Tattoos are created by inserting a needle under the skin and injecting ink which is suspended in the dermis.
Laser tattoo removal is the breaking up of tattoo ink within the skin over a course of treatments where the tattoo fades until the tattoo has been completely eliminated.
Precise wavelengths of light generated by the tattoo removal laser are designed to be absorbed by the ink in your tattoo. Similar to absorption of any other kind of energy, this absorption will lead to a transfer of energy, leading to the ink in your tattoo heating up. This heating happens in a fraction of a second and causes the ink to shatter into tiny pieces. Prior to laser removal the ink particles are too large for your body to remove. After laser removal they are fragments that can be flushed away by your body’s immune system.
Thanks to newer technology, laser tattoo removal has become much more effective with very little risk of scarring. Laser treatment is often safer than many traditional methods such as excision, dermabrasion or salt abrasion, because of its unique ability to selectively treat pigment involved in the tattoo.
The number will depend on the age of the tattoo, the colour of the ink, the density of the ink, the depth of the ink in your skin, and several other factors. During your consultation you will fill out a quick questionnaire which will help decipher exactly how any treatments you need.
The 1064nm wavelength is ideal for black, blue and purple while the 532nm lens is used for lighter colours like red, pink and orange. The most difficult colours to remove are light green, light blue, pastels and teal/turquoise.
Most patients experience some redness, swelling, and minor blistering of the skin after a laser treatment. Blistering is the most pronounced, but the blisters heal quickly and leave no long-term damage to the skin. These side effects are temporary and your skin will heal back completely.
The unfortunate thing about tattoos is that both getting them and having them taken off can be uncomfortable. The impact of the energy from the laser’s powerful pulse of light has been described as similar to getting hot specks of bacon oil on your skin or being snapped by a thin rubber band. There are many options for comfort including chemist bought numbing cream, ice packs and a blow chiller.
In most cases the tattoo can be made to disappear or fade to the point where you are the only person who can find a trace of it, because you know where to look. Sometimes a light smudge look to the skin can be evident.