It is estimated that about 1 in 5 Australians are looking to get their tattoo removed.
Laser tattoo removal is a non-surgical procedure, usually referring to the non-invasive removal of tattoo pigments via a process called photothermolysis. Lasers work by emitting enough light and energy to break down the tattoo ink so that the body can absorb it and a natural fading of the tattoo happens each time the tattooed area is treated. You will usually have to have several treatments in order for the tattoo to fade completely, however it depends on the size, colours and area of the tattoo being treated. Lasers such as the Enlighten or Pastelle Q have adjustable settings and modes for the spot-size, wavelength and repetition rate which enables individualised treatments for each patient.
Whilst there have been various types of lasers introduced and trialed since the early 1960’s, the Pastelle Q-Switch laser and Enlighten pico and nano technology laser are heralded as being the most successful. These recent technology innovations have seen continually impressive results with most tattoos able to be almost entirely removed.
For the actual procedure you may be asked to wear a protective eye shield and your skin will be usually be tested to identify it’s reaction to the intensity of the laser. You may or may not be offered topical anesthetic but if you are worried about the pain factor you can ask the practitioner for it.
The treatment itself involves the laser’s handpiece being placed on your skin and the laser light is emitted from this handpiece with the settings determined by the practitioner doing the treatment.
The light is emitted in stop-start pulses and feels like a burning sensation. You will receive an ice pack or some sort of cooling system to place on the area after the treatment. You are usually given a topical antibiotic cream along with some sort of coverage such as a bandage to protect your exposed area, especially from the sun.
Q. Is removing a tattoo painful?
A. It depends on your pain threshold; however any kind of laser tattoo removal hurts a little due to the heat of the energy emitted from the laser pulse.
Q. How much does laser tattoo removal cost?
A. Laser tattoo removal can be expensive procedure, with the cost of treatment depending on the size, position and colour of the tattoo. It depends on the amount of laser treatments you will require as you are paying per treatment.
Q. How long will it take to remove a tattoo?
A. The time to remove a tattoo will depend on the same characteristics of its cost. Each session can take anywhere between 15 to 45 minutes depending on the size, colour, etc. For successful removal of a tattoo it can take between 3 to 10 sessions, with waiting of up to or around 6 weeks in between each session.
Q. What are the side effects of a Laser removal, and how to treat them?
A. Hypopigmentation and permanent scars are possible during this kind of treatment, and patients should be aware of those risks.