Normally the ink is trapped within fibroblasts in your skin and the particles are too big to be attacked by your immune system. By breaking up the particles your body can then do its job and flush away the ink from the inside. The ink is not pushed to the surface and the laser passes freely through the skin which is mainly water, only acting when it hits something dark, i.e. the tattoo. This is one of the reasons it does not normally cause scarring. The laser emits light at one of two wavelengths. The beam is issued from a Q-switched laser, which releases the beam in an intense short burst of energy, so the effect is mechanical rather than thermal, i.e. it shatters the ink particles in your skin.
Black ink responds best to treatment because the darker colour attracts light (like you do if you wear a black top on a sunny day). We can also treat red ink and other dark colours like purple, brown, etc. We cannot treat white, yellow or green. Blue can sometimes be lightened but may not be removed altogether. We will discuss your individual tattoo at the consultation and if you have colours that do not respond, we will offer advice on partial removal followed by cover-up.
Dark skins will be more susceptible to side effects due to the melanin in the skin.
IMPORTANT - you cannot be treated if you are suntanned or have used a self tanning cream. The increased melanin in your skin will make you liable to burns. Please stay out of the sun for at least 6 weeks prior to treatment. This is for your safety.
Prices start at £50 a session.
Please stay out of the sun for at least 4 weeks prior to treatment. Bring any medications with you so we can check them against our contra-indications list and take medical advice if necessary. Please shave the area if its hairy.
You need to leave 4-6 weeks between treating the same area. This is to allow your skin to recover but mainly to give your body's immune system time to do its job so that you are not having more sessions than is necessary.
Yes - the machine contains an expensive crystal filter which takes out harmful wavelengths of light, such as UVA and UVB. It is a carefully calibrated precision piece of equipment which is serviced regularly under a maintenance contract. This, teamed with the thorough consultation and test patch procedure and our qualified personnel, puts you in safe hands.
Most side effects are temporary and to be expected. The skin will form small white water vapour spots under the skin, these may be flat or slightly raised. This is normal and is the result we want. It means its working. The area will feel hot and there may also be localised redness, puffiness and slight pin-prick bleeding or weeping. This is all normal and nothing to worry about. The white spots start to fade quickly and the remaining ink will start to show through. Immediately after treatment we will provide you with an ice-pack to cool the area - this is important to reduce the possibility of scarring caused by excess heat.
You must follow the after-care instructions carefully. Like having a tattoo, you must not pick at the area or you will cause scarring. Detailed written aftercare instructions will be provided at your consultation - PLEASE follow them to the letter and do not listen to friends who inevitably will have well intentioned advice. The care routine is different to having a tattoo - please listen to us, we are the experts!!
Long-term risks are rare but may include hypo-pigmentation (loss of the original skin colour, which is occasionally permanent and more likely with darker skin tones). Scarring is very rare but possible, especially with poor aftercare. Occasionally the tattoo may go darker in certain ink colours such as white, where the ingredients carbonise. This is one of the reasons for a patch test but there is still some risk.
No. The degree of success depends on the amount on ink, the depth of the ink, the colour of your skin, the colour of the ink and your body's immune system. With so many variables we cannot give guarantees, but we will do our best to meet your needs, including offering a cover-up if needed.