LASER TATTOO REMOVAL
Here's all of the information you need to know about the laser tattoo removal service that we offer. For any further questions, or to book in a test patch session, please call us on: 01635 226168
HOW DOES LASER TREATMENT WORK?
Our laser produces a very high power in quick pulses. The light energy produced tends to pass through normally pigmented skin and is absorbed by the tattoo ink deep in the dermis layer and shattered into tiny particles which are evacuated from the body through normal immune response. As the ink particles are removed, the tattoo begins to fade.
DOES IT HURT?
Lasers will cause some discomfort and it is usual to experience a small amount of pain in the area afterwards. The laser pulses have been likened to having your skin ‘pinged’ with an elastic band, this is usually tolerated by most people without any anaesthetic. However, some areas are more sensitive than others, especially around the ankles or shoulder blade. Fortunately, the discomfort does decrease as the treatment progresses and the tattoo fades. Most people will be able to tolerate the treatment but local anaesthetic cream can be used if required.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
Prices are from £50 per session depending on size and colours used. We will give you a full quote during your consultation. A consultation takes approximately 20 minutes and costs £40 as it includes a test patch.
CAN I HAVE A TATTOO OVER THE TREATED AREA?
Yes, once the treatment site has fully healed you can have a tattoo on the same area. We recommend a minimum of 3 to 6 months after your last treatment.
IS THE TATTOO REMOVAL LASER DANGEROUS?
Tattoo removal lasers are very safe for use when used by a trained laser operator with proper safety equipment (goggles to protect the eyes). The radiation emitted by a tattoo removal laser is non-ionizing and carries no risk of cancer or other abnormal cell growth. The procedure is non-surgical and non-invasive.
WILL THE LASER TREATMENT LEAVE A SCAR?
Not normally, it is very unusual to develop any scarring but it is possible, especially with poor aftercare (there is a reported 5% chance of scarring following tattoo removal treatments). The low pulse width of our laser reduces the risk of scarring.
How long does the treatment take?
Usually between 5 and 30 minutes, longer sessions could cause too much skin trauma so are not recommended, larger tattoos need to be treated in several separate sittings. Depending on the tattoo and the end result required (removal or cover up) up to 12 or more sessions may be required.
Treatment sessions are 6 to 8 weeks apart.
WHAT HAPPENS IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE TREATMENT?
Straight after treatment the area will feel hot and skin will form small white ‘blisters’, these are water vapour spots created by the intense heat under the skin, and might be flat or slightly raise. This is a good sign that the treatment is working. These white spots start to fade quickly and the remaining ink will start to show through.
Can you remove all colours?
No. – Laser tattoo removal works best on tattoos of black ink that was sparsely applied to fair skin. Black ink is also able to absorb the full spectrum of light.
A wide range of other colours can usually be removed successfully or lightened to a large degree: Brown, Red* (IMPORTANT! Some people can have an allergic reaction to red ink particles absorbed into the body), Orange, Dark Green, Blue, Purple
The most difficult colours to remove are pastel colours such as: Light Green, Pale Blue, Teal, Turquoise, Pink*. These colours may be lightened, but it is difficult to remove them completely. If you are going to cover-up your tattoo with a new design these pastel colours are usually easy to cover.
Usually untreatable colours: White*, Yellow, Light Green, Skin Tones, Fluorescent or Ultra-Violet. White and Yellow ink does fade over time and become less noticeable, be cautious of anyone who guarantees to remove all traces of green ink.
*Colours with potential problems
Occasionally the tattoo may go darker where the ingredients in certain ink colours carbonise. This irreversible darkening is sometimes seen with the following colours: White, Pink, Flesh Tones, Fluorescent or Ultra Violet, Light Brown or Red.
Although these complications are rare, it is one of the reasons we insist on a patch test for each colour in the tattoo so that potentially rare complications can be predicted before undergoing laser treatment.
WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS?
Most side effects of laser procedures are temporary, generally few and to be expected. Normally symptoms will subside within a week and may include:
• Localised Swelling and Redness: The most common side effects, could feel similar to sunburn for a day or two.
• Blistering: Don’t worry when blistering occurs, this is part of the normal healing processes and the skin will heal nicely afterwards as long as you do not pick and scratch the blisters.
