A Tattoo needn't be for life
Want to remove or fade that embarrassing old tattoo? We know it can be a daunting prospect but it really doesn't need to be...here's everything you need to know!
So, how does laser tattoo removal work?
When you have a tattoo the ink particles are too big for the body to treat as foreign bodies, so it forms a layer of protective collagen around them to keep the ink outside the body.
To remove them, the laser injects a pulse of light directly into the tattoo. The light enters the skin fast, producing a ‘shock wave’ effect that breaks up the ink particles but without damaging the surrounding tissue.
The body identifies these as foreign bodies and the immune system removes them.
How many treatments are needed?
It depends. As a rule of thumb, most moderately sized amateur tattoos require 3 to 5 treatment sessions at 4-week intervals, while professional tattoos typically require 7 to 14.
Contributing factors are pigment colours (bright colours, yellow and green are the hardest to remove), depth of the ink, whether the tattoo has been a cover-up for a previous tattoo, size and how efficiently your immune system removes the ink particles.
What will it cost?
Again, it depends. Our prices are highly competitive but the total cost depends on the number of treatments needed, and this varies from patient to patient.
Visit us for a consultation or send us pictures, and we will give you a no-obligation quote. We will also give you every 6th session free!
Do all tattoos respond to laser removal?
In the majority of cases, yes. Some colours can't be removed altogether but can be greatly faded so they can be easily covered. (Learn more about this on our Science page!)
Is it painful?
We won't lie - like most things in life, there's no gain without some pain. Individual pain thresholds vary but most people compare laser removal directly with the pain of getting the tattoo in the first place. The feeling is often likened to being "pinged" with an elastic band. And of course, some areas - bony areas such as the ankles and shoulder blades - are more sensitive than others.
Listening to music (bring your own or choose something from our playlist) can help, or we can just have a natter to take your mind off it!
The pain tends to decrease as treatment progresses and the ink begins to fade. Most patients tolerate the discomfort of laser tattoo removal very well.
What are the after-effects?
There will be some redness and swelling, similar to sunburn. This will settle down within a few days.
In some people, blisters or blood spotting may occur. This is quite normal and doesn't require treatment - leave it alone, keep it dry and it will usually clear within a few days (don't burst any blisters!) The area will crust over and scab as part of the healing process.
Tattoo removal aftercare
Be gentle. Wash the area carefully (don’t soak it), pat dry and don’t rub.Then apply a cooling serum to take the heat out - we strongly recommend Fade the Heat, available from us. If necessary apply a dry dressing to prevent irritation from clothing.
Don’t expose it to sunlight between sessions, wear a sunblock - minimum factor 30, and in strong sun ramp it up to SPF 50.
Does it scar?
No, as the lasers deliver extremely high power in a very short pulse (lasting 25 billionths of a second!) although very occasionally, minor changes to skin texture may occur.
Is it safe?
There's no evidence to suggest that the treatment can lead to skin disorders or an increased risk of cancer.
If you have more questions, just get in touch via our contact form.
Contact us today with photos and tattoo measurements for your no-obligation quote.