Tattoo Removal in Adelaide

Undo your Ink

Tattoos are easily applied but not so easily removed. Carbon dioxide and argon lasers have been used in the past to remove tattoos, but unfortunately, they often leave scars. Tattoo removal by surgery leaves a scar or skin graft, which is often cosmetically unacceptable.

At Lasers in Medicine, we have the Cutera Enlighten III, which utilises three wavelengths (532nm, 670nm, 1064nm) and picosecond technology to remove tattoos in less sessions than traditional lasers. With it’s range of wavelengths and power diversity, it can remove tattoos of all colours.

Contact us in North Adelaide today to discuss tattoo removal.

Tattoos are made up of clumps of pigment scattered through the lower layer of skin. The body is unable to cast out large clumps of pigment, and so simply seals them off with a protective fibrous wall to isolate them from surrounding tissue. The laser works by breaking up the fibrous capsules and dispersing the pigment into smaller fragments. The body’s natural defence mechanisms can then take over to remove these smaller particles gradually over a number of weeks. This procedure needs to be repeated several times to achieve visible fading of the tattoo.

The laser does not burn or cut the skin surface. There is no lasting damage to the skin, and consequently, little or no scarring. However, on occasions, the normal skin colour in the area treated may lighten or darken, and this may persist for several months.

An initial consultation is required to assess the tattoo(s), and explain the treatment, give an estimate of the actual cost and length of treatment, and discuss other treatment options if they appear more appropriate. Other treatment options would include simple excision, excision and skin grafting and excision following tissue expansion. The exact number of sessions required to remove a tattoo with the laser depends on such factors as the type of tattoo and colours involved. The length of each session depends on the size (area) and number of tattoos being treated.

The laser nurse traces over the tattoo with the laser, which puts pulses of energy into the tattoo to break it up. The laser treatment may cause minor discomfort, usually no worse than the original tattooing. If you wish, you may have local anaesthetic to reduce the discomfort. Small tattoos take less than half an hour while large ones may take an hour per session.

Immediately after treatment a “whitening” above the pigment may be noticeable and the tattoo appears less dark. The whitening disappears slowly over a few hours and the pigment colour begins to reappear. This is a normal reaction. The skin in the area of treatment will become inflamed and swollen as part of the treatment reaction, and this appearance will slowly settle over a few days. Eight to twelve weeks is allowed between treatment sessions to let your body remove as much pigment as possible. Over the course of several treatments the tattoo will fade. Scarring has not been found in any of the patients treated by this method.

Amateur tattoos generally require 6-8 treatment sessions while professionally applied tattoos, which have more pigment, usually require 10-12 treatment sessions. Some tattoos which are extremely dense, with a lot of tattoo pigment, may require many treatments with the laser and alternative techniques for their removal may be preferred.

Any consultation or treatment regarding tattoos is NOT claimable from Medicare.

There will be an initial consultation fee at this appointment.

The fee per treatment session depends on the size (area) of the tattoo.