Put at its simplest, laser removal uses various laser types to rapidly heat tattoo ink in order to break it up into small particles ready to be flushed out by the immune system it’s entirely non-invasive with manageable aftercare and incredibly short recovery periods. How many sessions it takes varies by machine and operator, we’ll look a bit more at both next time, today we’ll take a look at the process so you know what to expect.
The initial consultation is the time to ask as many questions as you need to feel comfortable. We’ll go over the machines and their settings, discuss your end goal (is the tattoo to go completely or just to be faded for a cover?) and give you a quote based on the amount of time required each session. Once you’re happy to proceed we will do a test patch to see which power setting is best for your skin type, we’ll also book you in for your first removal session the following week.
A typical removal session ranges from 5 to 30 minutes depending on the size as well as the number of colours. You’ll be sent a medical check by text or email prior to your session, it’s a short questionnaire to ensure there are no adverse effect, if you fill this in prior to arrival we can begin removal straight away.
The session itself is a fairly straightforward affair, the machine is set based on your test patch and the laser is passed over the tattoo in its entirety. The thermal impact caused by the laser pulse will turn the tattoo temporarily white. An affect known as frosting, it is evidence that the laser has hit the ink and broken part of it up.
The procedure does cause some pain, often likened to a hot elastic band snapping on your skin, it is completely manageable, especially for shorter sessions. We do offer a frost machine to numb the area at a small charge if you struggle with pain.
After a Removal Session
After the session we’ll walk you through the aftercare – as a non-invasive procedure it’s fairly straightforward – aloe vera to ease any pain and savlon to keep the area clean. There is a chance that there will be some redness and blistering in the first few weeks, which is normal.
We book in repeat sessions straight after the first with 5 weeks in between for full recovery. The tattoo will continue to fade after a session for up to 6 months but we want to hit it more frequently than that to compound the effect and bring down the overall time.
Next time we will take a look at the various laser technologies currently being used, how they work, differ and why ours are more advanced and work more quickly than most.