Information & FAQ

How does laser tattoo removal work?

Using the AW3® Nd Yag Q-switched laser I safely and effectively fade or remove tattoos, permanent make up, and skin pigmentation such as age spots, sunspots and birthmarks for clients across Nottingham.

So, how does lazer tattoo removal actually work? It’s fascinating; when you first had your tattoo, you most likely noticed some things after getting it.

First, the skin heals up, and within the first year, your tattoo probably got a bit lighter. The reason this happens is that your body recognizes the tattoo for what it is – the addition of something foreign in your body.

When the tattoo ink is put deep into your skin, white blood cells do attack the ink in your body’s attempt to remove the foreign particles and protect your skin. While your skin heals, the majority of the ink remains in place. Your tattoo will fade a bit as the smaller particles are removed, but the bulk of the ink stays.

The tattoo ink particles that linger are too big for your immune system to remove naturally. When ink gets injected into the lower layers of your skin (dermis) it gets locked away by several collagen fibres. Q-switched lasers create bursts of high energy laser light, in short intervals, which gets absorbed by the large tattoo particles, generating heat that disintegrates the tattoo pigment into tiny particles which your body can remove.

Due to the ink selectively absorbing the laser energy, the surrounding skin doesn’t overheat and there is no lasting damage.

How will my tattoos respond to laser tattoo removal?

Our All White laser can remove all kinds of tattoos no matter what. Regardless, tattoo removal requires several visits. Because all tattoos are not the same, some could respond differently. Numerous factors can influence the removal process these include:

- Ink Colours – lighter and more reflective colours are commonly tougher to remove than darker, more saturated ink colours. Black, red, dark orange and dark blue tattoos will typically respond better to treatment with the laser. That being said: brown, purple, green, light orange, neon and light blue colours are more difficult to remove and require more sessions.

- Type of ink – Tattoo ink usually contains heavy metals, and the types of materials that make up the ink will impact how quickly your body can remove it.

- Amateur vs professional tattoo artist – both types of tattoos can cause challenges during removal. Amateur tattoos usually don’t penetrate as deep into the skin as ones from professionals, but they are also more likely to be unevenly applied. Professional tattoos are set deeper into the skin and are usually done evenly.

Tatto Removal FAQ

Before beginning your course of laser tattoo removal, you might have some questions.

I can provide you with answers to the majority of your frequently asked questions during a tattoo removal consultation, but you’ll find the answers to some of the questions I hear most often below.

How long does laser tattoo removal take?

Your body will decide the length of time it takes to remove the tattoo. Laser removal relies on your white blood cells to draw out the ink particles through the liver, to be expelled out of the body. This process could take 12 months or longer (as the body continues to remove the ink after the laser course) and require anywhere from 3 - 10+ laser sessions. It does depend on how quickly your body carries off the ink particles.


Does laser tattoo removal hurt?

Most of my clients say that having a tattoo removed hurts about the same amount as it did to have it applied. If your tattoo placement was very painful, you can expect the same experience during removal. People describe the sensation as being like the snap from an elastic band. While it’s not pleasant, the majority of people can bear the discomfort. In some cases, especially for large tattoos, you may want to place an ice pack (available on arrival) on the area for a few minutes before removal.

What are the side effects of tattoo removal?

Almost every person will experience some side effects in the first few days after receiving their laser treatment. Not surprisingly, the skin will be red, irritated, and sensitive. In some cases, there will also be blistering and bruising. Sometimes the skin’s natural pigmentation may also change. Tattoo removal lasers are designed to target and break up pigments and at times this includes the skin’s natural pigments. This can lead to either hyperpigmentation (skin darkening) or hypopigmentation (skin lightening). These changes to skin colour as well as the other immediate side effects are temporary. As the skin recovers it should return to normal. This is why you need to wait for approximately six weeks or longer between treatments to ensure the skin is completely healed before the next laser session.


Will I have a scar?

It is extremely unusual for the laser tattoo removal process to scar the skin if you follow your aftercare instructions carefully. However, many people aren’t aware that the placement of their tattoo initially caused scarring, but this may not be apparent. While the lasers will break down the pigment within the scar tissue, they won’t remove the scar itself. Any already existing scars will remain after your tattoo is removed, but it isn’t likely that you’ll have new scars.