When a patient with a Tattoo presents for the first time for a consultation to discuss Tattoo removal the commonest two questions they ask are ‘How many treatments to get rid of the Tattoo’? and ‘How much will Tattoo removal treatment cost’?
What determines the number of treatments you’ll need?
Whilst the cost and number of treatments are very important considerations with any treatment, cheaper Tattoo removal treatment does not equate to the quickest or best results. It is important to realise that in Victoria, Tattoo removal is totally unregulated. There are no Government regulatory controls to safeguard the public as to who can perform Tattoo removal and no regulatory controls on the quality and safety of equipment used for Tattoo removal. What this means is that anyone can set up a shopfront and start doing Tattoo removal without any qualifications or training and can use equipment that does not have to adhere to any quality or safety standards.
In Laser Tattoo removal the number of treatments required is always unpredictable because the exact composition of the ink that has been used is unknown, as is how much ink has been used, how deep the ink has been deposited and how quickly a particular individual’s immune system will clear broken down tattoo ink.
What is known is that medical grade Tattoo removal Lasers will clear tattoo ink faster and more safely than cheap lasers used in beauty salons and Tattoo parlours. However, state of the art medical grade Tattoo removal lasers are expensive, with the best Q Switch Tattoo removal lasers costing around $150K and the latest picosecond lasers costing around $300K. Medical grade Tattoo removal lasers also require regular maintenance and servicing to maintain optimal performance. On the other hand, a cheap low powered Q Switch laser without local servicing can be purchased online for under $20K. The old expression ‘you get what you pay for’ definitely applies to Laser Tattoo removal.
What a patient should actually be asking…
The first two questions a patient considering Tattoo removal should be asking are ‘What are your qualifications and experience in Tattoo removal? and ‘Which lasers do you use for Tattoo removal’?
The best and safest results in Tattoo removal are when a medical grade Tattoo removal laser is used in a medical laser clinic by experienced practitioners with University qualifications. Laser Tattoo removal treatment is a safe procedure when performed correctly but scarring and infection can occur especially with cheap equipment and unqualified operators. Realistic expectations are important as complete removal of tattoos is not always possible.
Tattoo removal treatment methods and lasers which achieve Tattoo removal in fewer treatments continue to be developed. The latest technology is the PICOSURE laser which not only removes most Tattoos in fewer treatments but also can very effectively treat previously difficult to remove tattoo inks such as green and blue tattoos.