Laser Tattoo Removal: FAQs

How does it work?
Contrary to popular belief the laser does not remove tattoo ink. Instead high intensity flashes of light is absorbed by the tattoo pigment. This light energy is then converted into heat energy, which causes the sells with ink in them to shatter into microscopic pieces. These tiny pieces of debris is then picked up by a person's immune system and removed through the body’s natural elimination processes over a period of time. You will be able to see your tattoo fading away.
Will the laser remove all of the tattoo?
Laser tattoo removal is very effective at removing (dark) blue, black and red inks. Therefore in many cases the tattoo can be completely removed, if not completely it will be significantly lightened (approx. 97% gone). Purple and orange also respond well. Colours such as (grass) green, (sky) blue and yellow can be difficult to remove.
How long does it take?
Usually a series of treatments is required to achieve satisfactory results. It depends on the method used for getting the tattoo - as a guide, Amateur (ballpoint or Indian ink) tattoos requires approximately 3-6 separate treatments whereas professional tattoos (where a gun has been used) requires approximately 6-9 treatments. In order to gain the biggest benefit from treatments, we allow 6 weeks between sessions. Sessions range from 15 to 30 minutes
Are there any side effects?
After the laser tattoo removal procedure, the area may be red or swollen and is similar to mild sunburn. This is to be expected for five days to several weeks. Some pinpoint bleeding is associated with the treatment. Application of antibacterial ointment and a dressing is applied to the treated area of skin and normally heals within a few days.
Is there any risk of scarring?
Normally the risk is about 1% for chance of scarring. The biggest risk factor is broken skin, which can lead to infection which can then increase the risk of scarring. Therefore protecting the area after treatment considerably reduces chances of scarring. Some hypo-pigmentation (lightening of the skin) or hyper-pigmentation (darkening) may occur during the course of treatments but this usually fades away within 6 months of treatment completion.
Does it hurt?
The treatments can be painful. A local anaesthetic cream is applied 0.5hours - 1hour before each treatment to assist in reducing any discomfort. The good news is - your discomfort is dependent on the amount of ink. As it disappears, the discomfort becomes minimal.
How much will it cost?
Exact costing can be quoted during a personal consultation.  In general for an area approximately the size of a business card it is approximately $160. Arm bands 1.5cm wide is around $150. For larger tattoos please phone for an estimate price.
What Happens After Laser Tattoo Removal?
The treated area should be kept clean with continued application of any ointment given to you by your therapist. Showers can be taken but you must keep the skin clean and dry for 5-7 days and the area that has undergone laser tattoo removal should not be scrubbed.
Will I be able to go back to work after treatment?
Yes, most people do. It all depends on where the tattoo is, and what your occupation is, eg if you have tattoos on your hands, and work with fluids, abrasives, toxic substances, or similar - you would need to protect the treated area from the risk of infection or injury.
 

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