The Nd:YAG short pulse laser was initially developed to remove pigments from the skin, both natural (age spots & freckles) and man made (tattoos & semi-permanent make up).
Age spots and freckles can usually be removed with just one treatment but tattoos usually take between 3-6 treatments to remove completely.
There are many reasons why you may want to remove or fade an old tattoo (or those freckles and age spots). Some people regret having tattoos when younger and find that an old tattoo can affect their career or relationship. Maybe you're thinking of a cover up but need to fade or remove some of the old tattoo before having new work done, or
maybe that semi-permanent make up doesn't look quite right anymore. Whatever the reason for removing or fading your tattoo the best chance of success has been proven to be treatment using an Nd:Yag laser designed for removing pigment.
With complete removal taking as few as 2-3 sessions your tattoo-free future could be easier and cheaper than you think. Book a no obligation free consultation today to see how laser tattoo removal could work for you.
The sensation of laser treatment is usually described as similar to being 'snapped' by an elastic band. It is different to the sensation felt during tattooing but no more severe. We can reduce the sensation by using Koolpaks™, which cools the skin and reduces the heat damage to the surrounding tissues, reducing the discomfort during treatment and also reducing the discomfort that you are likely to feel following treatment. It is not pain-free but the discomfort is fairly easy to cope with.
we would not advise the use of anaesthetic creams or gels as these can change the structure of the skin, making treatment more difficult. It is important that your body responds to the damage that treatment causes and anaesthetics can reduce your immune and healing responses.
Not usually. It is very unusual to develop any scarring but possible, especially with poor aftercare (there is a reported 5% chance of scarring following tattoo removal treatments). The laser is designed for Tattoo Removals and Reduction. The light pulses it emits are only in contact with the skin for billionths of a second so there is not enough time for a significant build up of heat in the skin.
The treatment can take between 5 and 30 minutes. Longer sessions could cause too much trauma to the skin so are not recommended. This means that larger tattoos need to be treated in several separate sittings.
Depending on the tattoo and the result required (removal or cover up) up to 12 or more sessions may be required. Do not be surprised, however, if the removal of your tattoo takes more sessions than that. Each person and each tattoo is unique so the number of treatment sessions you need can vary.
These sessions will be between 6 - 8 weeks apart. Sometimes longer may be needed depending on your body's capabilities to dispel the ink and skin healing properties. The removal of a tattoo is a long process and clients are advised to be patient.
Because of the nature of tattoos, every one is different. It is impossible to give an exact estimate of the number of treatments required and it is impossible to guarantee the results. The Laser Therapy Company's technicians can give you a rough idea of how many treatments you may require but we can't be at all precise because there are too many factors that can affect treatment including:
Age of tattoo
Type of ink used
Depth of ink
Depth of colour
Area of tattoo
Your healing ability
Your skin type
Amateur tattoos usually take between 1-4 treatments to remove but professional tattoos often take 6-12 treatments, as the pigment could be in as many as 12 different layers. Some colours, like green or yellow hues, might not be removed altogether, no matter how many treatments are provided, but can usually be faded so as to be less noticable and tattoo lightening may continue for several months after treatment.
My laser is very accurate. I can take the face off your pin- up girl to have it redone. I can take just the name off pieces or remove letters from mis-spelled words.
Laser tattoo removal works best on tattoos of black ink that was sparsely applied to fair skin. As the laser is attracted to the darker areas, fair coloured skin gives a greater contrast allowing the laser to work more effectively. Black ink is also able to absorb the full spectrum of light.
A wide range of other colours can usually be removed successfully or lightened to a large degree:
Brown, Red* (IMPORTANT! Some people can have an allergic reaction to red ink particles absorbed into to body), Orange, Darker Green, Blue, Purple
The most difficult colours to remove are pastel colours such as:
Light Green, Pale Blue, Teal, Turquoise, Pink*
These colours may be lightened, but it is difficult to remove them completely. If you are looking to cover-up your tattoo with a new design these pastel colours are usually easy to cover.
Usually untreatable Colours:
White*, Yellow, Light green, Skin tones, Fluorescent or Ultra-Violet*
White and yellow ink does fade over time and become less noticeable, be cautious of anyone who guarantees to remove all traces of green ink.
