Ink regrets? Join the club! For a growing number of people, tattoo regrets are common. Luckily, tattoo removal technology has kept pace with the popularity of getting inked. Previously tattoo removal lasers were limited in the colours they could successfully eliminate, but today’s PicoSure technology allows for all ink colours – including the previously hard-to-remove yellows and greens to be successfully removed (eventually).
This brings us to the single most important advice when it comes to removing regretted tattoos – see a professional. A qualified doctor, nurse or professionally trained clinician at a reputable clinic – that only use the best and latest technology is your best bet to removing your tattoo safely and efficiently.
You need to know that removing any tattoo will take more than one session. Most tattoos will require 6-12 sessions, sometimes less and sometimes more. The reason why you need multiple treatment sessions is because each time the tattoo is treated, the laser sends light energy into your skin that it is then absorbed by the tattoo ink particles, that then shatter into tiny fragments.
Once the laser has broken the ink into smaller particles, your body’s immune system removes the ink over the following weeks, flushing it away from the tattooed skin area. This process can take the body many weeks to complete, which is why you also need to wait numerous weeks, sometimes months between each treatment.
Most tattoo removalists require you to wait a minimum of six weeks between treatment sessions. The time a single treatment takes is greatly dependent on the size and the type of tattoo. The length of time it takes to treat a tattoo will also impact on the comfortability of the treatment. When it comes to tattoo removal – size does matter.
Q. Does Tattoo Removal work?
A. Yes. The technology to remove tattoos has vastly improved over recent years, meaning virtually every tattoo can be fully removed – eventually. Multiple treatments spaced over time is still very much the same procedure as previously experienced, but the results are far superior today than they were even a few short years ago.
Q. Should I do anything in advance to having a Tattoo Removal treatment?
A. Yes. Do not expose the area where your tattoo is to sunlight prior to a tattoo removal treatment. Sunburnt skin, or any aggravation to the area treated do not combine well with a tattoo removal treatment.
Q. Do I need to do anything after a Tattoo Removal treatment?
A. Yes! Follow – exactly – the directions given to you by your qualified practitioner. These instructions should be given to you in writing. Follow-up care would always include keeping the treated area clean, not picking at any blisters or scabs that might form and not allowing the treated area to become sunburnt or aggravated in anyway (chafing of clothing for example). It is also recommended that you drink plenty of water for several weeks after your treatment as this helps your body to eliminate the shattered ink particles quickly and efficiently.
Q. Does Tattoo Removal feel uncomfortable?
A. Yes, but how uncomfortable it is, depends on many factors. Any reputable clinic will discuss pain management with you in advance. For instance, the use of numbing cream can really help, as can chilled air being applied to the area of the skin at the time of treatment. How large the tattoo is will also impact how long the treatment time is, which impacts how uncomfortable the treatment is. The bottom line is for the vast majority of those who have had tattoo removal treatments; it is uncomfortable, but not unbearable.
Q. How long does it take to see the results of a Tattoo Removal procedure?
A. This varies – a lot. It depends on your skin type (how dark your skin is), the size of the tattoo, the depth of colour of the tattoo – and how old, and how healthy you are. A healthy immune response will break down and eliminate the ink particles that much quicker than less healthy people. Again, this should be discussed with your clinician in full detail, and in advance to committing to a series of treatments.
As a rough guide, it can cost ten times more to have a tattoo removed than it cost to have the tattoo in the first place. It is always worth consulting with a few clinicians prior to committing. A professional clinic will have staff who are honest and upfront as to how many treatments are estimated – and the cost of those treatments in advance. Many reputable clinics sell a series of treatments that can help reduce the overall cost. Again, consult several, reputable clinics before committing your money and time. It’s one thing to regret getting a tattoo, but you don’t want to regret your choice of a tattoo removal clinician.