Why do people have laser tattoo removal?
Laser tattoo removal is a safe and effective way to lighten or remove a tattoo and its popularity has grown recently. Some people want to achieve complete removal of a tattoo that they have fallen out of love with, whilst others want to lighten a tattoo in order to cover it with a new one. With 10 years experience we can advise and guide you through the process so that you get the best outcome possible.
What does laser tattoo removal feel like and does tattoo removal hurt?
If you are thinking about laser tattoo removal, you are probably asking yourself ‘does it hurt?’ and ‘how much does it hurt?’ Tattoo removal does cause a certain amount of physical pain and annoyance to the area being treated but, the same as being tattooed, it is not the same for everyone. Most people say it is a little bit more painful than being tattooed, but it is a lot quicker.
Laser tattoo removal has been compared to the feeling of having a hot rubber band snapped on your skin or sunburn being scratched. Tattoo removal treatments can vary in pain depending on the area being treated. Areas with more fat like the arms and legs are generally not as painful as the neck, ankle or finger that are close to a bone and have less fat.
Is pain relief available for laser tattoo removal and how can I prepare for a tattoo removal treatment?
Generally, pain medication is not prescribed for tattoo removal. We will always do our best to make each treatment as comfortable as we can by applying ice to the area throughout the removal session. As each client has an individual pain threshold, a local anaesthetic cream (Ametop or Emla) can be applied, by the customer, to the treatment area but this is not always necessary. We would always suggest eating prior to your appointment and you can try a mild pain medication like paracetamol (but not aspirin). Ensuring you stay calm is the most important thing to make laser tattoo removal bearable.
Local anesthetic, or numbing creams are available at some pharmacies however some pharmacists will be reluctant to issue skin numbing creams for laser removal over the counter. If this is something you have experienced you may need to book an appointment with your doctor.
Does laser tattoo removal work and is tattoo removal successful ?
There are many factors to be taken in to consideration when determining the success of laser tattoo removal. These include your skin type, the age of the tattoo, whether the tattoo has been done professionally or non-professionally, the location of the tattoo, the colour(s) of the tattoo, the amount of ink used and your ability to heal. The internet has many unrealistic images of laser tattoo removal outcomes and final results, that have been heavily edited or Photshopped, which always pose the question ‘does laser tattoo removal really work?’ and ‘is laser tattoo removal worth it?’ Black and grey tattoos generally achieve better results of complete tattoo removal than colour tattoos, however that does not mean that they can’t be lightened enough to accomplish a great cover up. Some tattoos can be completely removed, however complete removal can never be fully guaranteed due to factors listed above.
The actual process of tattooing leaves marks on the skin and these marks are sometimes visible after the ink has been broken down by the laser. These marks look like small shadowy areas where the tattoo once was although they are often barely noticeable. Examples of the this can be seen slightly in the images below, however they could possibly be focused on and reduced with further removal treatments, but you do have to be realistic and there is a point of diminishing returns.
Colour tattoos can be a little more stubborn to remove than black and grey but great results can still be achieved. Black and grey are the easiest colours to remove and purples, greens and blues being the hardest to remove. Although laser tattoo removal will fade the colours of a tattoo they may never totally disappear. If we believe that this will be the case we will advise you to lighten the tattoo enough for a cover up. Colour tattoos will can react greatly to the laser removal treatment, leaving people with an unnoticeable and unrecognisable tattoo tattoo that they are happy to forget about. In some instances when the the tattoo is still slightly visible make up can be used. There are a selection of make up ranges created to cover tattoos or severe acne on the market that work fantastically.
The colours left in the tattoos below are unlikely to lighten much more but are at a stage where they are ready to cover with a new tattoo.
All of the photographs used on our website are real customers, treated by us. There are no photoshopped images.
Does laser tattoo removal scar and damage the skin?
Done correctly, laser tattoo removal should not scar or damage the skin although it does have potential side effects. Bruising, blistering, scabbing or lightening of the skin are all things you have experience as side effects. Bruising, blistering, swelling and scabbing generally disappear within a week of a tattoo removal treatment. To prevent scar tissue from forming we ask all customers to follow a basic aftercare regime that will be explained at the time of a removal treatment. As laser tattoo removal removes colour pigments from the skin, it may also result in the lightening of the skin on the treated area. Laser tattoo removal can cause serious and permeanent skin damage if done incorrectly and we pride ourselves on our experience in this field, knowing exactly how to treat your tattoo to get optimal results.
