We’re fickle creatures. If life teaches us anything, it’s that obsessions are made to be replaced by, well, new obsessions. The problem occurs when we commemorate something in ink that we soon fall out of love with.
So you’ve made some poor decisions in the past. Who hasn’t? Now it’s time to make the right one. Laser tattoo removal does work, whether you want to eliminate unwanted ink altogether or simply lighten it. In this blog, you’ll learn exactly how laser tattoo removal works, what the most effective device is and the costs involved.
How does laser tattoo removal work?
Quickly and simply, laser tattoo removal is a two-step process:
- The laser shatters the ink into tiny particles.
- The particles are then eliminated through the body’s lymphatic system.
Sound simple, but there’s obviously a lot more going on beneath the surface. In order to remove a tattoo, the first step is choosing the right laser. Many clients having hair removed via laser ask, ‘can we just go over my tattoo with the same laser?’. No, you can’t. The type of laser appropriate for tattoo removal operates on an entirely different wavelength.
The Q-Switched Nd:YAG laser not only sounds impressive, it has the ability to send powerful bursts of energy in single pulses that deliver blasts of heat, shattering molecules in the tattoo into smaller pieces which can then be carried out of the body through the lymphatic system. We can choose from multiple wavelengths, each suitable for targeting different ink colours, such as black, red, orange, blue and green. This laser can also be used on darker Fitzpatrick skin types without changing skin colour.
Sometimes the pigment may be lost through the surface of the skin in the form of scabbing and blistering. Smoking and drinking can result in more toxins circulating in the system and this can slow the elimination process down, which may require a few extra treatments for the tattoo to be fully removed.
The picture below shows the elimination process.
Initially, you can see the tattoo pigment is solid. During the treatment phase, the laser begins to break up and shatter the pigment into tiny particles so the lymphatic system can filter it out. Finally, we can see the body has drastically lightened the tattoo before its eventual elimination.
How much does laser tattoo removal cost?
The cost of the removal depends on how big your tattoo is. Check out our laser tattoo removal prices here to get an idea. (Our prices start from $89 per treatment).
How many treatments do I need?
Once again, it depends. Your skin type, the location of the tattoo, the pigment colour and ink depth all determine how many treatments you’ll need. We can only treat the top layer of pigment during a session, so the number of sessions you need depends on how many layers of ink are trapped under the skin. Imagine this process like peeling an onion, we need to take one layer off at a time.
Generally, we recommend having between 8 and 15 treatments, 6 to 8 weeks apart.
What would stop me from getting laser tattoo removal?
Laser tattoo removal cannot be performed on anyone who has applied fake tan, been sun burned or had sun exposure in the previous four weeks. This is due to the potential for adverse reactions on sensitive skin. Certain medications that make you sensitive to sunlight is also a no go zone. It’s best to discuss this in more detail with your therapist to be absolutely sure you’re a suitable candidate.
What are the side effects of laser tattoo removal?
There is always the possibility of side effects with any treatment. Regarding laser tattoo removal, possible common side effects include:
- Frosting – whitening of the tattoo ( it does turn back to normal)
- Mild redness and puffiness
Rare side effects include:
- Pinpoint bleeding
- Pigmentation changes
- Allergic reactions to ink
As always at VC Dermal Clinics, your therapist will explain to you fully and carefully what to expect from any treatment you receive from us. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Thanks for reading!
Yours in Beauty.