Below are some of the questions I get asked most frequently at The Missing Ink. If you have a question which isn’t featured on this page please let me know.
Some serious pre-existing medical conditions may mean you are unsuitable for laser treatment. Please contact me if you would like further information about this.
Yes. My laser is very accurate and I frequently fade or remove specific bits of a tattoo – such as a name, or an image within the whole design.
When you have a tattoo the particles of ink are too large for the body to remove naturally, so instead the ink particles are surrounded with a network of collagen fibres as the skin heals around the tattoo keeping the ink in place.
The laser emits a pulse of light that is absorbed into certain colours of ink. The light enters the skin at a speed that is too fast to heat the tissue, instead it produces a “shock wave” effect and breaks up the ink particles of the tattoo into smaller pieces. The body then recognises these particles as something that shouldn’t be there and attacks them. The particles are then removed naturally by the body’s lymphatic system.
No. Light is measured in nanometres and there are two wavelengths of light that are emitted from the different laser tips I use at The Missing Ink – one is invisible infrared light (1064nm) and the other is visible green light (532nm). The infrared wavelength is preferably absorbed into black and darker inks, whereas the green light is absorbed by red and brown inks. I am able to treat other colours although white, yellow and bright colours can sometimes prove difficult. This is not usually a problem once darker colours or outlines have been removed by the laser because the lighter colours become much less noticeable. If you wish to cover-up an existing tattoo then the darker colours will be removed or faded, allowing you greater choice of size and colour of the cover-up design you choose.
The light from the laser will only see the colour ink it is attracted to as different wavelengths absorb into different things, it is not possible to produce a laser that can see all colours as some wavelengths are too shallow when absorbed to affect the ink, others can absorb into other matter and damage the skin in the process. Another reason is that all ink pigments contain certain levels of heavy metals. Some pigments may have a higher concentration of these than others, and these can react with the laser light and carbonise in the skin turning the ink black. It is very difficult to remove the ink when this has happened so if you have other colours you would like treating, I will perform a test patch for you to see if it is possible before proceeding.
Laser tattoo removal costs between £20 and £90 per session (depending on the size and amount of ink in the tattoo). At your FREE no-obligation consultation I will be able to tell you how much each treatment session would cost.
Unfortunately due to the nature of laser tattoo removal it is impossible to predict exactly how many treatments it will take for complete results. At The Missing Ink I use the officially recognised Kirby-Desai scale to estimate the number of sessions you may need. It could take as few as 3-5 sessions for an amateur tattoo or as many as 10-12 for a multi-coloured professional tattoo.
The treatment usually starts to work after just one session but clients should not expect to see results straightaway as it takes 2-3 weeks for the ink to start dispersing. Have a look at my Gallery Page to see progress photos of some of the tattoos I’m currently working on.
Your body needs time to break down the tattoo ink and remove it from the body after each laser treatment. This is a slow process, therefore each treatment is a minimum of 6 weeks apart.
Your skin will most likely be red and feel like it has mild sunburn. This typically goes away after a few hours. There may also be some bruising and mild blistering. It is normal for scabs to form during the healing process. After each treatment you will be given detailed aftercare advice on how to look after the treated area while it heals.
Laser sessions are very fast and the majority of my clients say that it’s nowhere near as bad as they thought it was going to be. Some clients say that the treatment feels like a rubber band snapping quickly on your skin. In order to make each client as comfortable as possible I use a cold compress before and after treatment. If necessary a numbing cream can be applied by the client before coming in for treatment – but this is not usually necessary. I also have many tried and tested techniques to help clients during treatments – including lollies and stress balls!
I specialise in working with nervous clients and use a range of different tried and tested techniques to help you feel comfortable during your treatments.
I see a lot of clients who have had tattoo removal elsewhere and have been left with scarring and remaining ink – this is due to the wrong laser being used, or too higher setting being selected. The type of laser I use at The Missing Ink leaves no scars – as long as you follow the aftercare advice carefully. In rare cases clients with scarring disorders, (keloids), can have an increased risk of scarring, but I always pick this up during the consultation.
As long as the skin has healed properly at the treatment site, you will be able to have another tattoo applied around 2-3 months following your last session of laser tattoo removal. Your tattooist will be able to advise you.
Some of my clients regret their tattoo almost as soon as they’ve had it applied. In these cases I recommend waiting at least 2-3 months before undergoing laser tattoo removal.