Tattoos consists of two main types: the Indian ink, amateur tattoo or the multi-coloured, professional tattoo. Single-colour tattoos usually respond best to laser tattoo removal. Multi-coloured, professional tattoos are much more difficult to eradicate completely. Black, blue, red and green colours in the tattoo respond best to treatment, but yellow and purple pigment can be more difficult. Green and red coloured tattoos will require different lasers for successful treatment.
Not all lasers are the same and not just any laser can safely remove tattoos. The Skin Clinic has one of the most advanced active Q-Switch lasers which is the only type of laser that is safe and effective for the removal of tattoos. Your tattoo will be assessed at your consultation and, in the majority of cases, laser tattoo removal will be recommended.
This treatment is for you if you:
Wish you never had a tattoo
Want to fade a tattoo for a new design
Need to remove a tattoo to help pursue your career
How is treatment carried out?
Active Q-Switch Lasers which generate a high powered beam of laser light in an extremely short pulse are the most suitable lasers for tattoo removal treatment. The light is absorbed by the tattoo ink particles, breaking them down into smaller pieces, enabling your lymphatic system to absorb and disperse the ink. A gradual fading of the tattoo occurs over a series of treatments.
The skin will be cleaned and the laser applicator is passed over the tattoo releasing quick pulses of light. An audible clicking noise is often heard as the ink particles shatter. After treatment a soothing lotion is applied.
What does the treatment feel like?
Most clients describe the sensation as similar to a hot pin prick or the flick of an elastic band. Whilst mildly uncomfortable, most people tolerate the treatment well. A skin cooling device may be used to reduce any discomfort.
How will my skin look after treatment?
An instant whitening of the skin is seen 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 may form a graze which must be left to heal naturally. Initially the tattoo is unlikely to look any different but will fade over 4 to 8 weeks as the body disperses it.
How many treatments are recommended?
This depends on a number of factors such as the density and colour of the tattoo and the age of the tattoo. Amateur tattoos can be quick to remove, taking 1 to 6 treatments, whereas professional tattoos vary considerably and can take up to 20 treatments. Treatments are spaced 6 to 8 weeks apart and each treatment can take anything from 15 minutes upwards depending on the size of the tattoo.
Are there any side effects?
Very rarely the skin may become lighter or darker, or a small blister may form. Change to skin texture and scarring is possible, though very uncommon and is more likely if grazes are not allowed to heal naturally. There may be a loss of natural tanning ability in the area treated which usually improves with time.
More specific advice and information is given during your consultation.
On your first visit, your clinician will carry out a detailed consultation and assessment before recommending a treatment plan to suit your individual requirements. Your clinician will also demonstrate the equipment and answer any questions.
We follow best practice with treatment policies, procedures and protocols, only employing properly, highly trained clinicians, operating under the clinical supervision of our medical director, in order to maintain the highest clinical standards.
We value the comfort and safety of our clients very highly and will take the greatest care to ensure that you feel at ease about every aspect of your treatment.
- No hot baths, excessive exercise like aerobics or rough sports until the skin returns to normal.
- No trauma to the treated area for the first four to five days following treatment.
- Do not expose the area to dirt and keep it covered with a dressing for 10 days or until a scab has formed.
- If scabs appear after any blistering keep them lubricated with ‘vaseline’ or a similar product, but only after all the heat has gone from the area treated.
- Do use a good broad spectrum sunscreen minimum Spf 30 and protect the area from exposure to sunlight for at least one month after treatment. Tanning enhances melanin production which can result in hyper-pigmentation.
- Pigmentation changes may occur in the treated area,with most cases being on darker skin types or if the area has been exposed to direct sunlight. These should fade over three to six months but may be permanent in rare cases.