Tattoo removal

How does the laser tattoo removal treatment work?

A special laser with a very short pulse is used to fragment the ink of your tattoo. Your immune system then removes the tiny fragments.

The laser beam creates a photo-acoustic shock wave which when absorbed by certain coloured pigments causes them to fragment. Heat is released by the ink during this fragmentation which affects water in the cells surrounding the tattoo causing them to become white – a small white blister also forms at the surface of the skin with each laser impact. The blisters on the skin become translucent after approx. 20 minutes.

What are the risks of using this treatment?

It is important that the blistered skin is looked after as per the after care recommendations that will be provided to you - otherwise scarring may occur. It is a condition of the consent form that you agree to adhere to this post-treatment advice.

Occasionally tiny bleeding points may be noticed at the surface of the skin – these usually coagulate and stop bleeding before the treatment is over. If you have been drinking a lot of alcohol in the 24 hours prior to the treatment this bleeding may be prolonged due to dilation of your blood vessels. It is best if you abstain or moderate alcohol intake before any treatment as the procedure may not be possible if there is too much bleeding.

With some tattoo inks there is a risk that this blistering may be more severe than usual and the energy level will be reduced if this happens.

Eye injury due to use of lasers is a risk to the client and to the practitioner. However, the risks are almost completely eliminated with the use of proper eyewear. Your eyes will be covered during any laser procedure either with special safety spectacles or with goggles similar to those worn in a tanning booth. The practitioner and any other person in the treatment room will be wearing special eyewear that filters out the potential harmful light and allows them to clearly visualize the treatment area.

Your skin type, medical history and medication will be checked during your Consultation to make sure you are suitable for treatment. Test patches will also be carried out during your initial visit to ensure no adverse skin reaction will occur. Your first full treatment cannot be carried out until these test patches have been reviewed by your Practitioner after 14 days.

Will it hurt?

Each impact on the skin from the laser will cause a feeling which many people describe as an elastic band being ‘snapped’ against the skin. Others describe it being similar to the hot fat that sometimes ‘spits’ onto the skin when frying sausages.

How soon will I see results?

Following the treatment small blisters will cover the area treated, But the ink is only broken up during treatment, not removed. It is the clients immune system which removes the particles. This process takes time to occur, with the exact time depending on the individual. It is usual to see some fading of the tattoo pigment approx. 10 - 14 days after the treatment. Many treatment sessions may be needed to remove a tattoo completely. It is not possible to accurately forecast how many treatment sessions will be needed as everyone’s immune system varies. In some cases the last fragments of a tattoo may prove resistant to the laser and the tattoo may not be able to be completely removed.

Can a tattoo be removed with one treatment?

The honest answer is no. Most tattoos, especially professional ones will need a series of treatments to completely remove. The Amateur tattoos and the older tattoos ( poorer quality inks ) are the easiest and will take less sessions.

How many sessions will it take to remove the tattoo?

This is a very hard question to answer as it depends on the individual tattoo, the area of the body it is on and also the immune system performance of the person. It is impossible to give an accurate answer without first seeing the tattoo and even then it will only be a guide as every individual responds differently.

Can all tattoos be removed?

Unfortunately not. White can not be removed at all, the pale colours and greens are most resistant and the black, blues and reds respond the best.

How will I know if it will work on my tattoo?

During an initial consultation, a patch test is carried out on the tattoo. Following this test, the tattoo is assessed 2 weeks later and any problems will be apparent.

How far apart will the treatment sessions be?

Following the patch test, the first full session will be 2 weeks later and then the other sessions are spaced 4 to 5 weeks apart to give your immune system time to remove the fragments of ink from the last session.

Does this treatment cause scarring?

There is always a risk of scarring with any laser treatment but this is not a significant risk when using the Q switched ND:YAG laser. The earlier lasers did cause scarring and damage to the surrounding skin as these heated the skin. The Q Switch pulses the laser which does not heat the surrounding skin and as such in normal operation does not cause scarring.

How much does it cost?

Prices depend on the size of your tattoo and this will be confirmed at your consultation. The Consultation costs £25 which is refunded against your first session.

Tattoo removal - before and after

All of the images below are taken before and after laser treatments I have carried out. See the amazing results!

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