Information About Tattoo Removal (Coming soon to Havelock North IPL CLinic)

Q-Switch ND:YAG Laser tattoo removal

Tattoos are made up of thousands of particles of tattoo ink that is suspended in the skin.  The body's lymphatic system is unable to rid these foreign particles due to their size.  Laser treatments target the ink particles with very concentrated light waves that heat the ink particles causing them to fragment into much smaller pieces.  These smaller particles are then able to be expelled from the body through the lymphatic system.

Treatment varies from client to client depending on age, size and type of tattoo, colour of the clients skin and depth of pigment in the skin's surface.  Usually a series of treatments is required to achieve best results.  As a guide you would normally need between 4-12 treatments carried out 6-8 weeks apart allowing for time for your lymphatic system to rid the body of the ink.

Pricing ranges from $75-$500 or more per treatment depending on the size of the tattoo.

If you're considering tattoo removal it is important to keep the area to be treated out of the sun for 4 weeks prior to treatment.

Commonly asked questions:

Does it hurt?

Yes it can be uncomfortable.  In preparation for your treatment you may wish to apply a topical numbing cream an hour before your treatment.  You can purchase this from most pharmacies or you can take paracetemol 30 minutes prior to the treatment.

 

Will the laser completely remove my tattoo?

Most tattoos can be considerably diminished and many can be completely removed.  Some tattoos can be removed more easily than others depending on the following factors:

Colour, quality, age, quantity, depth of pigment, what kind of pigment has been used, how old the tattoo is and the location on your body.  Coloured ink generally takes longer to remove than black ink.  Professionally applied tattoos use ink intended to remain permanently and can require more treatments than others to remove.  A tattoo close to the heart will be easier to remove because of blood flow and our lymphatic system.  Hands and lower legs/feet require more treatments.  Tattoos older than 5 years are easier to remove than newer tattoos.

Your body's immune response (it's ability to remove the debri from your body) may be one of the most important variables. 

Can the area be re-tattooed?

Yes, the area can be re-tattooed following laser removal. Whether you have had complete removal, partial removal or just lightening of the area it will be able to be re-tattooed. The wish to replace an existing tattoo is a common reason for having laser tattoo removal.

Do I need to have a consultation before my initial treatment?

Yes, consults are free with our certified laser practitioner.  At the consultation we will discuss any medications, natural health products and any underlying medical conditions plus any concerns you may have and from there we are able to customise your tattoo removal treatments. If time allows you may be able to start treatment at the same time.

What can I expect after treatments?

You may experience a few uncomfortable side effects such as swelling, redness, blistering, scabbing, itching and pinpoint bleeding and the feeling of being mildly sunburned.  Blisters will usually appear within 24 hours of your treatment.  They are sometimes large and this can be alarming but this is completely normal.  

These symptoms will generally last for a few days after each treatment but it is possible they can last up to several weeks.  To help soothe any discomfort you can use an icepack.  A layer of antibacterial ointment and a sterile gauze will be applied to the area then covered with Opsite (a clear waterproof plastic wrap).

You will be given a Tattoo Removal After Care leaflet on how to look after your wound.  It is essential you follow the instructions to achieve the best result/fading without damaging/changing the skin texture or getting infections or unwanted side effects.

Scarring (hypertrophic or keloid) can occur but this is VERY RARE.  Loss or gain of skin pigment (hypopigmentation or hyperpigmentation) in the treated area may occur but is temporary in almost all cases.

How long after being tattooed can removal commence? 

Removal can commence as soon as the tattoo has completely healed - this process normally takes at minimum 6 weeks from having it initially done.