If you’re stuck with an unwanted tattoo, choose laser tattoo removal the first time around, and you won’t be disappointed.
The best decision is an informed decision.
So, we have compiled this guide on laser tattoo removal to know exactly what to expect.
• how laser tattoo removal works,
• whether the laser treatment hurts,
• what you should expect after your laser tattoo removal sessions, and
• the length of a laser removal procedure.
How Does Laser Tattoo Removal Work?
Laser tattoo removal technology penetrates light energy deep into the skin, where the ink particles lie in the dermal layer.
This makes laser therapy more effective than applying an ointment or cream for tattoo removal, as topical substances can’t reach the skin’s surface deep enough to get to the tattoo particles.
The tattoo ink particles are too large for the body’s immune system to remove, and this is why a tattoo remains permanent. Each laser treatment session breaks those particles down smaller and smaller until the body’s white blood cells can transport them away for excretion.
Complete removal of unwanted tattoos is attained when the laser light has broken up the tattoo pigment particles small enough that every last one of them is excreted.
Our laser tattoo removal technology includes the world’s only machine that supports multiple wavelengths at the Tattoo Removal Institute, meaning it incorporates the Q switched lasers into one.
The Q switched laser sends short bursts of light energy into the skin’s epidermal layer. These heat the tattoo pigment particles and cause them to expand and shatter into tiny fragments rapidly.
Different Q switched laser wavelengths will be used for the three different groups of tattoo ink colours during the laser tattoo removal process. These are measured in nanometers, which are one thousand-millionth of a metre.
• Red, orange, pink, yellow, white ink - 532-nanometer wavelength
• Bright blue and green ink - 694-nanometer wavelength
• Dark blue, purple and black ink - 1064-nanometer wavelength
Does Laser Treatment Hurt?
Because the laser tattoo removal process involves heat, a common misconception is that it burns the tattoo from the skin. On the contrary, burnt skin is not associated with laser therapy at all.
Some people have compared the tattoo removal feeling to:
• snapping a rubber band against your skin;
• scratching sunburn;
• splattered bacon grease; and
• a cat is licking your skin with its rough, raspy tongue.
Different factors play a role in whether the laser treatment will hurt or not. For example, if your tattoo is close to the bone, like on your shin, it will be more painful to remove than tattoos in fleshy parts of the body.
Your pain tolerance threshold will also play a significant part in how painful you perceive it to be. If you could endure getting the tattoo done in the first place, you should be able to handle having that tattoo removed.
At the Tattoo Removal Institute, we use the Koolio Optimal Air Cooling System to reduce the risk of thermal injury, which causes swelling. This machine blows cold air onto the skin’s surface as the laser works and can reach up to -40°C.
What Should I Expect After Laser Tattoo Removal?
During and immediately after laser removal, you’ll experience something known as frosting.
The ink particles release bubbles of carbon dioxide which rise to the top layer of skin, and they have a white, frosted appearance (like cake frosting.) This shows that the healing process has begun.
Your laser technician will apply laser aid gel to the treated area, as well as a bandage. They’ll then explain the patient aftercare responsibilities to you.
During the first three days, you should apply a cold compress and elevate the area if possible. You should also keep the area clean and fresh and apply antibacterial cream regularly.
You can expect tattoo removal blisters to form, and this is completely normal. Don’t be tempted to pop the blisters yourself, and be careful not to pop them accidentally - they are part of the healing process.
The blisters will dry out and produce a scab in their own time, so resist the urge to scratch! You can apply vitamin E oil to the area and surrounding skin to soothe the itchiness if needed.
You should also take care to:
• not pick the scab because it can result in scar tissue build up;
• avoid direct sun exposure on the lasered area;
• not let high-pressure water directly hit the treated area;
• avoid swimming in a swimming pool, baths, hot tubs and saunas;
• keep physical activity to a minimum, or any activity that produces sweat; and
• not apply make-up on, or shave, the treated area.
How Long Does the Entire Tattoo Removal Procedure Take?
The laser tattoo removal treatment process looks different for everyone because everyone’s tattoo and skin sensitivity are different.
Laser tattoo removal typically requires approximately ten laser treatments, and each session needs between six and twelve weeks of recovery time in between.
If one or more of the following is true for you, you might require more tattoo removal treatments to remove unwanted tattoos. These factors slow down the process and might increase how many sessions of Q switched laser treatment you need:
• large, multi-coloured tattoos;
• a cover-up tattoo;
• having a tattoo on your extremities;
• a brand new tattoo;
• darker skin tones with dark blue and green inks;
• not having a healthy and strong immune system; and smoking.
• Keep in mind that your body needs to be completely healed before undergoing your next laser removal treatment. For this reason, it’s very important to keep up your aftercare routine to ensure timely healing.
Why Should I Choose the Tattoo Removal Institute?
At our laser tattoo removal clinic, we combine state of the art laser machines with highly skilled and qualified laser technicians who know proper laser protocols.
Each patient has a free consultation to assess the original tattoo and determine how many treatments will be required. If more laser sessions are needed than what was recommended in the initial consultation, we’ll give you up to a year’s worth of treatments for free until you are satisfied with your tattoo removal.
While laser tattoo removal depends a lot on personal factors, it also requires an excellent tattoo laser system.
If you play your part and keep up your aftercare as required, leave it to the Tattoo Removal Institute to take care of the rest.
Many patients are hasty and impatient, but we are here to inform patients that if they trust us and trust the tattoo removal process, complete tattoo removal is 100% possible.
We remove tattoos every single day, and we can’t wait to start on yours. Contact us today to begin your journey.
DISCLAIMER: The information contained herein should NOT be used as a substitute for the advice of an appropriately qualified and licensed physician or other health care provider. The information provided here is for informational purposes only. Please check with a physician if you have health questions or concerns about interactions or go to the TGA for a comprehensive list of TGA warnings. Although we attempt to provide accurate and up-to-date information, no guarantee is made to that effect.