FAQ’S

How much does laser tattoo removal cost?

Price per session is dependent upon size of the tattoo and length of the sitting, single or multiple colours and whether the tattoo was carried out by a professional or an amateur. We will be able to give you a full quote during your consultation. A consultation takes approximately 20 minutes and is free of charge. We also offer an online consultation with the option to upload pictures for a full quotation (however a full consultation will still be needed prior to treatment).

Will laser tattoo tattoo removal remove my tattoo completely?

Possibly! Modern lasers give amazing results but there are no guarantees. Sometimes the total elimination of the tattoo is not possible. Greater than 95% fading of the tattoo may be accomplished; however it is very important to know that over 100 tattoo inks are in use worldwide today, none of which are regulated by the FDA. Not knowing which tattoo ink has been used, how deep it has been applied or how much was used makes it impossible for the laser technician to predict the degree of removal on any given tattoo.

How many sessions will it take to remove my tattoo?

Several treatments may be needed before the tattoo fades enough to no longer be visible. The number of sessions needed is dependent upon many factors; Ink types, colours used, tattoo depth, tattoo age, skin type of client, placement of the tattoo & also how good your body’s immune system is. 5-12 sessions may be required before the tattoo fades completely (amateur tattoos could take less). If you only want to fade your tattoo for a new tattoo cover up you may need only 2-3 sessions depending on what you want to cover it with.

Do all colours of ink respond well to tattoo removal?

Most colours can be removed completely although some colours will require more treatments and even the most challenging colours will usually fade. On some occasions certain colours may not be removable although additional treatments can produce significant fading. Black, dark blue and red respond really well to the laser. Oranges and purples usually respond well. Green can occasionally be problematic and white, yellow and some pinks are more difficult to remove.

Will laser tattoo removal scar me?

Scarring was an issue of ten or fifteen years ago when the equipment used for tattoo removal was rather primitive. Generally speaking lasering does not cause scarring and the active Q-switched laser which we use is designed with this in mind. The laser will not scar the skin for two reasons. First the laser does not go deep enough in the skin to cause a scarring response. Second the pulse from the laser is so fast that only the tattoo pigmentation is affected and the surrounding cells and tissue are left undamaged. However it is extremely important that aftercare is strictly followed.

Sometimes the original tattoo will have caused scar tissue which will become noticeable when the tattoo pigment is removed and we can advise as to this situation prior to removal. There is normally no lasting damage to the skin. Very occasionally mild changes in skin texture and colour may occur. There can be a change in pigment colour which usually returns to normal after 6-18 months.

Is laser tattoo removal painful?

Pain is your personal perception and everyone experiences it differently. The laser emits light in very short pulses. The impact of the energy from the powerful pulse of light is similar to the snap of a thin rubber band or the splatter of hot oil from a frying pan. Prior to treatment you can numb the area with an anesthetic cream should you so wish.

Can I have just part of the tattoo removed?

Yes, our laser is very accurate. You can choose specific parts of the tattoo for removal i.e. we can remove text from a design or remove misspelt letters etc.

How long does each session take?

Treatment can take between 5 and 30 minutes. Longer sessions could cause too much trauma to the skin so are not recommended. This means that larger tattoos need to be treated in several separate sittings.

How long should I wait between sessions?

It is recommended the minimum of 4-6 weeks between treatments to achieve the best results. The laser breaks down the ink so that your body’s immune system can remove it and this takes time. Sometimes 8 weeks can be needed depending on your body’s capabilities to dispel the ink and skin healing properties. Treating your tattoo too frequently actually increases the risk of scarring and discolouration; it does not make the ink disappear faster. The removal of a tattoo is a long process and clients are advised to be patient.

Can I schedule to come back sooner than 4 weeks?

No. The targeted ink takes time to break down and be removed by the body. Visits are scheduled between 4 and 6 weeks apart to allow the body to absorb and dissolve the disrupted ink.

What should I do before my treatment?

Do not expose skin to UV or self-tan at least 4 weeks before and/or between treatments. Avoid microdermabrasion, exfoliating or peels on treatment area for 1 week before treatment. Skin should be free from moisturisers and lotions etc. Any hair situated at treatment site should also be removed prior to treatment. Apply any anesthetic 1-2 hours before treatment if needed.

Are there any limitations after treatment?

Redness and swelling may occur, similar to sunburn. This settles within a few days. Some patients may blister which is quite normal. Blistering does not require treatment and will usually clear within days. The treated area should not be exposed to strong sunlight between sessions without the use of sun block (SPF 50).

