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Tattoo Removal

Clear The Ones You Regret

LASER TATTOO REMOVAL: FROM PREP TO AFTERCARE, HERE’S WHAT TO EXPECT

No one gets a tattoo thinking they’ll want it removed, but circumstances change and tastes evolve. That’s where science and technology step in — in the late ’60s, doctors began experimenting with lasers and discovered that focused light beams can break up tattoo ink, allowing the body to absorb the pigment and remove it via natural processes.

Yes, it will hurt

No pain, no gain. As unpleasant as it may be, the reality is that laser tattoo removal hurts. Numbing Cream can be applied 40 min prior to the removal session and a cooling device is also used during your treatment.  

Location of the tattoo on your body determines number of treatments. Generally, when the tattoo is closer to your heart, clearance is quicker. When treatments are performed on thinner skin over bone, patients say the treatments are more painful.

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Your immune system does most of the ink removal. When the laser breaks the ink into particles, it takes time for your body’s lymphocytes to clear the unwanted ink. Your body can only remove the ink so fast. The healthier you are, the more quickly your tattoo will be removed. Exercise regularly, eat a healthy diet, drink plenty of water and don’t smoke. 

The age of your tattoo affects removal. Older tattoos can be removed with fewer treatments than newer tattoos because newer inks have been formulated to last. A armature (black or blue) ink tattoo that is 10 years old may take one or two treatments fewer than a 1 year old black tattoo.  A 20 year old tattoo may take two to three treatments fewer than a 1 year old tattoo.

What can I expect after treatment?

Immediately after treatment, you’ll see whitened areas on the tattoo. This is called frosting and will disappear in about 20 minutes. There will be mild redness and swelling over the tattoo which should resolve over several hours. Some people get small blisters or pinpoint bleeding. The treated area will feel like a sunburn. Scarring is uncommon with Q switched lasers and picosecond lasers.

How long should I wait between treatments?

You should wait 8 weeks between treatments. Generally, the longer you wait between treatments, the better the clearance of ink. The added time allows your immune system to move the ink away from the tattoo.

Laser Tattoo Removal Timeline

A typical tattoo takes about 10 treatments to remove completely. If you are looking to fade a tattoo for a cover up piece, a partial tattoo removal option will remove as much ink as possible from your skin in just one to four sessions. This can vary depending on the artist and the new artwork that you want.

How The Treatment Works

The laser delivers specific wavelengths of light extremely quickly (In Picoseconds) at a very high energy. 

These pulses are selectively absorbed by the Tattoo piment, shattering the ink into tiny fragments small enough for the body to recognise the particles as a foreign object, and over the next several weeks some for the particles (In shallow cuticle) are discharged from the body and the other part (In Deep Tissue) are absorbed and digested by the body’s macrophages and removed out to the body by the immune system.  Since the specific wavelengths used can only be absorbed by piment particles, usually no lasting injury happens to the skin. 

Picosecond laser systems can now removal all types of tattoos with little or no scarring.  Professional and amateur tattoos, as well as traumatic tattoos, resulting from accidents, are treated successfully.  Multiple treatments will be required. 

Amateur Tattoos: are usually only single colour (Black or Blue),

Professional Tattoos: are multi-coloured

Type of Ink Used: The pigment used in tattoos can be plant pigment, mixture pigment, and chemical pigment.  The plant-based pigment is the easiest to dispel, while the chemical pigment is more difficult.  If the pigment contains iron and lead in the mixture and chemical pigment, it may not react well to laser treatment and can be difficult to remove. The type of ink in your tattoo will affect its removal. Different types of inks respond differently to the laser. The FDA does NOT regulate tattoo inks or the pigments in them. Each tattoo artist / shop chooses ink and decides how that ink is blended and diluted. Different pigments fade at different rates. This means it is impossible to know how your ink will react to the laser until you are treated. Black inks respond the quickest because they absorb all the wavelengths. The depth, color and amount of ink used are all factors that affect how quickly your tattoo will be removed.

Depth of Ink: Generally speaking, the deeper the pigment, the more difficult to remove.  And it also takes many times to dispel.  It will be easy to dispel if the depth of the pigment is thin.  Any treatment will not react well if the pigment is chemical based, even the depth of the pigment is thin. 

Colours in Tattoo: Black tattoos are the easiest to remove whilst yellow pigments are the hardest as there is not an ideal wavelength that the colour absorbs.  Green and blue can also be difficult to remove unless a ruby laser is used.  Tattoo’s that have had white (Titanium oxide) applied cannot be removed until the white has faded.  UV inks cannot be treated. 

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Patients Healing Ability: The different physique of people.  These factors include age, skin, and body immunity and so on. 

Treatment Pain and Side effects:  A superficial burn wound can be created by the laser tattoo removal treatment; the immediate whitening of the treated area is the inks’ reaction to the absorption of the lasers light energy creating steam within the surface of your skin which usually last for several minutes but sometimes longer. 

Pain Level expectations should be discussed and inform, and a numbing cream may be used for future (A Extra Fee for numbing agent) appointments if a patient finds the pain un-manageable.

Post Treatment Patients May Experience:

  • Localized Swelling or Bruising

  • Blistering

  • Feeling like a Sunburn

  • Infection (Rare)

  • Scabs and Crusts

  • Pigmentation changes due to loss of skin pigment can occur (Temporary except in rare cases)

  • Dry Itch Skin

  • Temporary Hair Loss (Area Treated)

  • Scarring

Although times vary, Complete healing usually takes between 1-2 weeks, some extreme cases can be up to 3 months to heal properly. 

Blisters can occur following treatment and usually occur 8-72 hours after the treatment, which can last 1-2 weeks or longer.  Blisters can sometime form into scabs which should be left to naturally fall off otherwise there can be a s risk of permanent scarring.  When the scab falls off, the skin the treated area may look pale or pink. 

It is very unusual to develop scarring, but it is a possibility, especially with poor aftercare.  The laser is specially designed for tattoo removal and reduction.  The low pulse width of the laser reduces the risk of scarring. 

Maintain a Healthy Immune System

Caring for tattoos after laser removal means boosting your body’s overall health. In other words, keeping your immune system strong is a vital part of tattoo removal aftercare.

Why? Your laser session is just the first step of the process. Afterward, your body must work hard to flush out the ink and regenerate new skin. White blood cells rush in to remove the ink that the laser removal process has shattered into tiny particles, flushing them out of the skin. Here are some tips for strengthening your immune system, benefiting your healing and overall health. 

  • Stay Hydrated: Drinking enough water will improve your circulation, bringing lots of those white blood cells to the affected area. This will ramp up both ink removal and skin repair, helping your skin heal as efficiently as possible!

  • Eat Clean: Eat healthy foods that give your body lots of nutrition. This will give your body the fuel to regenerate healthy skin cells. Eat lots of veggies and choose lean proteins to provide your body with the vitamins and minerals it needs to regenerate. 

  • Exercise: Though you need to avoid intense exercise for the first day or so, regular exercise is essential for a healthy immune system. Thus, it’s an essential element of tattoo removal aftercare. Exercise strengthens each of the body’s systems, which can then work together more effectively. When each system is healthy, none of them is demanding too much help from the immune system, which could take away valuable resources from the healing skin. 

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