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Will tattoo removal hurt?

Unfortunately, tattoo removal does hurt. Anyone who tells you it doesn’t hurt is not being honest with you. However, there are things we can do to help minimise pain. We work closely with a Pharmacist who can prepare a special numbing cream to suit your needs. Once we do our assessment of your requirements, we will put you directly in touch with the pharmacist.

Why do we use the Q-switched Laser and not the PicoSure?

There’s been a lot of talk recently about the new PicoSure tattoo removal technology, and we’ve been asked whether we will be switching away from our Spectra XT. The answer? Definitely Not!

It all comes down to physics.
In a nutshell, different wavelengths have different impacts on specific colors of tattoo ink within the skin. You need a series of different wavelengths to properly hit the depth of blacks, greens, yellows, reds, and other colors. There’s no such thing as a “do-it-all” wavelength. With the Spectra XT, there are four TRUE wavelengths, whose energy represents the depth of the ink in your skin. These wavelengths have the strongest ability of any laser to break down inks.
1064: This wavelength hits black/Dark Blue/Brown, which is the deepest and easiest to remove.
532: This wavelength hits red/orange, which is the most shallow in the skin.
585: This wavelength hits Sky blue.
650: targets green ink, which can be some of the toughest to remove.

The PicoSure uses one wavelength: 755. Why? In the early days of laser tattoo removal, 755 was the golden number. Although these lasers work, it doesn’t go deep enough to hit the blacks, let alone remove them. When it comes to blues and greens, the wavelength goes past them.

Recently, the PicoSure has added a 532 wavelength – which we have been using for Years on the Q-switched laser!

What can I expect after the laser tattoo removal treatment?

During treatment you will notice a grey frosting over the tattoo. This is the gas omitted from the fracturing of the ink. This will settle down in 2-3 hours

After treatment, you will feel as if you have mild sunburn at the tattoo site. Your tattoo removal specialist will dress the area before you leave. Blisters may form. Do not pick the skin – let it heal naturally. You can ice it down for the first 24 hrs and thereafter for comfort. It will crust up and eventually fall off. In the weeks ahead, your body will dispose of the fractured ink by its normal waste disposal system.

You will notice a 30% fading of the tattoo after each treatment.

Is there any downtime after laser tattoo removal?

Depending on the size of your tattoo, you may or may not have some swelling, tenderness and sometimes blisters, after your treatment. It is recommended that you not do any gym work or vigorous exercise for 24-48 hrs post treatment

You also should not have any significant sun exposure to the tattoo in between treatments, but especially after a treatment

 

Points to consider before Laser Tattoo Removal

  • You cannot be treated if your tattoo has had sun exposure in the previous 4-6 weeks. You must avoid sun exposure (including sun exposure while driving your car) to the treatment area for at least 4 weeks. This will reduce the effect of hyper (dark skin)/hypo (light skin)-pigmentation.
  • Fake tan must be discontinued two weeks prior treatment.
  • Infected or acne break out areas must be avoided
  • Personal history of skin cancers, such as melanoma require your doctors written consent.
  • Wait 6 months after Accutane therapy
  • History of photosensitivity to infrared light
  • Pregnancy, Trying to Conceive or Breast Feeding
  • Seizure disorders
  • Medications and Supplements: Daily anticoagulation therapy, iron supplements, herbal supplements such as ginkgo, ginseng or garlic and fish oil supplements may bruise more readily.
  • Photosensitizing Medications: Medications that induce photosensitivity should be stopped if possible for 3-5 days prior to treatment. These drugs can include anti acne drugs, anti depressant drugs, anti cancer drugs, anti-histamines etc. Please consult your doctor or pharmacist for more advice.
  • Topical Medications and skin care products: Stop 72 hours pre and post
  • HSV 1 & 2: Do not treat if active lesion(s) are present within the intended treatment area. Patients with a known history of frequent HSV 1 & 2 lesions should begin prophylaxis prior to treatment as prescribed by their healthcare provider.
  • Poorly controlled Medical Conditions: These clients should be carefully evaluated by their healthcare provider for medical clearance.
  • Active skin infection
  • Keloid scarring: will need test spots performed prior to treating larger areas.
  • Implanted medical devices: Pacemakers, cardioverters and other implantable devices or fillers consult healthcare provider.

How does laser tattoo removal work?

SPECTRA Laser Tattoo Removal uses laser energy to significantly lighten or completely remove your tattoo. Ink particles are targeted by the laser energy and broken into small fragments that your body can absorb. Tattoo ink is heavily deposited deep into your skin, and as a result in order to completely remove the tattoo, multiple treatments are required.

Tattoo Ink Removal

Tattoo ink within the cells and tissue is targeted by laser energy. Laser energy breaks the ink pigment into small fragments that are then carried away by your body.

Does laser tattoo removal hurt?

Yes, it can be painful. Tattoo removal is considered much more painful than getting a tattoo. Most clients require some sort of topical anaesthetic (numbing to the area).  Blowing cold air on the area is the safest way to produce a numbing effect. Some people can have a reaction to topical anaesthetic and only a certain amount of cream can be used at a time. Avoid any oral pain relief.

If you feel you require pain relief, talk to your tattoo removal specialist.

Can you target all colours for tattoo removal?

Our medical grade, TGA approved laser is one of the most powerful Q-switched Nd:YAG tattoo removal machines on the market.

It is capable of producing four wavelengths to target different tattoo colours. Using different hand pieces, it can target ALL tattoo colours except white, making it the most effective of its kind.

Black and red inks are the easiest to remove, next are green, yellow and orange. The hardest are light greens and light blues and white is very difficult. Generally pastel colours are the most difficult to remove.

How many sessions will I need to remove my tattoo?

The number of treatments required for optimal results depends on the size, location, depth and colour of the tattoo. Treatments should be performed 4 – 8 weeks apart in order to allow your body to remove the tattoo ink fragments.

The number of treatments required is based factors such as:

  • Amount of Ink Used: The 4 categories of ink are divided into: Simple (letters, words or small symbols), Minimal (one colour, simple design), Moderate (one colour, complex design) and Significant (multicoloured, complex design).
  • Location of the tattoo: Tattoos on the hands and feet will take the longest time to have total removal results
  • Colours used: Black and red inks are the easiest to remove, next are green, yellow and orange. The hardest are light greens and light blues and white is very difficult
  • Size of the tattoo

Other factors that will effect sessions required are:

  • Your skin colour/type
  • Medical conditions
  • Smoker/non smoker
  • Fitness level

A qualified and highly experienced technician will do a full assessment of your tattoo in person. Then, based on our experience, we will give you an estimate as close as possible as to the number of sessions you will require.

Will the tattoo be completely removed?

No two tattoos are alike; they vary in the type of ink used, colours, and depth of application. Black and red inks are generally the easiest to remove; blues and greens are moderate, while light colours such as yellow tend to be the hardest.

Also, the darker the skin type, the harder the tattoo is to remove completely.

Your laser tattoo removal specialist will tell you honestly what type of results you can expect.

How long will each tattoo removal treatment take?

Each session usually takes 10 – 30 minutes and will depend on the size of the tattoo. However, if your Tattoo Removal Specialist applies a numbing agent beforehand, there will be extra time waiting for it to work.

Why is there a 6 – 8 week break between tattoo removal treatments?

After the laser breaks down the ink, the body’s natural immune processes take over and remove the foreign particles from the broken down ink over time. Surrounding tissue is largely unaffected but not entirely spared, as the process may cause some inflammation to the skin. Numerous sessions are required to gain complete removal, and the body needs 6 – 8 weeks between sessions in order to clear the ink and heal.