Laser Tattoo Removal Frequently Asked Questions

Why does the ink stay in the skin when you have a tattoo?

When you have a tattoo the particles of ink are too large for the body to destroy, so instead it encapsulates the particles of ink with a network of collagen fibres as the skin heals, and there the tattoo remains.

What is AW3 ND YAG Laser Q Switched?

ND YAG stands for neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet) which is a crystal that is used as a medium for laser treatments. In Q-switched mode, Nd YAG produces 2 wavelengths, one in the infrared range (1064 nm) and a second beam of 532 nm wavelength which is useful for superficial skin lesions. Q switching refers to the technique of making the laser produce a high intensity beam in very short pulses

What skin types can we treat?

We can treat all skin types with the Allwhite3000 ND YAG Q-switch technology. If you are in good health (no serious health concerns) and do not have hypo/hyper- pigmentation, tanned or Keloid scarring in your family or personal history.

What colour tattoos can we remove?

In principle the laser can remove all kind of tattoos. Since all tattoos are not the same in terms of colour, depth of ink deposition as well as their chemical composition some may respond differently. Black, red dark orange and dark blue tattoos will typically respond better to treatment with laser. However Brown, purple, green, light orange, neon and light blue colours are harder to remove and will require more sessions.

How does it work?

Tattoo ink particles are too large for the body’s immune system to remove naturally because when tattoo pigment is injected into the lower layers of the skin (dermis) it becomes locked away by a wall of collagen fibres. Q-switched lasers produce very short bursts of high energy laser light. The light is absorbed by the large ink particles, generating heat that shatters the tattoo pigment into minute particles which the body is able to remove. Because the tattoo ink selectively absorbs the laser energy, the surrounding skin doesn’t overheat and there is no lasting damage.

How many sessions are needed?

Customers will see a reduction after the first treatment however to completely remove a tattoo depending on the ink colour and how deep it is in the skin, it could be between 3-5 treatments with intervals of 6 weeks between treatments. In some clients this more sessions may be necessary for complete removal.

When will I see results?

Results can be observed immediately after the first session.

How long does the treatment take?

This depends on the size of the tattoo; a small tattoo might take 5 minutes, where a large, or multiple tattoos could take an hour or more of treatment. Again, the assessment will provide this information

Does it hurt?

The level of pain felt will depend on the type of tattoos, the amount of treatment required and your own pain threshold. Some clients would describe it as no more than uncomfortable, where others will describe it as an elastic band flicked against the skin. The truth is that you will only know how painful you find it until you try it! We can offer advice on pain relief, which will be given during your assessment.

Does the laser cause scarring?

Although there is a risk of scarring with any laser, in most cases, scarring is not a significant risk for tattoo removal with the ND Yag laser. Tattoo removal has become associated with scarring because the older generation of lasers used for tattoo removal were very aggressive and carried a very high risk of scarring. The ND Yag laser does not heat the surrounding skin significantly and the risk of scarring is much reduced. The risk of scarring is mainly associated with a genetic pre-disposition to forming scar tissue and the presence of resistant, green pigment. To reduce the risk, we carry out an extensive medical evaluation to identify high-risk clients; we also have an adjunct treatment that can stop scar tissue forming and even improve existing.

How does the skin look after treatment?

An instant whitening of the skin is seen after treatment, but this generally fades quickly. The area is likely to feel tender for a few hours and can be red and swollen for up to 48 hours. Some tattoos will form a graze which must be left to heal naturally. Initially the tattoo is unlikely to look any different but will fade over the next 4 to 8 weeks as the body disperses it.

How soon after removal can I have a new tattoo applied?

We recommend leaving at least 6-8 weeks from your last treatment before having a new tattoo.  In the case of cover ups it is not always necessary to have your old tattoo completely removed; please speak to our tattooist if you require further information.

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