Laser tattoo removal is simple, safe, and can produce fantastic results.
Tattoo removal has been performed with various tools since the start of tattooing. While tattoos were once considered permanent, it is now possible to remove them with treatments, fully or partially, using certain types of advanced lasers.
Laser technology works by allowing the light produced by the laser to pass through the skin and break up the tattoo ink into tiny particles. The body then disposes of these fragments via its immune system.
What type of laser do you use?
Q-switched lasers, which release energy in a single, powerful pulse, are usually the treatment of choice for tattoo removal.
At the Skin and Beauty Clinic we use a “Q-switched Nd:YAG (yttrium aluminum garnet) laser” which has a dual wavelength of 1064 (to treat darker skin types and for black ink) and 532nm (to treat red and orange tattoo pigment, and for age spot or sun spot removal).
Our device is one of fastest lasers in its class sold in the UK making it ideal for larger tattoos, and is also suitable for ‘carbon facials’.
How does a Laser remove tattoos?
Tattoos consist of thousands of particles of tattoo pigment suspended in the skin. Laser treatment causes tattoo pigment particles to heat up and fragment into smaller ink particles. The smaller ink particles are then removed by dermal macrophages which are part of the immune system, tasked with collecting and digesting cellular debris.
Typically, black and other darker-coloured inks can be removed completely using Q-switched lasers while lighter colours such as yellows and greens are still very difficult to remove. Success can depend on a wide variety of factors including skin colour, ink colour, and the depth at which the ink was applied. Therefore the extent of removal will vary from tattoo to tattoo and from person to person as skin type and other factors must be taken into account.
What can I expect from the treatment?
Before the treatment you will need to have a thorough consultation and skin patch test to ensure you are suitable for treatment. Pregnant women, those taking certain medications or people prone to keloid scarring, amongst others, will not be able to have the treatment safely. Also, some tattoos may not be suitable due to the ink type or colours used. Certain skin types may be more prone to adverse effects and this will be discussed with you, as long as what to do in between treatments and the aftercare needed to ensure that your skin remains in the best condition possible while you undergo tattoo removal.
The treatment itself involves applying a powerful pulse of energy via the laser hand-piece to your skin which heats up and shatter the tattoo ink. Multi-coloured tattoos might need treatment with different wavelengths. With our device the removal of blue or green pigment is not possible. Some people choose fade the tattoo and then have a tattoo artist cover it up with a new tattoo.
Although you may feel some discomfort during the treatment we will ensure that you are as comfortable as possible and will soothe your skin after each treatment. After the procedure, you might notice swelling and possibly blistering or bleeding. Antibacterial ointment can help promote healing and you will be given aftercare advice to follow closely.
Each session will take 10 to 30 minutes depending on the area treated. You will need repeated sessions (average 6-12) to lighten the tattoo, and it might not be possible to completely erase the tattoo. Some scarring is rare but possible and this will be discussed with you.
Our training standards
We are committed to providing only the best treatments with the utmost care and are fully trained to the highest standards. Monica is trained up to Level 4 in Laser Technology and is a Level 5 Laser Safety Officer in accordance with the latest government Health Education England (HEE) recommendations. Lasers are powerful devices and we would never operate one without the proper training, as advised by current NHS guidelines.
If you’re interested in laser tattoo removal or any of our other treatments, the first step would be to contact us and book in for your patch test and consultation. We are always here to help so please don’t hesitate to get in touch with any questions.