How does laser tattoo removal work?
The way a laser works when removing a tattoo is by injecting the skin with intense light, which penetrates the skin to break up the ink particles leading to tattoo fading. The body’s immune system then removes these pigments over time by flushing them out. The darker the ink, the more light that is absorbed, which is why black ink fades so well.
How many treatments of laser tattoo removal will I need?
A tattoo is designed to be permanent so bear this in mind when considering tattoo removal. Several sessions are needed to remove a tattoo and 6 weeks need to be left between each treatment. Generally, total removal takes between 10-12 sessions and lightening an unwanted tattoo to cover with a new tattoo can take between 4-8 sessions. Sometimes great results can be achieved in fewer sessions, however the results vary between customers due to reasons mentioned earlier.
Tattoos that are older often fade quicker than new tattoos and areas with high blood flow, for example the chest, upper arm and shoulder area, have better results than areas like the wrist, hands and feet where the blood flow is low.
Can I get tattooed after laser tattoo removal?
Yes! Six weeks need to be left before you can get the laser removed area tattooed. This gives the skin time to heal and repair.
Many people choose this option if the tattoo they have can’t be completely removed.
Can you have laser tattoo removal if you have dark skin?
Potentially, but we would advise a consultation prior to booking any tattoo removal treatment. Those with dark skin may be more susceptible to hyperpigmentation, hypopigmentation and keloid scarring. In order to remove tattoos, pulses of light wavelengths are used to break up the ink. This can affect the skin’s natural pigment or melanin, resulting in hyperpigmentation. These darker patches of skin are likely to disappear over time, but make ups can be used to make them appear more natural in the meantime. Hypopigmentation is where your skin’s natural pigment is actually removed by the laser. Lighter patches will be visible where the tattoo was removed. It may take months or even years for the skin’s pigment to look normal again. Keliod scarring is very rare, but can develop as a result of tattoo removal. Keloid scars are raised and thickened scar tissue that develops around the treated area and can sometimes appear three to six months after removal.
Unfortunately people with darker skin can find the process a lot more painful as well. This is due to the energy from the laser not being absorbed only by the ink in the tattoo, but also by the darker skin cells.
How much does laser tattoo removal cost and is it expensive?
Our laser tattoo removal prices start at £45 per session and every Tuesday we offer 30% off all laser treatments.
If you would like tattoo laser removal please email a clear photograph of the tattoo you’d like removing to firstname.lastname@example.org or alternatively please visit us at the studio. We will be able to give you an individual quote, advise how many laser removal treatments you will need and discuss whether complete removal is an option or if you will need a cover up.
How do I care for my tattoo after having laser tattoo removal treatment?
For a few days after the area treated will feel like mild sunburn. This can be relieved by wearing loose fitting clothing and applying a cool compresses or ice pack to help reduce discomfort and inflammation. Aloe vera gel can be applied to the area to alleviate any itching and soreness during the healing period. Keep the treated area clean and dry. Showering is fine but don’t submerge the treated area for a few weeks, or go swimming, and do not pick or scratch the area while it’s healing as this can potentially cause scarring. Use of sunbeds or exposure to the sun should be avoided during the healing process, and high factor sunblock should always be applied.
Are your laser technicians fully trained and licensed?
Modern Body Art was the only tattoo studio in Birmingham that was licensed by the Healthcare Commission to offer tattoo removal. The difficulty in obtaining this licence was a high barrier to entry, but since deregulation that barrier is gone and there has been a proliferation of studios offering the service. We are the only studio locally, and one of very few nationally, that can say without doubt that we know we meet the standards of the Healthcare Commission.
Our technicians have years of experience and have attended various seminars and courses on laser tattoo removal. All of our technicians have had the same training, that satisfied the Healthcare commission’s strict standards, whether before or after deregulation. You can rest assured that we will laser you with the utmost care and professionalism.