Laser Tattoo Removal: An introductory Guide

Laser Tattoo Removal: There IS hope after the ink has dried

Tattoos lose novelty for their owner for many reasons.  Our laser tattoo removal, Perth based clinic serves a range of clients.  Some feel their tattoo was a bad idea to begin with, for others their taste simply changed.  Then there are those who penned the name of their sweetheart permanently to their person – and well, times change and sweethearts change too!

Whether it’s the name of an ex-girlfriend, a quote or image that’s no longer ‘you’ – the good news is, you can have your tattoo removed and happily move forward without it.

This said the guidelines, methods and costs of tattoo removal are poorly understood.  This guide will get you started.  By the end, you’ll know which steps to take – and which treatments to avoid.

If you’re in the market for a tattoo, then read this first to understand the implications if you ever change your mind after being inked!

How laser tattoo removal works

The removal of your tattoo is a process rather than a one-off visit.  It’s also more expensive than getting your tattoo was.  Even when using the best available technology to remove your tattoos, there is sadly no guarantee your skin will bounce right back to its pre-tattoo condition.  Depending on your skin type, skin colour, and the inks used – it’s possible for traces of past tattoos to remain.

Be aware too, if you’d like a tattoo removed, the earliest you can do so is after 12 months of having it done because the ink takes about a year to settle into your skin.  Only then can you have it removed.

When it comes to colour, tattoos comprising multi-colours can be trickier to remove than those of pure black ink.

The table below lists tattoo colours according to ease of removal:

Easy to remove Difficult to remove
Black Purple
Red Brown
Green Light orange
Dark Blue Light blue

The ink colours listed in the “Difficult to remove” column can potentially become darker with laser treatment.  For this reason, your doctor will likely do a spot test before scheduling a full tattoo removal treatment.

tattoo removal


How laser tattoo removal works

Q-switched lasers are most effective in contemporary tattoo removal. We use this technology at our tattoo removal Perth practice. The custom tattoo removal laser is set to a specific wavelength, depending on a patient’s skin type, as well as the colour and location of the tattoo.

Again, with respect to removing specific ink colours, different lasers are required for removing different colours. While one particular type of laser will be effective at removing black and green ink, another will work at removing red and blue.

Either way, the manner in which lasers work is they release a pulse of light energy. This light-laser is absorbed by tattoo ink which has settled into the deep second layer of your skin. With this process, the tattoo ink fragments into tiny particles which the body then absorbs and clears away. In older tattoos, the ink fragments more easily and these are generally easier to remove.

The treatments required to remove your tattoo(s) will depend on a number of factors. These include the size and colours of the tattoo, its location and the nature of the ink originally used. The shade of your skin and the speed at which it’s able to heal also play a role.  Generally speaking, a treatment schedule spaced at 4-6 week intervals, gives the best results.

Side effects (Scarring & Pain)

Tattoo removal is a delicate process.  It’s extremely important that removal treatments are carried out by an experienced and competent professional who knows what they are doing.  Take care to this end, and your risk of scarring will be minimal.  Whilst it’s absolutely possible to not scar at all, scarring does happen.  This is so for various reasons – and even with the help of expert professionals, scarring is not always avoidable.

Now, on the delicate matter of pain – laser tattoo removal is a bit like a trip to the dentist.  It’s not without its discomfort.  However, your doctor will help you by numbing the area with a local anaesthetic, in either cream or injectable form.

Mild discomfort or itching is also common following treatment.  If it is particularly persistent, your doctor can prescribe cortisone cream to help you manage whilst your skin journeys through its natural healing process.


Safety + effectiveness

The recovery period associated with tattoo removal is relatively fast and your life can continue as usual without too much fuss.

In respect of our tattoo removal Perth clients who enjoy being out in the Western Australian sun we advise keeping treated areas well covered whilst skin is healing.  Sunburn on treated skin will cause unnecessary pain and discomfort.  Be cautious and allow your skin to heal safely and effectively by keeping with your doctor’s care instructions following your tattoo removal treatment.

Other tattoo removal options

While Q-switched laser is not the only way of removing tattoos, it is highly effective, safe – and works on tattoos of all ages and colours.

If you’re curious about other options, keep in mind they’re often not effective.  They’re often a safety risk and more likely to scar your skin.  For example:

Home-made dermal scrubs:  These may work for surface-tattoos where the ink is not set all that deep, however results are ineffective at best.

Creams and topical treatments:  Whilst these can sound like an easy and cost-effective option, such products sourced from countries outside of Australian regulatory controls, work only on the surface of your skin to offer tattoo fading – with repeated use.  What’s more, these products very possibly contain harmful acids and other chemicals unfit for use on your skin.

Injections:  acid injections offered as a mechanism to remove tattoos can be extremely unsafe and result in unsightly marks and scars.

Cost of laser tattoo removal

A best-case scenario, safe and effective tattoo removal experience will typically mean at least 5 treatments costing between $200 – $500 per tattoo removal treatment.  This will depend on the nature of your personal “ink removal project”.

Since you’ve read this far, you’re suitably equipped to take a more informed approach in looking to remove your unwanted tattoos.

Please don’t risk methods of tattoo removal which threaten your health or safety.  It’s simply not worth it.  You honestly don’t want to regret yet another tattoo related decision!

Instead, get started on the right foot by formulating a plan with our team of tattoo removal Perth professionals at Dr Goldman’s surgery.  We have your best interests (and results) at heart.


If you’d like a confidential chat about your tattoo removal needs, then get in touch with us at 1300 453 307.  We’re here to help you get the very best result!


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