Tattoos are designed to be a permanent piece of body art. The pigments used are injected deep into the lower layers of your skin, where they are held in place by a network of collagen fibres. This makes the physical removal of tattoos complex and damaging to the surrounding tissue, with the potential to cause extensive scarring.
We offer laser tattoo removal from our clinic in London which can remove a tattoo with minimal risk to damage or long term scarring.
How does laser tattoo removal work?
Laser tattoo removal uses short pulses of high energy light to heat up and break down the tattoo pigments into smaller particles, which are then removed by your own immune system. It does not involve cutting into the skin and so does not cause scarring.
Our Consultant Dermatologists are experts in using medical dermatological lasers to perform many procedures, including laser tattoo removal. The Devonshire Clinic ensures that your procedure is carried out in a safe and controlled environment.
About the lasers we use to remove tattoos
Older lasers had a poor reputation for causing scarring because they overheated the skin around the tattoo site. Modern lasers have eliminated this problem.
Tattoo removal conducted at our London clinic is performed using a state-of-the-art Q-switched Nd YAG laser, which causes less heating in the surrounding skin tissue and which therefore carries a much lower risk of scarring.
Please note that even with the best laser equipment, green, yellow and orange pigments are often resistant to treatment and so we may not be able to completely remove your tattoo if it is rich in these pigments.
How long does laser tattoo removal take?
There is no standard tattoo, so there is no standard treatment time, but as a rule, the simpler the tattoo, the fewer treatments will be required. For example, a small tattoo with simple pigments can take anything from 1-10 treatments, whereas more complex tattoos can take up to 20 removal treatments or more.
The process is lengthened by the need to wait for the previous treatment to heal before your next round. This can take four to six weeks, extending the average tattoo removal process to around a year or more in some cases.
We are able to give you an estimate for the number of treatments your tattoo will require, based on a personal examination, but even then, we will not be able to say for certain until we see how your individual tattoo and skin type responds.
Does laser tattoo removal hurt?
The pain level of laser tattoo removal varies from person to person, from a slight stinging sensation to a more uncomfortable burning. However, tattoo removal is somewhat less painful than having the original tattoo.
Will I be left with a scar?
The treated area is likely to blister and scab following each laser removal treatment, and the skin around the treatment area may appear shiny for a few weeks. Both effects are temporary and will fade, but you will not be able to have further treatment until your skin recovers.
Laser tattoo removal is unlikely to leave a permanent scar, although there is a risk that the surrounding skin may be left with less natural colouring. The natural pigment may recover after a few months, or even years, but in some cases this de-pigmentation may be permanent.
Is laser tattoo removal safe?
Laser tattoo removal is a well established and safe procedure if it is performed by professionals with the very latest equipment. Thousands of laser tattoo removal treatments have been supervised by Dr Perrett alone and millions more are performed worldwide every year.