*Colours with potential problems
Occasionally the tattoo may go darker where the ingredients in certain ink colours carbonise. This irreversible darkening is sometimes seen with the following colours:
White, Pink, Flesh Tone colours, Fluorescent or Ultra-Violet, Light Brown, Red
Although these complications are rare, it is one of the reasons we insist on a patch test for each colour in the tattoo so that potentially rare complications can be predicted before undergoing laser treatment.
We will discuss your individual tattoo at the consultation and if you have colours that do not respond.
Possibly. Modern lasers can give fantastic results but there are no guarantees. Sometimes the total elimination of the tattoo is not possible despite the use of the most advanced tattoo removal equipment. The success of the treatments depends on more than just the type of tattoo ink used. There are many factors that can effect treatment results such as:
Age of tattoo
Type of ink used
Depth of ink
Depth of colour
Area of tattoo
Your healing ability
Tattoos that are carried out by professionals are usually more difficult to remove as they contain more pigment colours and there is usually much more detail in the design. Often with a professional tattoo, the pigment colours are applied more deeply into the skin, and because of this may take more treatment sessions. This is not to say that amateur tattoos are not applied as deep as professional ones, sometimes amateur tattooists create pocket of inks that are too deep and extremely difficult to eradicate completely.
You may be surprised but there is no recognised international standard for the manufacture of tattoo ink, sometimes inks can be mixed with other unknown compounds. If your tattoo contains iron pigment for example, this could result in immediate pigment darkening, with the laser treated area turning black. This is another reason why we insist that a patch test is always carried out on your tattoo before any course of treatments can begin. so that potentially rare complications of laser treatment like this, or any other, can be predicted.
Occasionally you will, but usually the tattoo will look 'frosted' for 15-20 minutes after the treatment, then return to it's former state pre-treatment. The main fading is during the first 4-6 weeks after treatment.
Yes, you can, once you are completely healed. We would advise waiting at least 6 months from your final treatment.
Please observe the following pre-treatment instructions:
It is important that you eat a good meal about an hour before each treatment. It is possible that your blood sugar levels could drop during treatment and eating a good meal could stop you feeling faint or unwell. Avoid those foods with a high sugar content as the sugar will increase your blood sugar for a short time but it will drop to below normal levels quite quickly. DO NOT have any energy drinks or alcohol for at least 12 hours before treatment as these could make blood clotting difficult, causing pinpoint bleeding during treatment. Treatment will dehydrate your body so hydrate the body by drinking plenty of water.
In order that we can ascertain whether any medication is likely to affect your treatment we would prefer you to have available all the packages of any medication that you are currently taking. In our experience many people don't remember the names of all the medications they take and this information is very important. Having the packets ready will ensure that we have a full record of all and any medication.
Straight after treatment the area will feel hot and skin will form small white 'blisters', these are water vapour spots created by the intense heat under the skin, and might be flat or slightly raised. This is due to the release of microscopic steam bubbles in your skin. This change usually lasts no more than a few minutes before it disappears, this is perfectly normal and a good sign that the treatment is working. The white spots start
to fade quickly and the remaining ink will start to show through.
After treatment the area is best left alone for the first 24 hours.
The treatment area will be treated with aloe vera gel and a sterile dressing will usually be placed over the area if the skin has broken during treatment. It may be neccessary to use a dressing for the duration of healing if the area is likely to be rubbed or caught on clothes.
Ice packs can be used to reduce any discomfort or inflammation. Paracetamol can be used for pain relief but not aspirin. Using aspirin could cause bruising and hamper the healing process.
Do not pick at scabs or or allow the treatment area to get scraped as it will increase the chance of infection and also increase the risk of developing a scar.
Short to medium term
Within the first 24 hours the area may become reddened and swollen which will settle in a few days. This may feel similar to sunburn. The skin is fragile and needs gentle handling. Blisters sometimes appear and may be large. Don't worry this is part of the normal healing process. Blisters usually last anywhere from 2-3 days up to 2-3 weeks depending on skin sensitivity. Do not disturb these blisters. The blister will dry to form a 'crust' and this will be shed by the skin when it's no longer needed. The new skin will look 'shiny' and will take a few weeks to return to normal.
Wear clean, loose fitting clothes.
