Laser Tattoo Removal Treatments in Canterbury, Kent

tattoo-on-hand

Dr. Hudson-Peacock was the first to provide laser tattoo removal in Canterbury, Kent in 1997 serving clients from Ashford, Dover, Deal, Sittingbourne, Margate (Thanet), Chatham and further afield. Canterbury Skin and Laser Clinic continued to provide Laser Tattoo Removal in Kent  when the clinic opened in Castle Street, in Canterbury in 2003.

The removal of tattoos using lasers has been carried out for approximately 20 years, and has become more widespread since the mid-1990s. Because of the variety of different types of tattoos (e.g. amateur, professional, semi-permanent micropigmentation), it is important to find a practitioner experienced in treating a wide range. You must check the type of laser that a clinic is using for tattoo removal, as these should always be Q-Switched. Be very wary of any clinic offering tattoo removal using Intense Pulsed Light (IPL).

Other ways of removing tattoos have relied on more extreme methods such as surgical excision and skin grafting, dermabrasion or chemical removal through salts and acid tattooing which carry significant risks of damage to the surrounding tissue, resulting in scarring. Also, these may not remove all the tattoo pigment, thus providing disappointing results.

There has been a recent resurgence of acid tattooing using lactic acid tattooed into the unwanted tattoos. Marketing messages claiming treatment to be ‘organic’ or ‘natural, confuse the reality which is that aggressive chemicals are injected into the skin with the aim of creating a deep chemical burn.

What are Lasers and how can they remove tattoos?

A laser produces a powerful beam of light that can precisely transfer energy into the targets within the skin. The beam of light is produced in one wavelength which will be preferentially absorbed by certain tattoo pigments. The key requirement for a laser to remove tattoos is for it to be Q-switched. This means that the energy is delivered in a very short pulse-duration which ‘cracks’ the tattoo pigment particles and is effectively absorbed by the tattoo pigment. The Canterbury Skin and laser Clinic uses a Conbio Medlite Q switched Nd:YAG laser which can produce several wavelengths to target a range of tattoo pigments. IPLs and non Q-switched lasers will not be effective on tattoos, delivering energy that is not effectively absorbed by tattoo pigment and which may damage surrounding skin. Some tattoo pigments respond well to lasers, colours like green do not always respond well.

Can a tattoo be removed in one treatment session?

Multiple treatments may be necessary. Professional tattoos typically require 6 or more treatments, whereas amateur or traumatic blue-black tattoos may only need 1 to 2 sessions. Coloured tattoos can take many more sessions.

How often are treatments carried out and does it hurt?

Treatments are usually scheduled at 6 week intervals. It has been likened to that of an elastic band hitting the skin. Most people do not require any anaesthesia, while some may desire the use of a numbing cream before the procedure.

What happens after each treatment session?

Immediately after treatment, there may be swelling, bruising or crusting and scabbing, which can last up to 2 weeks. Some of the tattoo pigment is lost during this scabbing process.

Does the laser make the tattoo fade straight away?

The immediate effect is a whitish response at the tattoo site. Once the skin has healed over some fading will be evident, the amount depending on the type of tattoo and its colour. Some colours clear less than others (especially green). However, there is no guarantee that the tattoo can be completely removed. Significant fading of the tattoo can, however, continue for up to 3 months after laser treatment in some cases.

Are there any side effects of laser treatment?

Although the side-effects of this procedure are minimal, there is a small risk that the following could occur: skin texture change or scarring, skin lightening or darkening especially in darker skins, infection, incomplete removal of the tattoo, allergic reaction to shattered ink particles, darkening of flesh tone, white, rust or brown tattoo pigments (seen primarily in cosmetic tattoos such as eyeliner or lip liner).

What are the chances of getting rid of my tattoo?

Studies have shown that 85% of amateur tattoos can be completely removed after just three treatment sessions. Professional tattoos take longer with 70% removed by 6 treatments. More treatment sessions in both tattoo types will result in further clearances.

How much does it cost?

This varies between individuals for a number of reasons. The number, size and colour of the tattoos is clearly important.

Initial consultation is FREE, patch test £50 – can be done at the same time as the consultation

Treatment price guide: 2cm x 2cm – £80 per session

4cm x 5cm – £130

8cm x 7cm – £170

12cm x 9cm – £240

Treatment packages and costs can be discussed depending on individual requirements at the time of initial consultation.

For more information or an initial FREE assessment to discuss your needs, call our friendly & professional medical team on 01227 472288.