Laser Tattoo Removal Treatment FAQs

If you have a question that is not answered here, please contact us.

How does laser tattoo removal work?

Q-switched lasers deliver short bursts of laser light that break down the ink particles in the tattooed skin. The immune system then gradually absorbs and eliminates the fragmented ink particles over a period of weeks and the tattoo becomes progressively lighter. Each treatment can only reach the top layer of ink, so several treatments are required.

What’s covered in the initial free consultation?

During this consultation, which takes around 15 minutes, we:

  • carefully assess whether the treatment is right for you (some skin types and medical conditions increase treatment risks)
  • fully explain the process and answer any questions you may have
  • give you a realistic estimate of the number of treatments needed and the cost involved.

How long does the removal process take?

A single treatment session takes from 10 to 30 minutes.

For complete removal, most multi-coloured tattoos require at least six treatments with a minimum six-week interval between treatments, so the average total time from first treatment to final result is eight and a half months.

Fading a tattoo so a new design can be applied normally requires fewer treatments. Your tattooist can advise on the degree of fading required before beginning a new tattoo.

Does the treatment hurt?

There can be a slight stinging sensation during the treatment, but cooling and numbing the skin helps to minimise any pain or discomfort.

We use the medical grade Koolio Air Cooling System to blow extremely cold air onto the area of skin being treated. This numbs and soothes the skin as well as minimising the risk of thermal injury.
Anaesthetic cream is also highly effective. It is applied to the skin prior to treatment and is particularly recommended for larger tattoos. Immediately following the treatment the skin will be red and can feel as if it is sunburnt. In some cases a small amount of bleeding can occur. Mild swelling, redness and tenderness can continue for 7-10 days.

Is there a risk of scarring?

The risk of scarring due to skin damage from the laser treatment itself is very small. The Qanta System Q-Plus used by ink Undone does not typically leave scars.

It is critical to follow the post-treatment instructions provided by your ink Undone clinician to ensure the treated skin does not become infected. This will minimise the scarring risk.

Some health conditions and medications can increase the risk of scarring and may make laser treatment unsuitable. This will be discussed with you during the pre-treatment process.

Any pre-existing scars that resulted from the initial tattooing process will not be affected by the laser tattoo removal process.

Do you have male and female clinicians?

Yes.  If you have a specific preference, please let us know when we schedule your appointment.

Can an old tattoo be faded before adding new work?

Certainly. Many people choose to fade old tattoos before getting new art. Sufficient fading is usually achieved in around half the treatments required for full removal.

Do tattoo removal creams work?

No. The ink from tattoos is embedded into the dermis, beyond the reach of any standard cream. Even if you found a cream which could penetrate to the dermis, it has to then somehow remove the ink and itself.

Do you remove cosmetic tattoos?

Yes. We treat all cosmetic tattoos except eye-lines.

What about breast cancer tattoos?

Ink Undone will remove radiation therapy target dot tattoos at no cost for women who have had breast cancer.

When breast cancer treatment includes radiation therapy, a small dot is tattooed at the location where the radiation therapy is administered. The target dot tattoo is as permanent as any other tattoo and can be an unwanted souvenir of the experience. Fortunately these small dot tattoos can be safely and completely removed with Q-Switched laser treatment; most being removed with just two five minute treatments, about six weeks apart.

How should I care for my skin during treatment?

Avoid exposing the treatment area to sun prior to treatment. Following treatment, cover the treated area from the sun for at least the first two weeks. After this use a high SPF factor sunscreen. The great majority of our clients experience no more than some swelling and tenderness for a few days. Stronger reactions from tattoo removal are possible, and, though we don’t agree with everything in this article, are quite well explained here. Please contact us for more information.

Do you have a PicoSure laser?

No! PicoSure is a brand name owned by Cynosure Inc. Despite some very bold marketing there is no independent research to indicate that this machine is any better at removing tattoos than a medical grade Q-Switched laser. At least one Melbourne clinic now prefers NOT to use their PicoSure for black tattoos, and the wavelength makes it unsuitable for treating red ink. A current US class action actually alleges that:  “Cynosure negligently and intentionally misrepresented the PicoSure product, committed fraud by omission and failed to warn consumers of its products.” Click  HERE  to read the full story.

Can I get a sun tan?

Freshly tanned skin should not be treated due to possible pigment change. We advise against tanning of the treatment area during the course of your treatment.