NORWOOD DAY SURGERY, Adelaide
We all make mistakes, but we don’t always have to live with them. This is the motto here at Norwood Day Surgery in Adelaide when it comes to getting rid of unwanted body art.
With the number of people currently sporting some kind of tattoo at an all time high in this country, (around one quarter of Australians under 30 currently have a tattoo, making us the most tattooed generation to date), it makes sense that the tattoo removal industry is also seeing a business boom.
Current statistics suggest around one in three people are now regretting their decision to get a tattoo or wish to fade and change part of a collaboration of tattoos. More than a quarter of that group is looking to have a tattoo removed.
Unfortunately due to the rapid expansion of the industry, many fraudsters have set up shop merely to cash in on this growing trend. Horror stories abound in regard to irresponsible and inadequately trained ‘laser cowboys’ leaving recipients with burnt skin, scarring and botched jobs, which can leave you with a bigger mess than you started with.
If used correctly, lasers are considered to be one of the safest and most effective methods of tattoo removal. As well as the techniques used in removal treatments, it is equally important for practitioners to have a comprehensive knowledge of lasers and laser safety, skin anatomy, wound healing, tattoos and aftercare to ensure for safe and effective treatment delivery.
Laser tattoo removal is available at Norwood Day Surgery using a class 4 Medical Laser. Removal is preformed only by a Doctor or Registered Nurse who has attained the latest in Laser Safety qualifications to meet Australian Standard AS4173:2004.
Latest in laser removal technology
Norwood Day Surgery uses a Q-Switch ND-YAG Duolite Class 4 Medical Laser to achieve clearance of unwanted tattoos. The main feature of the Q-Switched laser is its capacity to generate an extremely powerful pulse in a very short time (several nanoseconds).
This shatters the tattoo pigment so it will break it down and leave your body. Such short laser emissions enable treatment to be confined to the target – in this case the tattoo pigment – therefore protecting the surrounding tissue.
Once shattered, the body begins the harmless and natural process of removing the ink through your lymphatic system, which can take at least six to eight weeks. Because of this, treatments are usually scheduled this far apart to allow your body to naturally filter out the ink.
No pain no gain
While it hurts nowhere near as much as getting a tattoo in the first place, some patients do experience sensitivity. The effect of the laser is described as similar to the “sharp ping” of an elastic band on the skin. Some areas are more sensitive than others, and in the case of particularly sensitive patients a topical anaesthetic can be applied before treatment. At Norwood Day Surgery we also offer a local anaesthetic cream specifically designed with our laser patients in mind as well as injecting local anaesthetic to the area if particularly sensitive.
No two tattoos are the same
Density and depth of your ink are the most important factors influencing the results of tattoo-removing treatment. For example, amateur tattoos require a different treatment to professional ones. Carbon-based black ink is usually used for amateur tattoos, with low-density pigment located at different depths in the skin.
Meanwhile professional tattoos normally consist of various coloured pigments and have a very high ink density at a very uniform depth in the skin. Given their specific characteristics, amateur tattoos normally require fewer sessions to be removed than professional tattoos.
For removal treatment of tattoos to be effective, the laser light must be absorbed by the pigment, however tattoo colours are sometimes multiple and therefore a single laser may not be sufficient to remove them all.
The DEKA system used by Norwood Day Surgery, allows several colours to be removed with just one laser due to its double wavelength. By working in the infrared, black and blue tattoos can be treated, whereas green light acts on red and related colours. We will help you find the correct lasers for different colours of pigment.
Bye bye body art
So the moral of the story is, if you’re looking to remove unwanted ink, make sure you only entrust it to the professionals, otherwise you may get more than you bargained for saying goodbye to your body art.