It can be a lengthy process but this will soon be forgotten once that hideous tattoo has been removed!