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To prepare for laser tattoo removal, you need to shave before your appointment. At the treatment, they give you goggles designed to protect your eyes, and apply anaesthetic cream. The session itself takes around 10-30 minutes, depending on the size of your tattoo.
During Laser Tattoo Removal, a low energy, aiming beam is used for precision. As the laser fires, “frosting” occurs which elevates the top layer of skin. The shockwave at a particle level on your skin causes this effect, but it only lasts for a few seconds. The process is repeats across sessions, layer by layer so that not too much occurs at once as it could overwhelm the skin, and leave marks or scarring.
After your session, your clinician will apply aloe vera gel and you may also get a bandage over the treated area. In the days afterwards, you should avoid sun exposure and tanning beds, and vigorously apply suncream. You can apply additional cooling and protecting creams, such as more aloe vera or Vaseline to help with any blistering or scabbing.
According to the NHS, UK private clinics can charge around £150 per session to remove a small tattoo. Obviously, larger tattoos will cost more or require extra sessions.
Laser Tattoo Removal treatments have significantly improved in recent years, helped by the introduction of the PicoSure laser applicator. PicoSure targets the ink as opposed to the skin to reduce scarring. The device operates on three wavelengths, depending on the colours that you want to be removed. Different inks respond to different wavelengths, and need a personalised treatment for your tattoo and skin type.
A recent study demonstrated that 1-2 treatment sessions led to at least 75% clearance of blue and green pigments with a PicoSure device, with more than two-thirds of tattoos approaching 100% clearance. Another 2012 study also showed 75% clearance in black pigment as early as 2-4 treatment sessions.
The NHS approximates that in the UK, private clinics charge around £150 per session to remove a small tattoo.
A good estimate is 8-10 for large tattoos. Every tattoo has an individual size, colour, and design with specific needs, so session number greatly varies. There must be 6 weeks in-between treatments to decrease likelihood of irritation and scarring.
Recently, a study in 2012 showed a 75% clearance in black pigment as early as 2-4 treatment sessions in! Though results are not dramatic straight away, a little time and patience reaps great results.
People compare the pain to the sensation of an elastic band flicking or pinging quickly against your skin. Many say it’s no more uncomfortable than the process when you got the tattoo in the first place!
Older tattoos typically respond well to the treatment as they have begun to fade naturally. Brand new tattoos are unsuitable for laser treatment, but fine once the skin is fully healed.
Many people use Laser Tattoo Removal as a way to fade difficult to cover tattoos, and then get a brand new design on top! For cover-ups, you will require fewer sessions to achieve your goal.
Using a PicoSure laser is the fastest method of tattoo removal in the UK. It is able to specifically target blue and green colour pigments. There is also less recovery time needed than other laser treatments.
Treatments take on average 45 minutes, dependent on the size of the surface area being dealt with. Furthermore, some procedures may take as little time as 15 minutes, with larger areas taking over an hour to complete.
The FDA regulated Laser Tattoo Removal, so it is completely safe. Qualified staff perform the treatment, who have gone through rigorous training sessions in order to inflict minimum pain for maximum results.