FAQ LASER TATTOO REMOVAL

Frequently Asked Questions

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The removal of tattoos using lasers has been carried out for approximately 20 years, and has become more widespread since the mid-1990s.

Will the laser tattoo removal hurt?

 Patients have reported that laser tattoo removal feels like a rubber band snapping quickly on your skin. In order to make each patient as comfortable as possible,  anaesthetic (numbing) cream that can be put on the tattoo before each of your treatments.   This makes the experience much less painful.

How many treatments will I need?

This procedure generally requires no special preparation beforehand, although you should have had no exposure to UV light (sun or sun-bed) for 4 weeks before any treatment.

This depends on the tattoo. Amateur tattoos can be removed in 2 treatments. More heavily inked professional tattoos could be 8 plus treatments.

How long does it take to heal?

The healing time is very quick with the lasers as the side effects are small. You may blister slightly but not necessarily. Even so the surrounding tissue is left intact as the body absorbs the pigment safely by the lymphatic system. Post-treatment advice sheet will be given.

 What will my skin look like after each treatment?

 Your skin will most likely be red and feel like it has mild sunburn. This typically goes away after a couple of hours. There may also be some bruising. At times and with certain inks, there may be mild blistering that usually heals in about a week. After each treatment you will be given detailed instructions on how to care for your treated area.

This procedure generally requires no special preparation beforehand, although you should have had no exposure to UV light (sun or sun-bed) for 4 weeks before any treatment.

 How long between treatments?

You have to allow a period of 6 weeks as the pigment takes time to be absorbed by your lymphatic system. It is best to let the area completely heal. Even if on the outside it feels back to normal, your scavenger cells are working to clear the pigment away.

Can I re-ink over a removed tattoo?

There is a growing trend for tattoo lovers to re-ink. It is perfectly safe to have a new tattoo put on an area of skin that has previously be treated with laser.  The beauty of this, is you don’t have to have complete removal in which case only slight fading is needed, resulting in even less treatments.

How are Q -switched Lasers different to other lasers used for tattoo removal?

Q-switched lasers produces extremely short pulses of high-energy, light. This light is absorbed strongly by the tiny particles of tattoo pigment, but not very well by the surrounding skin. The tattoo pigment particles heat up and break down into smaller particles; these minute particles are targeted by the body’s own immune system and removed. Because the energy is selectively absorbed by the tattoo pigment, surrounding tissues are not heated up to such a high temperature and there is no lasting damage to the skin. Some clinics may advertise the use of IPL machines or non Q-switched lasers for tattoo removal, however clinical data so far doubts that these devices are suitable or safe for tattoo removal as they do not produce the targeted bursts of high energy required to break down the pigment particles without affecting the surrounding tissue. You should therefore be wary of any clinic offering tattoo removal who claims this can be done using an IPL device.

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