Turns out, 24% of people who have tattoos regret getting them – and 1 in 7 of them want them removed.
Like, for example, Liam Hemsworth whose newest ink comes in the form of a jar of Vegemite on his ankle. Let’s say, he realises that yeah, that wasn’t actually the best idea and he’s ready to get it removed. Well, Mr Chris Hemsworth 2.0, and dear reader, we are here to help.
While no, tattoo removals don’t completely erase the past, they will make your old ink look far less noticeable and are perfect for those hoping to get a cover tattoo later on. To get all the info about getting your ink removed, we spoke to Rhiannon Murphy, Head Dermal Therapist at Next Level Clinic. Check it our below.
Can you completely remove a tattoo?
It’s very possible to completely remove a tattoo with a highly trained therapist, quality machinery, keeping yourself accountable by eating well, staying hydrated, avoiding alcohol, smoking and completing regular exercise.
Laser technology is extremely important when it comes to tattoo removal and there is a much greater chance of complete removal especially with harder to treat coloured tattoos by using the internationally award winning Quanta Discovery Pico Plus. This machine has 3 TRUE lasers, NDYAG 1064nm for black/darker ink colours, 532nm for reds/yellows/orange tones and the Ruby 964n which works on blue/green pigment. Just as the tattoo artists mix different coloured pigments to make certain colours, certain coloured lasers are then necessary to remove those combination of pigments.
Pico second lasers fire at one trillionth per second, the ultra-short bursts of energy act like rocks being hit together with the particles in between and therefore smash the tattoo pigment up into particles so tiny it making it easier for the macrophages to attach and move the particles to your lymph nodes, which is how your body actually removes the tattoo ink that you will then sweat and urinate out in the following weeks.
How much does it cost to remove a tattoo?
Tattoo removal can vary in price starting from $97 up to thousands depending on the size of the area, more often than not, removing the tattoo is a lot more expensive than getting the tattoo. Next Level Clinic have an introductory tattoo removal offer starting at $97 for your first session.
Is tattoo removal painful?
Tattoos hurt going in and they will hurt coming out, although with a bit of extra care it can be extremely tolerable. To make the process as comfortable as possible we provide a medical grade numbing cream and also a ZIMMER medical cooling system that is applied to the area throughout the treatment. The first three sessions are usually the most uncomfortable, this is when we are treating the majority if the pigment in the upper layers of the skin.
How soon can remove a tattoo?
Tattoos are easier to remove if they are treated within the first three years of getting the tattoo, once the skin has fully healed from 6wks-3months they are able to start the removal process.
Does tattoo removal damage skin?
No one wants to remove a tattoo only to be left with something just as unsightly. With the right technology and an experienced tattoo removal therapist the skin and surrounding skin will remain unharmed and healthy. Using pico second technology is another advantage here as it utilises photoacoustic technology causing vibrations in the skin rather than solely using heat, it fires so fast there isn’t too much thermal energy left in the skin meaning less chance of any adverse effect occurring (PIHP).
We end all our tattoo removal treatments by using a fractionated handpiece this creates channels within the skin making more room for fluid to go deeper around the treated area (preventing blistering), breaks down raised areas (scar tissue that was formed when you got the tattoo) and regenerates the skin in some instances the skin actually appears healthier than before treatments began.
What are the side effects of tattoo removal?
Some side effects of tattoo removal are redness, burning, discomfort, tenderness, swelling, blistering, scabbing, dry skin, itchiness as the area begins to heal. Some clients may even feel lethargic for a day or two after treatment as the body starts to work on excreting the tattoo particles through the lymph system.
How many sessions do you need for tattoo removal?
The number of sessions required will differ from person to person, some factors to take into consideration are the type of tattoo (professional, amateur or cosmetic), where on the body the tattoo is located i.e. further away from the heart the more treatments (feet) as your lymph needs to work against gravity to move those particles, the colour, the age and also the overall health and lifestyle of the client.
I always recommend massaging the area in the shower daily once it has fully healed or even better, going for a lymphatic massage two weeks after your removal session. This will help alleviate any stagnant lymph and get your body working to move those particles out as quickly as possible.
Although they may just want their tattoo gone we need to treat carefully not to damage the skin and also give the body time to remove the toxin as that’s what it is after all so patience is key.