Keep the area clean and dry. After washing pat the area dry and DO NOT RUB.
If blisters burst, don't panic. Apply a non adherent dressing if needed and keep the area clean.
No make up, perfumed products, toners, astringents or soap on the treated area until healed.
Be careful with sprays such as deodorants.
Avoid exersise during the first 24 hours and then avoid exercise which makes you sweat for a further 24 hours.
Do not soak the treated area until it has completely healed. Avoid hot tubs, swimming pools and baths as these will increase the risk of infection. Showers are ok but watch the temperature. Remeber to pat dry and not rub.
Using Laser Aftercare™
Due to the dehydrating effect of the laser we advise the use of Laser Aftercare™.
We provide Laser Aftercare™ from The Aftercare Company. As it is important to us that you heal well we will provide you with your first pot completely free of charge. If you require any more it is available from us at a discounted cost of £4 per 10g pot.
Apply a small amount of Laser Aftercare™ as a light film over the treated area 2-3 times daily. Use sparingly as it will spread over the treated area once warmed to body temperature. Gently massage the aftercare into the skin - DO NOT rub into the skin or stretch the skin and be gentle.
Laser Aftercare™ contains nourishing and protecting plant ingredients that moisturise the skin, maintaining the skin between laser treatments and keeping the skin supple and soft. It is enriched with vitamins and natural calendula extract which supports healthy skin. The emollients it contains hydrate and moisturise whilst linoleic and essential fatty acids replenish and protect the skin.
Laser Aftercare™ is paraben-free with no chemical or artificial ingredients that disrupt the natural balance of your body. There has been no animal testing on any of the ingredients and it is approved by Cruelty Free International.
Once post-treatment skin changes have subsided and the skin texture returns to normal you will be ready for a follow up treatment, if needed. You must leave at least 6 weeks before any follow up treatment.
It is vital that you do not tan the treatment area at all before and during the full course of your treatment and for at least 6 weeks after treatment has finished. If you have any tan whatsoever at the treatment area we will not be able to carry out any treatments until the tan has faded and allowing UV light onto the treated area could cause permanent damage to your skin. You must cover the treatment area whilst out in the sun, or on sunbeds, with a dressing or sun protection of at least factor 30 and you must not apply any fake/spray tan to the area.
Fortunately, severe adverse reactions to laser treatment are very rare but it is important that you are aware that side effects and risks do exist so that you can be prepared in the unlikely event that you experience any of them.
Very mild side effects
Mild side effects do occur just after treatment and, depending on the tattoo and the position on your body, could last for a few days. Because the laser energy heats the pigment in your tattoo it normally causes a small amount of damage to the tissue surrounding those pigments. Initially you will notice very small blisters form. There is often a small amount of pinpoint bleeding from these minute blisters if they have broken, and the area is likely to be red and a little inflamed. The blisters usually settle back down after about 20 minutes but redness and inflammation could last a few days. We have found that the use of Koolpaks™ during and immediately after treatment reduces these mild heat damage effects quite considerably.
Other mild side effects
Textural changes to the skin
More severe side effects
As with any aesthetic laser procedure there is a risk that more severe side effects could occur but our consultation and treatment processes should ensure that these side effects and risks are reduced to an absolute minimum. The following risks and side effects have been identified of which you should be aware but they are rare :
Allergic reaction. There is no regulatory process overseeing the production of tattoo inks and laser treatment can break down these inks into unknown by-products. It is possible that you could develop an allergic reaction to these byproducts. Patch testing before treatment will usually identify potential allergic reactions though.
Hypopigmentation (lightening of the skin) and Hyperpigmentation (darkening of the skin) can occur. This is usually temporary although it can take many months for the skin to return to normal. In very rare cases the change in skin tone can be permanent.
Infection can occur if aftercare procedures are not adhered to. The small blisters which form initially will protect the body from infections and should be left to settle on their own.
Eye damage is a risk but this risk is completely eliminated by
the correct use of protective eyewear.
Removal of Age Spots and freckles can be done as a supplementary treatment during a laser skin rejuvenation or as a standalone treatment. Fabulous age spot removal results are achieved using our Nd:YAG laser and often require only a single treatment. It is possible that age spots may blister or scab over but these effects heal within a few days and results can be seen straight away.