General Education

Are you a candidate for tattoo removal using laser?

If you have silicone implants, metal implants, a pace maker or hearing aids please bring this to our attention.

Before your treatment please avoid taking any anti-inflammatory medication and alcohol for 24 hours. No Covid vaccine 2 weeks before or after laser removal.

If you are breast feeding or pregnant – it’s a no go.

If you are on steroids you can get blood clots. This is very dangerous – wait 6 months after you have finished your steroids to do removal. Topical steroids – wait 2 weeks before removal.

If you have Epilepsy – it’s a no go.

Diabetes – if you scratch yourself and it does not heal well do not consider laser removal. Please get doctors consent for removal if you have Diabetes.

Make sure you are well enough for removal if you have Thyroid problems.

If you are on or have just done: cortisone tablets, Ro-Acutane or Accutane or any generic thereof – wait 6 months before removal.

If you are on a course of radiation or chemo wait 6 months.

If your tattoo is white, yellow, glitter or UV you won’t have success. Red tattoos on darker skin can be faded a bit but won’t be taken away.

If you have had Rosacea, Eczema or Psoriasis in the area that needs to be treated you might have a flare up. Note: Vertiligo: light patches might get triggered.

Cancer Photodynamic Therapy – wait 12 weeks after the last treatment before removal.

Feverfew and St John’s Wort cause photosensitivity. Stop taking for a month then do removal.

Blood thinner (E.G: Warfarin) you will bleed more. Please do not take it the day of the removal and with Doctor’s consent don’t take it from a day or two before the appointment. You can take it again about 5 hours after the removal.

Tetracycline (antibiotic) and Amiodarone (for heart disease) can lead to pigment problems on the skin. Wait 2 weeks after finishing the course before removal.

Do not laser in the area where you have had Botox or Filler laser will neutralise it.

Do not laser in the area where you have had recent skin peels or a facelift the skin will be photo-sensitive: skin becomes sensitive to light and may burn easily or get a rash. Wait 6 months before removal.

Lupus – you will be photosensitive and your immune system is compromised, therefore your healing process will be slow or non-existent. Your results will be compromised. Same goes for HIV.

Your Questions Answered

Will my tattoo be 100% gone after my laser removal sessions?

You might be able to see a slight ‘stain/haze’ in the skin.

If you are scarred from the tattoo your skin will look a little lighter where the tattoo once was.

Laser is not an eraser – results vary person to person. You will get a result depending on how your skin and body process the laser treatments.The ink/pigment gets broken down by the laser and we rely on your age, genetics, immune system, life style and circulation to remove the ink particles from your system over time and this process achieves results. You just need to try and see how your body responds.

Is it painful?

Yes, it stings and feels hot for a split second with each beam to the skin – like an elastic hitting your skin.

Can I use Emla numbing cream before I arrive for my appointment?

Removal is quick so we suggest not using numbing agents as they push the blood further down into the skin and we need the blood vessels to be close to the surface to help remove the ink out of your system. If you plan on using Elma anyway apply a thick layer on the area and cover with cling wrap from 45 minutes before your appointment. You can take Paracetamol based pain killers before your appointment (no Aspirin/Dispirin/Myprodol) or Anti Inflammatory meds.

If I have a very large tattoo needing removal (20 to 30cm or more) can I do it in one sitting?

It is better to do about 15cm per session and then the next section 2 weeks later and so on. This gives the immune system time to process and get rid of ink. The immune system will handle the removal better if not all done in one go. You will not pay each time you come for removal – you will pay for one removal session even if you need to come 3 times to make up that one session.

How long do I need to wait between sessions?

8 weeks, in fact the longer you wait between sessions the better.

How many sessions will I need?

Deep dark tattoos require 8 to 15 sessions while faded tattoos that are old and not so saturated perhaps 4 to 6. Just start the process with the longest time line in mind and perhaps you might not need that many.

What is the worst that can happen? Risks of laser tattoo removal are relatively low – but do note:

In rare cases a keloid can form over the area that received removal.

One can experience the skin looking lighter in the area that experienced removal: Hypopigmentation. One can also experience a slight darkening of the skin: Hyper pigmentation.

If your skin is sensitive or thin and requires several removals you might be left with a faint scar. This can be treated with micro needling and scar repair creams – keloids can also be treated the same way.