Whilst the stigma that once surrounded tattoos has dissipated over the past few decades and lead to tattoos forming a key part of mainstream culture, some still caution against deciding on such a permanent means of self-expression. With the advancement of technology, tattoo removal has never been more effective or accessible for those looking to address their tattoo concerns.
Whether you’re looking to ditch a questionable tattoo from your teens or remove an old tattoo to make room for a new one, we share everything you’ve ever wanted to know about laser tattoo removal.
How Does Laser Tattoo Removal Work?
Lasers work by producing short bursts of light across a specific wavelength. These targeted wavelengths of light pass through the skin and tattoo ink absorbs this light energy. The rapid process to light absorption causes the tattoo ink to break and shatter into microscopic particles that can be processed by the body and naturally removed. As a result tattoos will fade gradually over a series of laser removal treatments.
How Long Will My Tattoo Take To Remove?
A number of factors determine how long your tattoo will take to remove; these include body placement, type of ink, colour of tattoo and age of tattoo. On average, professional tattoos require 5-8 treatments spaced 6 weeks apart for full removal with sessions being quick. Small tattoos can take less than 5 minutes to complete with larger tattoos extending to 15 or 20 minutes.
Why Do I Have To Wait 6 Weeks Between Treatments?
Treatments must be scheduled several weeks apart in order to give your body adequate time to process and remove the broken down ink particles. The body needs time to heal and eliminate these shattered ink particles naturally through your lymphatic system, without introducing further trauma to you skin or body with laser.
Is Laser Tattoo Removal Treatment Painful?
Everyone’s tolerance for pain is different, meaning everyone will have different views on the pain of tattoo removal treatments. That being said, laser tattoo removal typically does involve some level of discomfort. However, many patients find that it hurts less than they expected and is no more painful than when they had the tattoo done initially. Ensuring treatments are spaced no more than 6-8 weeks apart and the use of numbing creams can help to reduce unnecessary pain and discomfort.
How Much Will My Tattoo Removal Cost?
The cost of any tattoo removal will vary depending on many factors including the size of the tattoo as well as the colour, density, age and position of the tattoo. These elements will also then determine how many treatments are required in order to successfully remove the tattoo. As a result it is difficult for us to give you an accurate cost estimate based on the number of variables.
What’s the difference between IPL, Q-Switched & Picosecond Laser’s for Tattoo Removal?
IPL is an all-purpose laser treatment that functions in milliseconds to deliver broad wavelength pulses to the skin. Unlike other laser treatments, IPL is actually not recommended for tattoo removal as it lacks a precise targeting ability and can cause horrific burns and scarring when used incorrectly.
Q-Switched lasers are one of the safest and most recommended treatments for tattoo removal, releasing energy pulses at a speed of one nanosecond (1000x faster than an IPL laser). RevLite SI, also one of Cynosure’s premium technologies, has long been known as the gold standard in Q-Switched laser treatments and the first of its kind to be approved by the FDA. RevLite SI is an advanced tattoo treatment that can precisely target tattoos and shatter ink particles with minimal risk of scarring or pigment changes.
Picosecond technologies deliver laser pulses in an extremely short time frame creating smaller ink particles that are easier for the body to absorb. A shorter time frame means that less heat is being generated by the laser and transferred to the skin. As a result, there is less of a chance of burning or discolouration due to the treatment. Cynosure’s PicoSure technology has been clinically proven to treat darker, multi-coloured and complex tattoos effectively and efficiently, within significantly less time than traditional laser treatments (results within 2-6 treatments).
To arrange a consultation with an expert, contact your local clinic directly!