What are the possible side effects?

Most side effects of laser procedures are temporary, generally few and to be expected.

Normally symptoms will subside within a week and may include:

  • Localized Swelling and Redness – The most common side effects and could feel similar to sunburn for a day or two.
  • Blistering – Don’t worry when blistering occurs, this is part of the normal healing process and the skin will heal nicely afterwards as long as you do not pick and scratch the scab.
  • Infection – Following each of the treatment sessions there is always a high risk of infection to the area. It is very important that you maintain a good level of hygiene.
  • Scabbing – If you do experience blistering and/or bleeding, when the scab forms as with any healing wound it is very important not to pick any scabbing as this could cause scarring and impair further treatments.
  • Hypopigmentation – Loss of skin colour may occur. But, normal skin tone should return within 6 – 12 months following your last treatment session. Very occasionally the hypopigmentation effect can 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.
  • Hyperpigmentation – An abundance of colour in the skin at the treated area. This problem is more common in patients with darker skin types and patients with fresh tans are also more at risk. Hyperpigmentation is usually always a temporary effect that responds to topical bleaching therapy and resolves over time.
  • Sunburn. – A risk that follows treatment, it is important that you keep the area covered in a minimum factor 25 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, traces (or ghosting) of colour pigmentation may remain after treatment.
  • Slight pin-prick bleeding or weeping – This is all normal and nothing to worry about.
  • Allergic Reaction – A possible development an allergic reaction to your tattoo dye as it is released into your system.

Detailed written aftercare instructions will be provided at your consultation – PLEASE follow them to the letter and do not listen to friends who inevitably will have well intentioned advice. The care routine is different to having a tattoo – please follow the provided aftercare instructions.

Am I suitable for treatment?

Certain medical conditions and medications would make exposure to the laser treatment dangerous to you.

Patients that should not be treated:

  • Pregnancy or a patient trying to become pregnant. (There is an unknown but possible risk of transfer of ink to foetus. Additional slight risk of miscarriage due to stress of procedure.)
  • Breast feeding, (again because of unknown but possible risk of transfer of ink to baby.)
  • Chemotherapy within last 6 months because of sensitivity to light and compromised status of immune system.
  • Users of Accutane or Tretinoin-Retin A within last 6 months for the treatment of acne or other dermatological conditions.
  • Type I Diabetes
  • Bleeding Disorders
  • Anyone with an immune system disorder.
  • Active Infections or inflammatory skin conditions at the treatment site
  • Tanned or sunburned skin in area of tattoo
  • Thrombocytopenia
  • Peripheral Vascular Disease
  • Anaemia
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis/Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Chronic Disease (Crohns Disease, IBD, etc.)
  • Renal Failure (Acute or Chronic)
  • Malignancy
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Epilepsy (because repeated consecutive flasher may induce a fit)
  • Collagen Vascular Diseases
  • Users of St. John’s Wort (herbal remedy) in the past 3 months
  • Waxing, plucking, sugaring or threading depilation treatment of the area in the previous 4~6 weeks (because the follicle has been removed)
  • Surgical metal pins or plates under tissue to be treated
  • Wearing a pacemaker
  • Taking any topical medication (e.g. hydrocortisone) or is wearing perfumes, deodorants, sun block, essential oils or other skin lotions (which could cause photosensitivity)

Patients to exercise extra precautions or care with:

Allergic reaction to ink, primarily red tattoo ink, may lead to increased chance of anaphylaxis. Either

should not be treated or patient should take Claritin or Benadryl prior to treatment and for at least 3

days while they are healing.

  • Skin types IV or above because of increased chance of hypo or hyperpigmentation and scarring.
  • History of keloid scarring because of increased chance of further keloid scars.
  • History of hyper or hypopigmentation
  • Antibiotic use may cause an increase sensitivity to light.

Other Conditions to Consider:

  • Chronic disease because of delay in healing. These patients may need longer between treatments to heal fully.
  • Older clients may also take longer to heal.
  • Immuno-comprised patients (ex. HIV, AIDS, Arthritis, Allergies) may take longer to heal or not flush out ink as well as other patients.
  • We are not registered to treat clients under 18 years of age.

IMPORTANT – you cannot be treated if you are suntanned or have used a self-tanning cream. The increased melanin in your skin will make you liable to burns. Please stay out of the sun for at least 6 weeks prior to treatment. This is for your safety. The lightening of skin colour is more common following sun exposure.