Laser tattoo removal is still the most effective way of removing an unwanted tattoo, but it can be an expensive and time-consuming process, here we cover the steps of laser removal and what to expect.
How does Laser Tattoo Removal work?
Laser tattoo removal works by targeting the ink only within the skin and breaking it apart so that your bloodstream collects the small ink particles and they are then processed through your bladder and safely passed out of the body.
will laser removal work?
The darker the ink, the colour of the ink or how strong your tattooist went in with the needle will all depend on how effective laser removal will be.
Certain colours can also take a lot longer or may not fully go; such as yellows, purple, turquoise and greens, as the laser can struggle to pick up the colour.
Your skin tone can also be a factor, where lighter skin will react better as the more of a contrast between the skin and tattoo the better the laser picks up the ink.
How long will the tattoo removal take?
With laser removal it’s best to span out the sessions as much as you can – the longer you can leave between each session, the more the ink will go from your skin, thus saving money. I would suggest leaving 3 months between each one, so this means some tattoos could take years to remove, but it’s worth it in the long run. If you are desperate for a quick removal then 2 months minimum is the recommended time to wait.
If you’re getting a cover-up done, you will need to make sure to wait at least 3 months before getting tattooed again as the ink from the new tattoo could wear away otherwise. You can always trial a custom temporary tattoo as soon as the area is healed though (within a few weeks).
What will lasering cost me?
The cost will depend upon the size and colour. They can start from around £40 a session, up to around £200. Removal clinics in bigger cities will generally charge more, but don’t just go with who charges the best rate – find out what machine they use and make sure it is one that will work effectively on your tattoo as some can be more effective than others.
Is laser removal painful / difficult?
It feels very much like fat spraying from a frying pan onto your skin, but the sessions are very quick. You could be done within 15mins for a medium size tattoo. So pain wise I would say the actual tattoo itself is worse as it is stretched over a much longer time.
What are the after effects of Tattoo Laser Removal?
Your skin will immediately need to be kept cool with an ice pack or frozen peas for the first day. Rinse the area with cold water and keep away from the sun. Use alae vera gel for the first few weeks to keep the area cool and hydrated. Once healed, use bio oil and regularly massage the area to help assist with breaking down the ink.
You may have blisters appear and it’s important to keep these clean and avoid bursting or this could lead to scaring. It’s paramount to keep your skin out of the sun when getting laser removal – as it can’t be near any sun during the healing phase and your skin can’t be tanned when getting treated so I would recommend avoiding doing laser during the summer months if possible.
It’s worth bearing in mind that your tattoo might be gradually fading but it can also look ugly for sometime before it gets better. Especially as all the nice shading that the tattoo might have had will be the first to go, so you will be left with just some dark outlines for the majority of the removal process.