Tattoo Removal

Lasers have been used very successfully for tattoo removal for more than 25 years. We have been removing them for over 22 years at Laserase Bolton..

Tattoo Removal Treatments

People see us to have their tattoos removed for all sorts of reasons. It might be that they want it removed for their wedding or they simply want to have a new tattoo drawn over the top. Whatever the reason, we can help.

The Q Switched Ruby Laser has been medically acknowledged as the laser of choice for tattoo removals.

How does laser tattoo removal work?

The laser produces extremely short pulses of high energy red light. The red light means that the energy is selectively absorbed by the tattoo pigment but not by the surrounding skin. Each laser pulse lasts only 25 billionths of a second and this heats up the tattoo pigment breaking it down into tiny particles. These minute particles are then targeted by the body’s own immune system and are removed gradually over time.

During your consultation we will give you an idea of how many treatments will be needed and an estimate of the costs involved. The actual number of treatment sessions depends on the size and colours of the tattoo and how deep the ink goes.

Not all tattoos respond to treatment. Some greens do not fade at all and some of the more modern bright inks will take longer to fade and may not disappear completely. In most cases it is easy to assess whether the treatment will work or not.

Treatment with the Ruby Laser is uncomfortable but the level of pain depends on which area of the body is being treated. Some patients may blister after treatment but this will resolve in a week or so. Full recovery usually takes between 4-6 weeks, during which time sun cream factor 20+ must be used or the area must be covered.

Click here to download the Tattoo Removal Factsheet
Click here to download the Tattoo Removal Pre/Post advice sheet

Why is a tattoo so difficult to remove?

A tattoo results from when pigment is injected into the lower layers of the skin (the dermis) and the pigment becomes sealed away by a tough network of collagen fibres. It is difficult to remove the pigment without affecting the surrounding tissue. Before the development of laser therapy the only alternatives were to physically remove the pigment and the surrounding skin by surgical excision and skin grafting or to chemically destroy the pigment using salts or acid. Such techniques cause considerable discomfort, damage to the surrounding skin and require significant after care. Typically they replace the original tattoo with a scar.

How does the Q Switched Ruby Laser work?

The laser produces extremely short pulses of high energy red light. This light is absorbed by the particles of tattoo pigment but not by the surrounding skin. The tattoo pigment heats up and breaks down into tiny particles. These minute particles are then targeted by the body’s own immune system and removed gradually over time. Since each laser pulse is so short (25 billionths of a second) and the energy is selectively absorbed by the tattoo pigment, surrounding tissue is not usually affected and there is normally no lasting damage to the skin. Successive treatments are needed, usually at 4-6 week intervals, so that this whole procedure is repeated and the body can remove as much pigment as possible.

Can a tattoo be removed in just one treatment?

Only very rarely. Some amateur (self-inflicted Indian ink) tattoos may disappear after only a small number of treatments. Professional tattoos always take a higher number of treatments.

How many treatments are required to remove the average tattoo?

Due to the many variations in size, colour and type there is no such thing as an average tattoo. The number of treatments required will also depend on the body’s own defence mechanism and how effective it is; each individual responds differently. As a guide Indian ink amateur tattoos can take anywhere between 1-10 treatments; professional tattoos anywhere between 8-20. Without seeing the tattoo it is impossible to be more accurate, a consultation is provided where a better estimate can be given.

Do all tattoos respond to treatment?

Unfortunately not. Most pigments, especially blacks and blues, do respond very well to Ruby Laser treatment, however some pigments, usually greens, are resistant to treatment with any laser. In theory red pigment will reflect the ruby light and not respond to treatment although in practice some red tattoos fade very well. Very bright modern inks are less predictable, they may take longer to fade and in some cases may not go entirely. Some red, white and flesh coloured inks have been known to turn black in the early stages but this is rare.

As with all medical treatments it is possible that not everyone will respond to treatment. Some patients may obtain a less than average response or may not respond at all.

How can I find out more?

Book a consultation or call us on 01204 570 900

I’m so glad I chose Laserase Bolton!

"I’ve had four laser tattoo removal treatments with Laserase Bolton so far and I couldn’t be happier with the service. All of the staff are great. My nurse, Joanne, is tremendous – she really puts me at ease, especially on my first visit when I had no idea what to expect from laser tattoo removal! Joanne explained the whole procedure to me and made sure I was certain this was something I wanted to do before I committed to getting it removed. I didn’t feel pressured into making a decision at all. While the treatment can be painful (without the use of numbing cream), I know it’s worthwhile and I’m safe in the hands of Laserase’s qualified nurses."