Laser tattoo removal FAQ
Your most frequently asked laser tattoo removal questions answered below
DOES LASER TATTOO REMOVAL WORK?
Yes it does. Laser tattoo removal is the safest way to get rid of unwanted tattoos. At Goodbye Tattoos we have qualified staff using a Q Switched laser, so we can remove your tattoo, or modify an existing tattoo to make way for a new one.
HOW DOES TATTOO REMOVAL WORK?
Tattoo laser removal works by directing the laser light onto the tattoo. The tattoo ink absorbs the laser light, and the ink particles are shattered into small pieces.
Once the ink is shattered, the elimination process starts.
The body’s white blood cells consume these small ink particles and break them down further, resulting in the removal of the ink through the lymphatic system. Read more
HOW LONG DO I NEED TO WAIT BETWEEN EACH TREATMENT?
The ink elimination process can take up to 6 weeks, so we recommend this as a minimum amount of time so we can achieve optimum results. Read more
HOW WILL YOU ASSESS MY SKIN FOR TREATMENT?
The Fitzpatrick Skin Scale ranges from Type I to Type VI:
skin types that range from fair skin that burns and never tans to very dark skin that never burns and tans very easily.
We look at where on the body you have the tattoo. The body’s immune system
reacts differently depending on where we apply the laser. The head and neck
can result in most effective in ink elimination. After that the it’s the
upper and lower trunks. The hands and feet can take the longest.
Tattoo ink is made from a mixture of varying compounds. Professional inks are different to inks used by amateur tattoos. The colour of the pigment differs in the size of the granules. Black ink is the easiest to remove due to small size and lacks metallic elements and absorbs the laser wavelength. Red is the next easiest then green, yellow and orange.
AMOUNT OF INK
We look at how much ink has been applied in the tattoo design. There are 4 groups that tattoo ink is divided into: Amateur/Minimal/Moderate/Significant; ranging from letters and small symbols to multicoloured, complex designs
SCARRING AND TISSUE CHANGE
Getting a tattoo can cause scarring and this can sometimes result in the effectiveness of tattoo removal. Important to note that pre-existing scars will remain after treatment
Many people decide to layer tattoos to hide old tattoos. This requires layering of darker ink which may mean more treatments to successfully removal the tattoo.
HOW MANY TREATMENTS WILL I NEED?
Every individual is different and so is every tattoo. There are different variables we need to consider before we can answer this question; tattoo pigment, tattoo colour, tattoo layering, client health. On average, you’ll need between 6 to 10 treatments but everyone reacts and heals differently. This is because the ink is eliminated through the lymphatic system.
And certain colours take longer than others. For example, black ink is the easiest to eliminate whereas colours like blues, greens and reds may require more sessions.
During the thorough consultation, we are able to give you an approximate number of treatments required.
At Goodbye Tattoos, we refer to the Kirby-Desai Scale. This scale was developed by two dermatologists specialising in tattoo removal techniques. The scale helps us assess how many treatments you will need and the potential success we can achieve.
WILL LASER TATTOO REMOVAL SCAR MY SKIN?
There are common side effects to laser tattoo removal, however these are normal and to be expected.
Immediately after the treatment, there will be a whitening of the tattoo, also called ‘Frosting’. This is a good sign. It means the laser energy has started to penetrate the ink and it’s starting to do it’s job. The frosting only lasts 5-10 minutes.
As well as the frosting, you may also experience redness, swelling or bruising, however there is no cause for concern as these are all possible by-products of laser tattoo removal.
We always ask our clients not to pick or scratch blisters or scabs, as this can lead to scarring and slow down the healing process. It’s best to let the skin heal on it’s own.
At Goodbye Tattoos, we use a medical scar therapy gel called Stratamed which helps with the healing process. It gives relief from redness, itching, discomfort and pain.
CAN YOU DO LASER REMOVAL ON A NEW TATTOO?
We recommend giving the new tattoo time to heal and for the ink to settle. This should at a minimum 6 months. To carry out treatment on a new tattoo any sooner can cause scarring.
I HAVE JUST HAD MY TATTOO REMOVED. CAN I GET A TATTOO IN THE SAME AREA?
Yes you can. Many people want to say goodbye to an old tattoo to allow for a new one. We do recommend waiting until the skin has completely healed. Read more
IS LASER TATTOO REMOVAL PAINFUL?
The sensation of the laser has been compared to hot oil splashes experienced when cooking.
Most clients will experience some slight discomfort depending on the location of the tattoo on the body, and also depending on your pain threshold.
At Goodbye Tattoos, we use a chilled air-cooling device, which provides a continued flow of chilled air before, during and after the treatment. Most people will find this is enough and don’t require any additional numbing agents. Read more
HOW LONG AFTER LASER TATTOO REMOVAL CAN I GO IN THE SUN?
We would advise to wait at least 4 weeks until you go back in the sun. Your skin immediately after a laser tattoo removal treatment will feel quite tender and you wouldn’t want to expose it to heat straight after. Likewise, you also need to conscious of sun exposure before the treatments. For more information about laser tattoo removal and sun exposure, read our blog here.
HOW MUCH DOES LASER TATTOO REMOVAL COST?
Our tattoo removal cost is based on the size of the tattoo or tattoos. As part of the free consultation, we will measure the tattoo/s to give us the exact size in cm2. We will then be able to give you the laser tattoo removal price per session
WHAT IS THE R20 METHOD?
The R20 method doesn’t require new equipment or any extra training. It’s pretty much the same as the standard method of laser tattoo removal. Rather it’s the way we USE the equipment.
Instead of waiting 6-8 weeks in between each treatment, the laser tattoo removal specialist will perform up to 4 treatments in the same session, with only 20 minutes waiting time in between each treatment.
Whilst this may seem like the quickest way to get rid of a tattoo, there are risks involved. Please read to find out more.