Getting a tattoo is an exciting milestone, but with time, it’s not uncommon for many to regret their decision. Whether the tattoo was poorly done initially, the pigment has spread, or the design is a reminder you would rather forget, there are many reasons why you may opt for laser tattoo removal. But how does laser hair removal work? And how can you ensure a safe, problem-free experience? Read our guide to find out more.

How Does Laser Tattoo Removal Work? Your Questions Answered

As specialists in laser tattoo removal in Northampton, we have helped many clients to say goodbye to their unwanted ink for good. As with any treatment, we always recommend doing plenty of research before beginning your sessions. Our guide below details what to expect from your sessions, the benefits and aftercare guidance, so you can decide whether laser tattoo removal is the best route for you.

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    How Laser Tattoo Removal Works

    Let’s begin our guide with the theory behind the treatment, starting with understanding the different layers of your skin; the epidermis, dermis and hypodermis.

    • Epidermis is the top protective layer responsible for generating new skin. The dermis is the layer you can see.
    • Dermis is the middle layer containing nerves, responsible for growing hair, producing oil and supplying blood.
    • Hypodermis is the bottom later, which connects the dermis to the muscles and bones, responsible for regulating body temperature.

    When you get a tattoo, the ink is inserted into both the epidermis and dermis; however, as the skin heals, the epidermis regenerates, and the ink becomes trapped in the boundary between the epidermis and dermis – this is what makes the tattoo permanent. With each laser tattoo removal session, the goal will be to reach deeper into these layers of the skin to gradually fade the pigment until it is removed altogether.

    But how do lasers achieve this? Here is what you can expect from your sessions:

    • During sessions, a Q-switched Nd:YAG laser will be used; this laser type produces pulses of light energy to allow for precise application (in other words, it targets the tattoo only without damaging surrounding skin).
    • The laser targets the tattoo in short bursts, typically only a few seconds each time. The ink then absorbs the heat from the light energy, and this causes it to shatter.
    • Now that the ink has been broken down into tiny pieces (at a cell level), your body will naturally remove the ink through your immune system.
    • With each session, another layer of ink will be targeted, shattered and removed until none is left underneath your skin.

    Benefits Of Laser Tattoo Removal

    Laser tattoo removal is known as the safest, most effective method of removing unwanted tattoos, which makes it a hugely popular treatment across the globe. But aside from allowing you to erase tattoos as if they never existed, what are the other benefits? Here we run through just a handful of reasons why clients continue to book this treatment:

    Remove an entire tattoo or just a single section.

    The precise nature of our lasers means you can decide how much or little of your tattoo you remove. While most clients remove their entire design, you can choose to erase a single section or fade only parts of your tattoo.

    Completely safe when carried out by professionals.

    As with any cosmetic procedure, laser tattoo removal is safe and has minimal side effects if you book with the right practitioner. At our beauty clinic in Northampton, our team are fully certified with years of experience, using only industry-approved equipment with a strong safety profile.

    The skin can be re-tattooed after sessions are complete.

    Providing that your skin has fully healed (which is likely to take several months), you can retattoo the same area, which is perfect if you are planning to add to an existing design. You may just find that the tattoo is slightly more painful as the skin will be new.

    Sessions are quick and easy to fit into your schedule.

    Laser tattoo removal sessions can last anywhere from 5 minutes for a small tattoo to up to an hour for extra-large designs. You will then have to allow six to eight weeks of healing time between each session. Together, this makes appointments super easy to fit into your schedule.

    Laser Tattoo Removal Aftercare

    Following your tattoo removal sessions, you will always be given strict aftercare advice to care for your skin, prevent adverse side effects and speed up the healing process. Aftercare guidance will include the following:

    Keep the area protected for the first few days.

    You are always advised to wear loose-fitted clothing over your treatment area for the first few days to prevent friction against the fabric. Some of our clients opt for wearing a dressing for 24 hours for added protection.

    Avoid sun exposure and wear a high SPF.

    Laser tattoo removal inevitably makes your skin more sensitive, which means, if possible, you should avoid sun exposure altogether for a few weeks after your sessions. If you cannot avoid going outside in the sun, keep the treatment area covered or wear a high SPF.

    Do not pick scabs or burst blisters.

    Your skin will likely blister and scab, but you must allow these to heal naturally. Picking scabs or bursting blisters risk causing infection and other complications. If you experience discomfort, you are welcome to apply an ice pack.

    Carefully clean the treatment twice a day.

    All clients who book our tattoo removal in Northampton will be given full instructions on how to clean their treatment area. This will involve gently dabbing the area using a cotton pad or swab soaked in warm water. Your laser practitioner will recommend which cleansers you can use, and we always recommend applying petroleum jelly afterwards to prevent the skin from drying out.

    Practitioner Doing Laser Tattoo Removal

    Common Tattoo Removal FAQs

    Before beginning your laser tattoo removal sessions, we will always book an initial consultation to discuss the treatment and allow you to ask questions. To give you more insight into what you can expect, here we have answered some of the most common questions our clients ask:

    How Much Is Laser Tattoo Removal?

    At our beauty clinic in Northampton, our tattoo removal prices range anywhere from £25 per session to over £80, depending on the size of your tattoo. We will always use your initial free consultation to assess your tattoo and advise on the number of sessions you need. During this consultation, we will also run through your medical history and contraindications to ensure you are safe to continue with your sessions.

    Does Laser Tattoo Removal Hurt?

    Although laser tattoo removal is not necessarily painful (getting the tattoo in the first place would have hurt more), it can be uncomfortable. Many compare the laser pulses to the sensation of being flicked with an elastic band, with the skin afterwards feeling similar to being sunburnt. If you have ever had laser hair removal, the feeling is very similar. You can learn more about this treatment and what to expect in our previous article.

    Much like any of our treatments, if, at any point, you feel as if the discomfort is too much, always let your practitioner know, and they would be happy to give you a short break. We will also always do a patch test during your consultation to ensure that your skin will react well to the treatment so you will experience the sensation before beginning sessions.

    During Laser Tattoo Removal Session

    Does Laser Tattoo Removal Leave Scars?

    Scarring is one of the biggest concerns among clients considering laser tattoo removal. When carried out by a trained practitioner using the correct equipment, scarring is rare. To ensure that your skin returns to normal after sessions and to further reduce the risk of scarring, you must also follow the aftercare recommendations above. In particular, avoid picking scabs or bursting blisters, as both can cause scars.

    How Long Does Laser Tattoo Removal Take?

    The number of sessions needed will depend on the size of your tattoo, the depth of the ink and how much of the design you want to remove. In most cases, we recommend that our clients book a course of six sessions spaced eight weeks apart. For larger tattoos, removal may require up to twelve sessions; however, we will always make you aware of this during your consultation.

    Is Laser Tattoo Removal Safe?

    In short, yes, laser tattoo removal is an incredibly safe method of removing unwanted tattoos – it is even recognised by the NHS. The key is to always ensure that you book with an experienced, qualified practitioner who operates from a registered clinic.

    Like any cosmetic treatment, there are certain circumstances that would make you unsuitable for laser tattoo removal due to a higher level of risk. For example, you should not book sessions if you are pregnant or have a skin infection. More information on this can be found on Medic8.

    Ready To Book Your Laser Tattoo Removal Sessions?

    Laser tattoo removal is an excellent, safety-approved treatment that has been used for more than 50 years, so if you have been considering sessions, it is most definitely the best route for removing unwanted tattoos. As always, if you are interested in beginning your tailored treatment plan, please do not hesitate to contact our team. We would happily book a free consultation and patch test to discuss your desired results.

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