frequently asked questions
Okay, this is going to get technical, so nerd up and here we go……
Tattoos are ‘balls’ of ink that are injected into the superficial layer of the skin. These balls of ink are then stored amongst immune cells where they get stuck and are too large to be carried away.
Laser Treatment works by emitting extremely short nanosecond bursts of light energy, that penetrate the skin through the tattoo ink pigment leaving surrounding skin untouched. The laser passes beneath the first layer of the skin, into the dermis (the second layer) where the ink molecules absorb the laser energy and are shattered into smaller particles that are then absorbed into the blood stream. The body will then begin the natural process of harmlessly removing the ink through the lymphatic system.
Each session shatters another level of the ink particles, just like chipping away at rocks – this is why multiple treatments are needed to erase your unwanted ink.
We won’t lie – there is going to be some discomfort involved in removing your tattoo!! But, the level of discomfort does depend on the area of the body being treated and your skin sensitivity/pain tolerance. (Sometimes it can depend on whether you are a wimp or not LOL.) Having had the process done several times, we would describe the feeling as like being snapped by a rubber band repeatedly. The area getting treated will also get warm, to eliminate this we apply ice before and after to keep it cool.
Numbing cream can be applied one hour prior to treatment if desired, we can talk through this at your consultation.
It is going to take several treatments depending on the size, age, depth, and complexity of your tattoo. Also, it depends if you are wanting to fade down your tattoo to get a cool new cover-up or remove it completely. Fading the ink to get a cover up can be done in as little as 4 sessions. Homemade or amateur tattoos respond more quickly to treatment than professional tattoos. We want you to be well informed so we can give an estimate at your initial consultation, but it may take 6 – 10 treatments to achieve maximum results. We highly recommend waiting at least 8 weeks between treatments for best results.
‘Frosting’ or whitening of the tattoo pigment is the reaction caused by the laser penetrating the ink. Now for more science, (bet you were not expecting science lessons huh!) The laser heats the ink pigment, which creates gas bubbles. This gas rises to the surface of the skin and is released in the form of carbon dioxide. Whilst this might look a little alarming, there is no cause for concern, we want to see the frosting because this means the laser has penetrated the ink and the body is already going through the healing process. The frosting is only temporary and doesn’t last very long. In fact, in most cases only lasts for 10-15 minutes. You are most likely to see significant frosting in the earlier sessions, and this reduces with each following session. This is because each time we treat your tattoo, we are dealing with lesser ink than before, therefore – not as much frosting.
Other than the frosting, immediately after a treatment, you may experience redness, swelling or pinpoint bleeding. You may see mild bruising, scabbing, crusting, and possibly blistering. This is nothing to worry about and is all part of the healing process. For 24-48 hours, you will need to avoid swimming pools and saunas. Try and stay out of the sun and apply sunscreen if this is not possible. Try to avoid any form of strenuous physical exercise immediately after your treatment session, talking a walk though will assist with your muscles in helping power the lymphatic system.
Hydrate ….. your body is working really hard to flush out the ink.
It’s fair to say that the area will feel tender for a few days. Now …. do not freak out if you forget this information when you come in for treatment as we will remind you before you leave each time!