Wrongly inked and regretting the tattoo? Laser tattoo removals to the rescue.
If you are thinking about laser tattoo removal, the first question that may come up is, “does it hurt”?
Tattoo removal treatments can vary in pain depending on the area being treated, the design of the tattoo, size, darkness, colours used. Areas with more fat like the arms and legs are generally not as painful as the neck, ankle or finger that are close to a bone and have less fat.
However, at Science Of Skin Clinics, our doctors do the best to make each treatment as comfortable as possible. We apply local aesthetic or a numbing cream to minimize the pain.
How does laser tattoo removal work?
A laser works by penetrating the skin with intense light to break up the ink particles leading to tattoo fading. The body’s immune system then removes these pigments over time by flushing them out. The darker the ink, the more light that is absorbed, which is why black ink fades faster than colour ink.
How many sessions of laser tattoo removal are needed?
Several sessions are needed to remove a tattoo and 6 weeks interval are required between each session. Generally, total removal takes between 8-10 sessions and lightening an unwanted tattoo too can take between 4-8 sessions. Sometimes great results can be achieved in fewer sessions; however, the results vary between person to person.
Tattoos that are older often fade quicker than new tattoos and areas with high blood flow, for example the chest, upper arm and shoulder area, have better results than areas like the wrist, hands and feet where the blood flow is low.
Another question that comes to our mind is “does it really work”?
There are many factors to be taken into consideration when determining the success of laser tattoo removal. These include your skin type, the age of the tattoo, whether the tattoo has been done professionally or non-professionally, the location of the tattoo, the colours of the tattoo, the amount of ink used and the healing ability of skin. Black and grey tattoos generally achieve better results of complete tattoo removal than colour tattoos, however that does not mean that they can’t be lightened enough to accomplish a great cover up. Some tattoos can be completely removed, however complete removal can never be fully guaranteed due to factors listed above.
The actual process of tattooing leaves marks on the skin and these marks are sometimes visible after the ink has been broken down by the laser. These marks look like small shadowy areas where the tattoo once was although they are often barely noticeable. However they could possibly be focused on and reduced with further removal treatments, but you do have to be realistic and there is a point of diminishing returns.
Colour tattoos can be a little more stubborn to remove than black and grey but great results can still be achieved. Black and grey are the easiest colours to remove and purples, greens and blues being the hardest to remove. Although laser tattoo removal will fade the colours of a tattoo they may never totally disappear. If we believe that this will be the case we will advise you to lighten the tattoo enough for a cover up. Colour tattoos can react greatly to the laser removal treatment, leaving people with an unnoticeable and unrecognizable tattoo.
Does laser tattoo removal damage the skin or leave a scar?
Laser tattoo removal should not scar or damage the skin although it does have potential side effects. Bruising, blistering, scabbing or lightening of the skin are all things you have experience as the after effects. Bruising, blistering, swelling and scabbing generally disappear within a week of a tattoo removal treatment.
What care should I take post the treatment?
For a few days after the area treated will feel like mild sunburn. This can be relieved by wearing loose fitting clothing and applying a cool compresses or ice pack to help reduce discomfort and inflammation. Keep the treated area clean and dry. Showering is fine but don’t submerge the treated area for a few weeks, or go swimming, and do not pick or scratch the area while it is healing as this can potentially cause scarring. Direct exposure to the sun to be avoided and high SPF sunblock should always be applied.
How much does laser tattoo removal cost and is it expensive?
We will be able to give you an individual quote post consultation with the doctor and checking of the tattoo, advise how many laser tattoo removal treatments you will need and discuss whether complete removal is an option or if you will need a cover up.