• Infection: There is always a risk of infection to the area after treatment. A good level of hygiene is important.
• Scabbing: If you experience blistering and/or bleeding, when the scab forms it is very important not to pick or scratch as this could cause scarring and impair further treatments.
• Hypopigmentation: Loss of skin colour may occur. But, normal skin tone should return within 6-12 months. Very occasionally the hypopigmentation effect can be permanent or pigment will return in patches. Increased risk after multiple treatments and on darker skin types.
• Hyperpigmentation: An abundance of colour in the skin at the treated area. More common in darker skin types and patients with fresh tans. Usually a temporary effect that responds to topical bleaching therapy and resolves over time.
• Sunburn: A risk that follows treatment, it is important that you keep the area covered in a minimum factor 25 sun cream at all times when the area is not covered by clothing or a sterile bandage.
• Lack of complete pigment removal: Some colours cannot be treated, traces (or ghosting) of colour pigmentation may remain after treatment.
• Slight pin-prick bleeding or weeping: This is normal and nothing to worry about.
• Allergic reaction: A possible development an allergic reaction to the tattoo dye as it is released in your system.
AM I SUITABLE FOR TREATMENT?
Certain medical conditions and medications would make exposure to the laser treatment dangerous to you.
Patients that should not be treated:
• Pregnant women
• Someone breast feeding
• Users of Tretinoin-Retin A in the last 6 months
• Type 1 Diabetes
• Bleeding disorders
• Anyone with an immune system disorder
• Active infections or inflammatory skin conditions
• Tanned or sunburnt skin in area
• Peripheral Vascular Disease
• Anaemia sufferers
• Rheumatoid Arthritis/Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis
• Chronis Diseases (Chrons disease, IBD, etc.)
• Renal failure
• Multiple Sclerosis
• Collagen Vascular Diseases
• Users of St John’s Wort in the past three months
• Waxing, plucking, sugaring or threading depilation treatment in the area in the previous 4-6 weeks
• Surgical metal pins or plates under tissue to be treated
• Wearing a pacemaker
• Taking any topical medication (e.g. hydrocortisone) or is wearing perfumes, deodorants, sun block, oils etc
Patients to exercise extra precautions or care with:
• Allergic reaction to ink, primarily red tattoo ink, may lead to increased chance of anaphylaxis
• Skin types IV or above.
• History of keloid scarring.
• History of hyper or hypopigmentation.
• Antibiotic use may cause an increase of sensitivity to light.
Other Conditions to Consider:
Chronic disease because of delay in healing. These patients may need longer between treatments to heal. Older clients may also take longer to heal. We are not registered to treat clients under 18 years old.
Can I just have a part of my tattoo removed?
Yes. Our lasers are very accurate. We can take the face off your pin-up girl to have it re-done (or replaced with a carrot, your choice). We can take just the name off pieces or remove misspelt letters.
WILL MY TATTOO BE COMPLETELY REMOVED?
Possibly, modern lasers can give fantastic results but there are no guarantees. Sometimes the total elimination of the tattoo is not possible despite the use of the most advanced tattoo removal equipment. There are many factors that can affect treatment results such as:
• Age of tattoo • Depth of colour
• Application method • Area of tattoo
• Type of ink used • Your healing ability
• Depth of ink • Skin type
Tattoos that are carried out by professionals are usually more difficult to remove as they contain more pigmented colours and there is usually much more detail in the design. Often with a professional tattoo, the pigment colours are applied more deeply into the skin, and because of this may take more treatment sessions.
This is not to say that amateur tattoos are not applied as deep as professional ones, sometimes amateur tattooists create pocket of inks that are too deep and extremely difficult to eradicate completely.
You may be surprised but there is no recognised international standard for the manufacture of tattoo ink, sometimes inks can be mixed with other unknown compounds. If your tattoo contains iron pigments for example, this could result in immediate pigment darkening, with the laser treated area turning black. This is one of the reasons why we insist that a patch test is always carried out on your tattoo before any course of laser treatments can begin, so that potentially rare complications of laser treatment like this, or any other, can be predicted.
Tattoo lightening may continue for several months after the last treatment session.