Laser Tattoo Removal - Step by Step
Most, if not all of our first time clients are surprised when I tell (or try to convince) them just how quick the lasering process is - and to be honest I think most of them don’t believe me when I tell them!
In this blog I’m going to take you through a step by step run down of how we do things at Clean Skin Laser Tattoo Removal - here goes!
I’ll start by saying on average our clients spend 30 minutes in our clinic which includes a quick catch up (a lot of rambling by myself), pre treatment protocol, treatment then after treatment protocol.
I greet clients in our outdoor waiting area then bring them through to the clinic and have a bit of a chat/catch up - yes we are a business but the relationships I have with our clients have more than just a dollar value attached to them, I consider the majority of our clients friends who I actually look forward to seeing come through our clinic every 6 or so weeks! This chat leads to me having a look at the clients tattoo which gives them the opportunity to mention anything they observed during the healing process, I also use this to assess the tattoo and develop a plan for the treatment ahead.
Once the client is comfortable on our treatment table/bed/chair (and of course my hands are clean and gloves are on) I clean the treatment area with an alcohol wipe. This is just an added “insurance” to confirm the skin is definitely clean which will significantly decrease any chance of infection in the unlikely but sometimes possible event of breaking the skin during treatment.
Next I take a before photo of the tattoo - we take photos before EVERY treatment which are kept on file to record each clients individual tattoo removal journey, we also use these in our before & after PhotoGrids on our social media’s. At this point of clients first treatment I also set up our time lapse camera.
This is where we start “prepping” the skin ready for lasering and by prepping we mean cooling! There’s A LOT of heat stored within the skin when you shoot it with a laser (duh!) and for this reason cooling the skin before treatment, keeping it as cool as possible during treatment and of course cooling it down immediately after treatment is very important. Here at Clean Skin Laser Tattoo Removal our (cooling) weapons of choice are ice packs for bigger tattoos & a CryoPro Cooling System for smaller tattoos. The CryoPro system has a metallic hand piece which is applied directly onto the skin to cool it down as low as -10 degrees, this can either be done by our operator or alternatively the client can apply it wherever they feel necessary before, during & after treatment.
It is a common misconception that lasers burn tattoos off your skin, this is not the case. How it works is the beam of super concentrated light from the laser handpiece enters the skin then seeks out the ink pigment and annihilates it! The ink shatters into smaller fragments which are small enough for the body to remove them from the area through its lymphatic
The "burnt" appearance that comes immediately after each shot is called frosting (as seen in the picture) which is a reaction that occurs when the laser shatters the ink.
While the skin is being cooled our operator switches the laser on to commence its starts up procedure. Once the laser has completed its start up procedure I then perform several test shots on a timber paddle - this is done to “regulate” the level of energy produced from the lasers hand piece. During the lasers start up procedure it can sometimes build up an excess of energy so we perform these test shots to release that excess energy and confirm the correct level of energy will be administered into the skin from the hand piece on every shot.
Once the clients skin is cooled to our operators liking a single test shot is performed on the clients tattoo. This is quite literally what it sounds like, we perform a single shot on the clients tattoo to see how the clients skin reacts to the selected energy level of the laser, it also gives the client an idea of what to expect treatment to feel like and most importantly it is a requirement of our Qld Radiation Health issued Use License to perform a test shot.
Now the fun begins! After confirming the client is good to go I start lasering. I always make it super clear to the client that if at any point they’d like to take a breather I’m more than happy to accommodate. I’ve had many treatments done myself so I’m not one to judge, I understand what it feels like and understand that sometimes you just need a (or a couple) little break(s) to keep pushing through to the end.
How long do I laser for? On average to treat a business card sized tattoo it would take roughly a minute, yes ONE MINUTE! That’s how quick it is! I think our quickest treatment to date is 4 seconds! The difference between getting a tattoo and getting it lasered is with a tattoo the tattooist goes over and over the same spots to get the desired shade/colour
whereas with lasering it is just 1 pass over the entire tattoo per treatment, passing over the same spot more than once just creates unnecessary heat in the skin increasing the chance and intensity of temporary side effects after treatment.
Once I have finished lasering I cool the tattoo for as long as it takes for the client to be comfortable enough to leave. This can take anywhere from a minute to 10-15 minutes. If requested we provide temporary ice packs for the clients drive home.
The final part of the treatment is applying a recovery oil which is applied straight onto the treated tattoo. We don’t cover the tattoo, there is no need to, we haven’t broken the skin and created any sort of open wound so there no need to protect it by wrapping it in anything.
This is where we take payment for the treatment and also book in the next appointment for the client but this isn’t where it stops.
I follow all clients up a few days post treatment just to check in and see how their tattoo is healing and see if there’s any questions the client may have, we’re always available to answer any questions that may arise throughout the clients entire treatment plan.
So there you have it, that’s a start to finish step by step explanation of what we do here at Clean Skin Laser Tattoo Removal. I hope this helps answer any questions you may have surrounding tattoo removal treatments. If this has brought up any further questions or you want any clarification please don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll be more than happy to help!
Thanks for reading!