It looked good a few years ago, but now you wish that you could get rid of your tattoo. Thanks to laser treatment, tattoos are no longer for life - but removal is lengthy and far from pleasant.
The laser is selected according to the colour that's being removed. However, the success of treatment depends on the type of pigment used, its density, its location on the body and how old it is (only tattoos that are older than two months can be treated).
Target: Amateur, professional, accidental (caused by coal dust or asphalt particles) or cosmetic tattoos (permanent make-up).
How does it work? The laser beam destroys the encapsulated pigments in the dermis by exploding them with heat. At least 5 to 6 sessions are required, with a 2 month interval in between, for an amateur tattoo. For a professional tattoo, it's rare for less than 10 sessions to be necessary to remove it.
Post-treatment: The skin may go white or bleed slightly after treatment. Small scabs might also form; they will disappear within 8 to 10 days. A high level of sun protection is essential until the area has totally healed.
Result: The tattoo fades over a very gradual period. The body reabsorbs the small particles of tattoo pigment that are freed by the laser. Once healed, only a small proportion of the pigments will have disappeared. Some colours remain difficult to treat but advances in technology now prevent residual scarring.
Price: From £50 to £300 per session.
Note: The impact of the laser is unpleasant. An anesthetising cream may be applied under an occlusive bandage two hours before the treatment. A local anesthetic can also be injected into the area to be treated.