With the warmer weather upon us, I thought I would take the opportunity to remind everyone having laser tattoo removal to keep your treated areas protected from the sun. If it is impractical to cover up then use sunblock and re-apply as necessary.
The reason for this is that, along with the ink, the pigment in tanned skin can be also targeted by the laser. This can cause hypo-pigmentation which is a lightening of the skin. Usually this is temporary and the skin pigment will rejuvenate in 3 to 6 months. However, occasionally it is permanent and although rare, it is best not to take the risk.
This topic is referred to in the consultation form at The Laser Clinic.
Stay sun safe this summer.
The Laser Clinic has received WINZ accreditation for Laser Tattoo Removal. The process was lengthy and thorough but it is nice to be in a position to assist those wanting to remove tattoos that inhibit job prospects but do not have the finances available to do so.
It is a simple process:- First, WINZ must be convinced that the tattoo(s) in question do in fact hinder their client from achieving employment before they will agree to financial assistance. I then assess the tattoo(s) at the client’s free consultation and give a written quote, which the client then takes to WINZ.
Vouchers are given to the client which are redeemed when they come for treatment.
Permanent make-up (cosmetic tattoo) is becoming increasingly popular. However, cosmetic tattoo removal is not a service I provide for the following reasons:-
- In order to safely remove permanent eyeliner using laser, intra-ocular shields are required for eye protection. It is recommended that these are inserted into the eyes of unconscious patients only, although I have seen videos of people having laser treatment for their eyeliner whilst awake. It is not something I will do.
- Permanent cosmetic pigments often have metallic bases and due to this lip liner can turn black when exposed to the laser, worsening the situation.
- If ink in permanent eyebrows is of a low quality or has been diluted, it has been known to migrate to the forehead when treated with a laser and cause a shadow effect.
I have not found many places in NZ that will perform cosmetic tattoo removal. For this reason I would strongly recommend that anyone considering permanent cosmetic treatments to carefully research the beauticians that provide this treatment and choose one that you are confident will offer the result to want.
Quanta has donated tattoo removal lasers to be used by experts in the delicate job of removing pollution particles from priceless artworks around Italy. Laser is used to restore areas that are sensitive to chemical and mechanical agents.
The process is virtually identical to tattoo removal. With tattoos, minuscule pulses of near infra-red laser radiation is used to target and break-up ink particles, without damaging surrounding tissue. Likewise the same principle is applied to break up encrustations of pollution, without damage to the sculptures and paintings.
For more information see the following link: Five Quanta System Lasers Donated to the Vatican
I was asked to laser remove only the gold in this tattoo. This was the first gold tattoo I had treated. Common-sense suggested that I use the 532nm wavelength as it is absorbed by reds, oranges and yellows. When the client returned for a second treatment, I noticed very little fading which was disappointing. I decided to try the Ruby Laser (694nm wavelength) as an alternative. When my client returned, I was very pleasantly surprised to see such good results after just one treatment with the Ruby. Known to be invaluable in getting rid of stubborn blues and greens, it seems the Ruby laser also works well with browny-golds.
With the advance of laser technology, tattoos of all colours are now removable. Even so, people don’t normally choose a tattoo with removal in mind. Perhaps in the modern world of ever changing fashion they should. One thing is for sure, tattoos are here to stay but tattoo styles will change. When was the last time you saw an anchor or semi-clad woman on the upper arm that swayed with the flex of muscles (those were the days)?
Improving ink qualities are allowing for more vibrant colours. Tattooists are improving in their standard of artistry and becoming more competitive. A larger cross-section of people are opting for tattoos. It is therefore inevitable that there will be changing tattoo trends and certain tattoos won’t last the test of time.
This is where my services come in but one must remember that most people who come in for removal do not hate tattoos and nor do I. Many want a specific area of their tattoo removed that they don’t feel fits in with other art-work. Others just want 2 or 3 removal sessions in order to have a tattoo faded enough for higher quality art-work to go over the top. From my perspective as a laser tattoo removal therapist, here are some facts to consider before having a tattoo placed that will make the removal process easier, less painful and less expensive.
1) Tattoos fade better when they are placed closer to lymph nodes due to the fact that it is the lymphatic system that disperses of the laser treated ink. You have lymph nodes under your arms, your neck and groin. Therefore tattoos placed around the extremities e.g. wrists and ankles may take more treatments to remove completely, thus the process is more expensive.
2) The lower back and lumber region are very painful areas to have laser tattoo removal treatment. It is a very tender area due to it containing a lot of nerve endings. Even with the use of Emla numbing cream, along with the cyro-chiller, it still causes the most discomfort.
3) My laser has the ability to remove any colour, however some of the new, very bright tattoo pigments, particularly the almost neon yellows, blues and greens contain levels of iron or titanium oxide. This has not been shown to be harmful, however it reacts with the laser and oxidises, meaning it turns black, instead of fading. A test patch at your consultation will allow for this diagnosis. It can still be treated and removed but care and a much lower power level is required. Again this means more treatments and therefore more expense.
Keep these facts in mind and enjoy your tattoo.
Here is an example of a tattoo after only 3 treatments. As you can see there is absolutely no evidence of change in skin condition e.g. scarring.
After 3 treatments
I’ve had many enquiries about the cost of laser tattoo removal treatment. Prices start from $95 and that would be for little dots (probably done to yourself with Indian ink in your young years). Size alone is not the only factor to consider. Ink content, complexity and colours are also reflected in the cost. For this reason it is best to come in to see me for a free consultation. Otherwise you can email a photo of your tattoo to firstname.lastname@example.org
with a brief description of its size and location and I can give you an accurate cost.
This shows impressive first treatment results for this customer 8 weeks after using our brand new Quanta Q Plus C laser.
- We used the 4mm square ‘optibeam’ head which means that each pulse from the laser covers a reasonably large area of tattoo. This makes for a quicker job without undue overlapping of laser energy.
- The wavelength used was, 1064 nm – ideal for dark tattoos like this one.
Watch for future updates.
After 1 Treatment
Here is the link to an interesting and informative article called 10 Steps To Finding A Qualified Laser Tattoo Removal Specialist
by Lorenzo Kunze that covers the most important points for choosing a laser tattoo removal clinic.
Remember that this is a specialised treatment that is just as important (if not more important) as choosing the right tattooist.
Not only has the clinician to be proficient in the use of lasers but the laser itself must be of a standard to successfully remove the tattoo without causing damage to the skin.
Please note that the author of this paper uses a Quanta Q Plus C, as we also do at The Laser Clinic.