Getting that tattoo of your boyfriend’s name may have seemed like a good idea at the time, but now that he is your ex you are probably feeling regret. People choose tattoos for all kinds of reasons and sometimes they aren’t as well planned as they should be, so for those of you who have changed your minds we have found an expert to discuss tattoo removal.
Dr Jacinta Keoghan is a Cosmetic Physician from Zecca, a cosmedical practice who specialise in a range of treatments including tattoo removal.
What is the process for removing tattoos?
The current gold standard laser for tattoo removal is the Q-switched Nd: YAG laser. These lasers use very specific wavelengths of light to target each ink colour.
The light energy gently vibrates and shatters the tattoo ink into micro-particles that are eventually eliminated through the body’s natural processes. Laser tattoo removal requires several sessions. On average, professional tattoos need 6-15 treatments, while amateur tattoos need four to five treatments, spaced approximately four to eight weeks apart.
What things do you need to take into consideration?
The colour, age of the tattoo, whether it was done professionally or is an amateur tattoo, and location on the body and size of the tattoo are all important considerations.
Is there anyone who wouldn’t be a suitable candidate for tattoo removal?
Generally speaking, no, but I always encourage people to have a consultation prior to commencing the tattoo removal process. A person needs to be committed to continuing with the process, as multiple sessions are required.
Does tattoo removal hurt more than having a tattoo done?
Most clients will say that tattoo removal is a lot less a painful than having a tattoo performed. I try to make the procedure as comfortable as possible by applying ice or using local anaesthetic. Clients say the pulses of light feel similar to snaps of small rubber bands on the skin, followed by a feeling of warmth.
What kind of aftercare is required?
There is very minimal aftercare required. Depending on the location of the tattoo, a dressing may be applied to prevent clothing from rubbing on the area.
What are the hardest tattoos to remove?
Green, sky blue and yellow inks are often the most difficult to remove, and additional treatments are needed to produce significant fading of these colours, while dark ink tattoos, such as blue and black, are the easiest to remove.
What costs are involved?
The cost of the treatment depends on the size of the tattoo, the number of colours and complexity. As a general guide, the costs per session are usually in the range of between $180 -$350.
How can you choose the right cosmetic physician for the job?
I think that people need to research! I would only go to a professional that uses the gold standard in tattoo removal – the Q-switched Nd:YAG laser. You need to have a consultation and make sure that the clinician is experienced in this procedure and that any of your questions are answered to your satisfaction before commencing the process.
Will there be any scarring or evidence of the tattoo once the process is completed?
As a general rule, people do not scar from the process of tattoo removal if performed with the recommended laser. Once the tattoo is removed, there may occasionally be evidence of scarring which is from the actual process of having the tattoo in the first place. Lasers will generally eliminate about 95% of the tattoo, so there may be a faint outline of where the tattoo once was, however, most people are very satisfied with the results.
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