Laser Tattoo Removal

Skin tattooing has become extremely popular in recent years. Along with that has come a desire by some people to remove or modify their tattoo. The pigments in a skin tattoo are deposited deeply in the skin and are so large that the usual scavenger cells of the immune system cannot manage to remove them. This means that it is a challenge to remove a tattoo.

Future You® uses a Revlite® which is the latest technology laser for tattoo removal. This laser is a q-switched Nd: YAG laser with a wavelength of 1064nm. Obviously the aim of this laser treatment is to remove the tattoo pigments but leave the underlying skin as undamaged as possible. The Revlite® can remove colours such as black, blue and red more easily than green, yellow, orange and purple. The latter colours can be very difficult to remove.

The Revlite® laser produces very high energy and very short pulses of light which are selectively absorbed by the tattoo pigment molecules. This light energy causes the pigment molecules to break into smaller pieces which are more easily handled by the scavenger cells of the immune system. This occurs through a photoacoustic effect which can be heard during the treatment.

Professional and amateur tattoos can be removed but can require between 4-15 treatments. Successful tattoo removal is further complicated by the variety of tattoo pigments available worldwide. So for example a tattoo acquired in Bali can behave very differently to one from Australia. Sometimes small test patches may need to be done to establish the best laser parameters for that particular tattoo. Also some patients have had an overtattoo on the original tattoo and this can complicate the removal. It is best to give the laser clinician a full history of your tattoo to enable the best results to be obtained.

The Revlite® treatment can be uncomfortable and so local anaesthetic cream is applied first. The treatment takes between 10-40 minutes and ice is applied during the treatment. Following the treatment a dressing is applied and the area needs to be kept clean for the next few days. Treatments are scheduled at least 8 weeks apart. The Revlite® laser tattoo removal treatments are performed by our practice nurses. An initial consultation is vital before this treatment because there are many factors involved including the location, size, colours and type of tattoo. Costs will also be discussed at the initial consultation which is at no charge.

Medicare and private health funds do not cover any of the costs associated with tattoo removal.