What is involved in a consultation?
A consultation is the first step and is required before any laser treatment takes place. We will ask you questions regarding your health and any medical history, evaluate the tattoo, explain the procedure, review the risks and benefits, discuss options, answer any questions and establish the price per treatment. Clients must be at least 18 years old. No children shall be present during treatment or consultation.
Can any type of tattoo be treated successfully?
Laser treatment will effectively remove almost all tattoos, but this cannot be guaranteed. The variations in size and the concentration of various colours will mean that some tattoos can be removed more easily than others. It has also been revealed that some dyes such as white, yellow, orange and some reds and greens are very hard to remove completely. Furthermore, if fluorescent or acrylic dyes have been used, they may still remain following treatment.
How many sessions will I require?
Each removal is expected to take between 10 and 20 treatments for full removal and 3 and 5 treatments to lighten a tattoo for cover-up work. These should occur at regular intervals — every 6 weeks — for the best results.
Is the treatment painful?
Yes. However, a treatment may only last 5-10 seconds for small tattoos. The treatment can produce a stinging sensation, which has been likened to an elastic band being snapped against the skin. Anaesthetic cream can be applied prior to treatment if required, which, according to most clients, reduces the pain from 8 out of 10 to 2 out of 10.
Will there be any scarring?
This type of laser treatment deals with the skin’s pigmentation and does not cut through or harm the skin’s delicate surface. Therefore, any scarring would be an absolute minimum; however, there may be some changes to pigmentation. Hypo-pigmentation (loss of pigment) or hyper-pigmentation (excess pigment) may become apparent after treatment, but this should fade and normal skin tone should return after 6 months. If you follow the aftercare instructions properly, the chance of scarring is less than 5%. However, the risk of scarring can increase in the following circumstances:
• Dark skin tone
• Poor circulation
• Immune system deficiencies
• Client taking Accutane
• Certain health conditions
• Taking certain medications
• History of keloids or elevated scarring
How much can I expect to pay for treatment?
Price will be determined based on the size of the tattoo and will vary accordingly. Tattoos are categorised as small, medium or large and price per treatment can vary from £30 for a small tattoo to £200 for a large one.
Will the tattoo completely disappear?
In many cases, yes. However, it is very important to note that there are over 100 types of tattoo ink used today and none of them are regulated. Without standardised inks, it is difficult to predict the degree of removal of any tattoo.
What are the other possible side effects?
Most side effects from laser procedures are temporary, generally few and to be expected. Symptoms will normally subside within a week and many include:
Localised Swelling and Redness – These are the most common side effects and will feel similar to sunburn for a day or two.
Blistering – Don’t panic if blistering occurs as this is part of the healing process. As long as you do not pick and/or scratch the scab, the skin will heal nicely afterwards.
Infection – There is always a high risk of infection to the area following each treatment. It is therefore very important that you maintain a good level of hygiene.
Scabbing – If you do experience blistering and/or bleeding, it is very important not to pick any scabbing that forms as this could cause scarring and impair further treatments.
Hypo-pigmentation – Loss of skin colour may occur; however, normal skin tone should return within 6-12 months following your last treatment. Very occasionally the hypo-pigmentation effect will be permanent or pigment will return in patches. As a general guideline, the darker the skin and the more treatments required, the more risk there is of long-term de-pigmentation.
Hyper-pigmentation – Is an abundance of colour in the skin at the treated area. This problem is more common in clients with darker skin types and clients with fresh tans are also more at risk. Hyper-pigmentation is usually always a temporary side effect, which responds to topical bleaching therapy and resolves over time.
Sunburn – Clients are at risk of sunburn following treatment. Therefore, it is important that you use a factor 25 (or higher) sun cream at all times when the area is not covered by clothing or a sterile bandage.
Lack of complete pigment removal – Some colours cannot be treated, which means that traces (or ghosting) of pigment may remain after treatment.
Slight pin-prick bleeding or weeping – This is completely normal and nothing to worry about.
Allergic reaction – A possible allergic reaction to your tattoo dye as it is released into your system.