(this post will be updated throughout 2021-22)
I’m getting my tattoo removed!! 🙌 For reasons I’m more inclined to share on my personal page than business one.
I’ll be documenting my experiences step-by-step, objectively and honestly. I know those of you who read these posts really wanna know the nitty-gritty details, so stay tuned throughout this journey to see its progress~
This will be more of an informal diary-style format and I’ll update this post as I go along.
Photos will be taken at home in the same spot and lighting conditions for stable comparisons between sessions.
This is not an elaborate ad and I’m not being sponsored for it. This is an honest sharing of my experiences in getting my tattoo removed so that whenever my clients ask me about it, I can ping this to them so they know what to expect.
Laserwise and NAOHOA would like to affiliate but haven’t discussed details yet. In the meantime, if you decide to see either of us and heard about one from the other, please let us know. ☺️
If you’re after a cover-up, getting laser first would normally make my (and any tattoo artist’s) job way easier. Depending on the design, you may get away with only selected areas being faded, rather than all of it. Either way, consult with us first and we’ll figure something out. ✌️
How Does Laser Tattoo Removal Work?
In very simple terms: the laser breaks up the ink into smaller particles, which are then reabsorbed into the body and excreted out. 🚽
Typically, factors such as increasing blood flow (e.g. via exercise) or having a fast metabolism can speed up the fading process. You may find that the tattoo fades by itself over time, as the body eats away at the ink, even without laser removal sessions (though I imagine this would only reach a certain point without further intervention).
I found Laserwise via Google search and went by reviews, portfolio and aesthetics. I appreciate their clean and professional look and ethos, and it’s actually jammy that they happen to be a stone’s throw away from my studio. They’ve been running since 2015 and I like how it’s run by a woman (Suzanne) with similar values to mine and how I run NAOHOA. 🙂
This was booked online – wait times are long, as they’re in high demand. During the Consultation, we went over medical details, what I wanted and Suzanne explained a bunch of stuff I found fascinating about laser treatment. As business owners in complimentary fields, we exchanged quite a lot of info on our expertise and I’m pretty sure we could talk forever, if not limited to a set time slot, hah.
- The practitioner adjusts their laser settings according to tattoo colour, darkness and the client’s skintone. I didn’t know the last bit, which was interesting: the darker the skin tone, the less contrast there is between it and the tattoo, so the laser settings need to be lower in order to avoid damaging the skin.
- Laserwise‘s equipment can fade black and red inks, but not greens or blues. If you have a green/blue tattoo that needs removing, you’ll have to find a practitioner who has the appropriate machinery for it.
Goggles on, lasers on. 😎💥 A small amount of the tattoo was lasered to test my pain tolerance and see how my skin would react to the treatment. It started with one zap per second, then increased in speed to compare the difference. I found that I preferred the faster pace but in short bursts, rather than continuous streams. Like tattooing, everyone’s pain tolerance will be different.
Two patch tests were done: one on the thick outline, and another on the inner red lines, as they require different settings. Throughout the treatment, a cooling apparatus was used to cool down my skin and honestly, I’m glad! It makes it far more bearable.
When the laser contacts the pigment in the skin, it feels like a sharp ‘zap’ of pain, which, when teamed with surrounding areas that have been treated, starts to feel like a burn. I found that the pain didn’t last long though, thanks to the cooling machine.
I intend on doing the first session as-is, the second with paracetamol and maybe the third with numbing cream, if the pain is too much. I’m doing all this because I want to be able to inform clients how it feels and what to expect.
Sessions will become less painful in following sessions, as there will be less ink to break down.
The patch tests are covered with a bandage, then it’s up to me to keep it dry for at least two days. I’ll be testing out Saniderm (an aftercare product I use for tattoos), to see if that can be effective during the healing process. The NHS uses Tegaderm (same thing, different brand) on their burns units, so I don’t see why Saniderm won’t work. 🤷🏻♀️
Removed the Saniderm aaaaand it pulled a blister open. Oops. Next time I’ll just use one patch and leave it on for a week. 🙈 This is why I’m using myself as a guinea pig, haha.
I’ll be updating the image below to show the first and most recent photos of my tattoo laser removal journey:
Details of individual sessions can be found on Page 2 (link below).