Laser Tattoo Removal:-
Most people start their research on you tube watching videos on other people’s treatment. This can sometimes be misleading as you only see the treatment very quickly and it looks as if the ink is disappearing before your eyes.
In reality this is not actually the case. After each laser shot the skin reacts by forming tiny little blisters on the surface of the skin which hide the ink still within the skin. These little blisters very quickly fade and more often than not will slightly bleed but this is not the case for everyone. Some people will bleed a very small amount and others might not bleed at all but might later on blister. My advice is to always use the cold pack provided until it has run out, and then leave the area open to the air to dry out. Once the area is dry and has most likely scabbed over you can use aloe Vera to help keep the scabs from getting too dry, however you do not want to soak the area for the first few days so avoid baths, and avoid very hot showers until the scabs have started to fall off.
As someone who has experienced laser tattoo removal myself, I found the hardest part resisting scratching the site whilst it is healing, and also not knocking any scabs off. It is very important to let your body fully heal and not scratch/pick as this could result in injury, infection, or scarring so try to leave it alone. It is also advised to stay out of strong light and avoid sun beds unless the area is covered up.
I often am asked about scarring. If the tattoo area is already scarred then this will be more visible once the tattoo is removed. The laser process itself should not cause scarring, however if you pick the scabs the chances are higher of causing damage as the skin whilst healing is extremely delicate. An aftercare leaflet of do's and don’ts will be given to you to take home after your first treatment.
The first picture in this helpful diagram shows a cross section of your skin. In this you can see the top layers of skin (the epidermis) and the new skin growth deeper skin (the dermis) as well as the blood vessels in red and blue, and the yellow fat at the bottom.
The second picture shows where the ink is within the skin or dermis.
The third simulates the breaking up of the ink by the laser ready for your body to dispose of the smaller particles though the lymphatic system, and the forth and last photo shows the ink that is then left. Tattoo removal is not a quick process and you will need to let your body recover for at least 6 weeks between treatments as the body will continue to removal the broken ink particles and the tattoo can continue to fade for weeks following a single laser session.
Test patches are done to check your body’s response to the laser. 3 different patches are normally done using different levels of intensity. The photo above shows a normal reaction to test patches a few minutes after the little white blisters have gone down. The size of the patch depends on the tattoo size and colour/darkness.
Things to look out for after your test patches is discolouration of the skin (lack of pigment/darkening of the pigment) an itchy rash that spreads, or if the area does not dry out within 24 hours you should contact us to make sure your reaction is normal. If you have no reactions you can have the full treatment 2 weeks after the test patches.
We recommend using a topical numbing cream such as Emla 5% cream to numb the tattoo before your first treatment. People’s pain threshold can vary considerably and some will find they do not need the cream, however some people find this makes the treatment a lot more comfortable.
The first photo above was taken before treatment. The second shows the first full treatment including the little white blisters explained above, and the last photo shows the results after the first full session 4 days post treatment. How many sessions a tattoo will need is completely down to the amount of ink in the tattoo and how your body copes with removing the ink once it has been lasered. The tattoo above is very superficial and there is not a lot of ink in the tattoo so the results can be seen quickly. This is not the case for everyone as the more ink the more sessions you will need to remove the tattoo completely. The tattoo above is an ongoing tattoo removal started in December 2014, and is estimated to need 3-4 more sessions to completely remove it.
The second comparison photo shows the original tattoo against how the tattoo now looks afte just 3 full laser sessions.
This tattoo shows a before and after just 8 full laser sessions. This tattoo will still require a further 1-2 sessions to remove it completely. Further progress photos will be added as treatment continues.
The tattoo above has had a test patch preformed on the tail of the left photo, but shows the full darkness of the original tattoo.
The photo on the right shows the progress of the tattoo after just 4 full sessions. A further 3-4 sessions will be required to completely remove this tattoo.
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Chanelle Health & Beauty
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