Often a tattoo that seemed like a good idea at the time becomes unwanted or embarrassing, as you get older. Laser technology is the best method to fade or remove unwanted body art.
How can it help?
Lasers work to remove tattoos with selective photothermolysis. The laser is attracted to the colour of the pigment, which is then destroyed when it absorbs the heat of the laser. The pigment “explodes” and scavenger cells in the body then remove the smaller particles.
During the initial consultation Dr. Arianayagam will carefully and thoroughly examine your skin, the tattoo and skin surrounding the tattoo. He will also ask you a variety of questions about your current health situation, medications, allergies and any past medical treatments.
He will then discuss the options available and his recommendations.
You should feel free to frankly discuss your goals and expectations and ask plenty of questions.
Laser treatment is done in the Scarba Street Clinic with the use of an anaesthetic cream to reduce stinging.
As a first step, the skin’s reaction to the laser is tested to determine the energy needed for treatment. The laser hand piece is placed against the surface of the skin and the laser activated. Smaller tattoos require fewer pulses, while larger ones require more.
There will be a fine ooze in the treated area, requiring a non-stick dressing. We often recommend Cling Wrap be applied for 5 to 7 days.
A crust is likely to form and this will fall off after a few days.
Frequently Asked Questions
Dr. Arianayagam uses the COSJET-TR Q-Switched Nd:YAG laser. This high powered laser helps in faster and better removal of tattoos in fewer sessions. The laser has a wavelength of 1064mm, which is effective for the removal of black and blue pigments. It can be “Q-Switched” to a wavelength of 532mm for removal of red, green, yellow and orange pigments.
Multiple sessions are required to remove tattoos. Expect a minimum of 6-8 sessions at 6-8 week intervals. At each session the tattoo should become progressively lighter.
A certain amount of pain and irritation in the area being treated is experienced by most patients, with many describing the feeling as similar to having a rubber band snapped on their skin.
Topical anaesthetic creams are used on the tattoo surface to reduce the sting of the treatment.
There are minimal side effects to laser tattoo removal. However, there is some risk of the following side effects:
The tattoo removal site is at risk of infection.
There is a slight chance that the treatment will leave you with a permanent scar.
Hypopigmentation / Hyperpigmentation
It is possible for the treated skin to be lighter than the surrounding skin (hypopigmentation) or darker than the surrounding skin (hyperpigmentation). Risk is higher for darker skinned people to have hyperpigmentation. Additional treatment may be needed to reduce this effect.