Although a tattoo looks like a simple drawing, it's actually a series of ink deposits deep within the skin, embedded into a network of collagen fibres – designed to last forever. This makes the physical removal of tattoo pigments complex and may be damaging to the surrounding tissue.
Lasers tattoo removal works by using short pulses of a colour-specific band of high-energy light to safely penetrate the skin and target the tattoo ink. The light energy gently vibrates and shatters the tattoo ink into micro-particles that are eventually eliminated through your own immune system. Because the laser delivers the energy in a very precise beam, we can trace the design without damaging the surrounding skin. At Lesprit Medical Clinic we use a state-of-the-art Q-switched Nd YAG laser, which causes less heating in the surrounding skin tissue and therefore carries a much lower risk of scarring. We specialise in using medical dermatology lasers and have vast clinical experience in the treatment of unwanted tattoos.
The length of a treatment session depends on the size of the treatment area, but on average a session lasts approximately 20 to 30 minutes. The number of treatments depends on the size of the tattoo, the amount and type of ink used, and the depth of the ink in the skin. The location of the tattoo will also affect the clearance rate. Removal of a professional tattoo can require multiple treatments while an amateur inking may need less sessions, spaced roughly four to eight weeks apart.
In most cases, over time, the tattoo fades and the skin returns to normal colour. Black and red inks fade best. Oranges, yellows, and purples usually respond as well. Green and blue inks are the most difficult to remove, although multiple treatments can produce satisfactory results. As there are many different types of tattoo inks and some colours are more difficult to treat, we cannot guarantee that all tattoos will disappear completely.
An antibacterial ointment and dressing will be applied immediately after treatment and the area must be kept clean. In the first 24 hours you will want to apply cooling pack periodically. You will also need to rest and elevate the treated area, as well as limit activities, especially swimming. Do not soak the tattoo in a bath, hot tub or swimming pool until it is fully healed. Avoid sun exposure and tanning beds at all times during your treatment course.