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 Tattoo ink is trapped in the deepest layer of the skin – the DERMIS. When tattoos are applied, ink particles are inserted with a needle into varying depths of this bottom layer of the DERMIS.

Two of the most important aspects of laser tattoo removal are: the HEAT (of the laser beam) and the SPEED of the device to break up the ink particles.
When tattoo removal laser light is applied to the skin, it heats up and shatters the ink particles (fragmentation process) that it reaches first within the skin. The shallowest layer (top layer) of ink is removed first (first treatment session), before the deepest layers.
 If a tattoo is
particularly dark or bold, it will require more treatments to remove the ink compared to shaded tattoos with a lower density of ink.

It takes multiple treatments to penetrate through all of the varying depths / layers of ink in a tattoo.


The tattoo ink needs to be heated at very high temperatures to shatter, yet high temperatures usually cause skin to scar. Our PicoWay & PicoSure laser systems feature a sophisticated technology through amazingly short laser pulses that only last for picoseconds (trillionth of a second).
Because the laser pulse is so brief, the power is high enough to shatter the ink.
The energy of the beam is in the skin for such a short period of time, that there is no risk of damage to the skin.



The laser treatment of tattoos is based on the concept of selective photo-thermolysis (matching of a specific wavelength of light to heat the tissue and destroy it with a laser without affecting or damaging surrounding tissue), where laser light of different wavelengths is absorbed by different chromophores (part of a molecule responsible for its color).

If the target chromophore is heated for no longer than its thermal relaxation time (time required for target to lose 50% of its heat), selective destruction of these chromophores can be achieved.

In the case of tattoos, the chromophore is tattoo ink, which is found in membrane-bound granules in macrophages, fibroblasts, or mast cells.

Such tattoo pigment is very small, and can reach its thermal relaxation time very quickly.
Rapid heating with very short pulse durations, in the nanosecond or picosecond range, is therefore required to cause photoacoustic injury and rupture of these pigment-containing cells.
Phagocytosis (process by which certain living cells called phagocytes ingest or engulf other cells or particles) is subsequently triggered and the tattoo fragments are packaged for lymphatic drainage and further scavenged by dermal macrophages, fibroblasts, and mast cells, leading to lightening of the tattoo. 


-Clients with a history of hypertrophic and/or keloid scaring
-Clients on medication that is known for increasing sensitivity to sunlight
-Seizure disorders triggered by light
-Type 1 & 2 diabetes
-Clients that took or take oral isotretinoin (Accutane or Roaccutane) within the last 6 months
-Systemic infection, flaky skin, open wound on or close to area being treated
-Clients having a common acquired nevi / malignant melanoma
-Pregnant woman



On clean, dry and shaven skin 60 minutes before your treatment, kindly apply EMLA CREAM (Emla Cream works by numbing the surface of the skin for a short time) in a layer over the tattoo. 
After applying the cream, cover the tattoo with kitchen cling wrap and tape the sides / frame to your skin - Emla Cream works best if covered and no air can penetrate the cling wrap. 
Emla Cream can be purchased at any Pharmacy. 
Please bring an ice pack with for cooling & soothing the treated tattoo after your session.

It’s the therapist’s discretion to determine feasibility of treatment administration for the following precautions:
• Unprotected sun exposure within four weeks of treatment, including the use of tanning beds. Sun exposure is the most common reason for treatment refusal.
• Use of tanning products within four weeks of treatment, such as creams, lotions and sprays; these may interfere with the laser treatment.
• New Tattoo Removal - After a period of around three months, you can rest assured that the pigment will have settled properly into the skin, ready to be removed.
• Anticoagulants may cause excessive bleeding and interfere with post-treatment healing.
• Medications that alter the wound-healing response may interfere with post-treatment healing and may require special precautions to be taken by the treating therapist.
• If patient is known to have a history of healing problems or a history of keloid formation.
• If patient has a history of skin cancer or suspicious lesions.
• Chemical depilation or mechanical epilation within the last six weeks may interfere with the post-treatment healing process.


Blistering is caused by irritation of the skin by a new tattoo, a cover up, or dense ink. If you have sensitive skin and get blisters after a sunburn, your skin is likely to react the same way after a laser tattoo removal treatment. Blistering looks like a bubble on the top layer of skin either within or around the tattoo. Don’t burst your blisters. They are your body’s way of protecting your skin and stopping bacteria from coming in contact with it. Popping a blister can result in infection, especially if not done properly. Blistering from laser tattoo removal lasts for about 3-5 days. If the discomfort of a blister becomes severe, let your laser tattoo clinic know or see your doctor.

Swelling is normal after laser tattoo removal treatments. Depending on the size of the tattoo, there are a few measures you can take to manage the swelling. If your tattoo is on the upper or lower trunk, swelling will normally subside the day after the treatment. Gently ice the area intermittently for 10 minutes at a time with 5 minutes in between to help with the inflammation.

Resting will also help with larger tattoos on the torso, back and chest areas avoiding vigorous, repetitive movements. For swelling on the arms, keep the area elevated above you heart to help with circulation, which delivers everything your body needs to heal. For tattoos on the legs, it’s important to keep the feet up because gravity will pull blood down and hinder circulation. Depending on the size and location of your tattoo, swelling will subside between 3 and 5 days after a treatment.

Your skin may become red directly after treatments. This symptom can last for up to 72 hours. The color is caused by minimal to moderate pinpoint bleeding within the skin following a treatment session. Redness of skin is sometimes accompanied by blisters. Redness in or around the tattooed area indicates that your top layer of skin is still very sensitive.

Avoid exercise that will create friction and make sure to gently pat off any sweat or water to dry the skin under your dressing. Let it dry for 20 minutes before covering it again. Some people experience redness of skin longer than others, but if the redness does not get progressively better within 7-10 days, contact your clinic or a doctor.

Itchiness is common, but not everyone experiences it. Itchiness can begin as soon as a few hours after a laser tattoo removal treatment and can last up to 6 weeks. If you experience severe itchiness, you can take an over-the-counter antihistamine to help alleviate some discomfort but never scratch or disturb the affected area.

Crusting, Dryness, And Scabbing
Crusting or dryness is a very common once the blisters have subsided and scabbing starts to form. Sometimes the affected area looks a lot worse than it is because crusting can sometimes make the tattoo look even darker. Don’t worry – once the scabbing has healed the affected area will appear lighter. There’s not much you can do but leave the skin alone and make sure it isn’t disturbed or irritated. Never pick or remove the skin from a scab as this could cause unnecessary scarring. Crusting will last for as long as your skin needs to protect the area, so be patient with this step.

While scabbing, crusting, and dryness are perfectly natural, it is important to know the difference between these normal symptoms and an infection. An infected area has increasing redness and pain, and can have pus-like discharge as well.
If you have an infection, you’ll notice discharge from a deep lesion within the skin. This lesion won’t get better without medical attention. You’ll feel pain and discomfort and the redness may spread. If you suspect you have an infection, contact medical professionals immediately.

Sticking With Your Laser Tattoo Removal Aftercare

Laser tattoo removal aftercare is critical to a successful tattoo removal because it helps your body heal better and faster after each treatment. Following these recommended tattoo removal aftercare instructions (icing the area with a clean cloth covering the ice pack, applying your healing cream (we recommend: BC 56 Cream / Cipla), keeping the area clean & dry at all times etc.) can have a real impact on the outcome of your treatment. Practicing proper care will help make subsequent treatments more safe and effective.