Having around 80 tattoos, it’s safe to say that I’m quite a fan of body art, however some of my tattoos have been wiser choices than others! Over the years I have had a number of cover-up tattoos to disguise old, faded, discoloured and unwanted ink at a time before permanent tattoo removal was ever thought possible. Hoorah for technological advancements!
Many still have the mindset of tattoos being for life, and as such, live with unnecessary regret for past choices when there is a safe and easy method to remove unwanted ink for good thanks to laser tattoo removal. The dots that I have on my hand have faded, blurred and discoloured dramatically over the past few years, despite having them topped up with extra ink, and as such I am having them removed via laser as the hand struggles to retain ink due to the volume of blood flow and excessive movement.
I will be documenting my journey with laser tattoo removal here in order to detail all that is involved in the process, share my progress and healing along the way, and finally reveal my before and after pictures as I’ve had so many questions from my friends and family since I mentioned I’d be removing my hand tattoos.
If you’re considering laser tattoo removal yourself then it’s important to choose a reputable studio with experienced technicians. NAAMA Studios in Great Portland Street, London where I am heading for my very first treatment is a leading provider of laser tattoo removal services and use the latest and most effective technology to achieve the very best results. Let’s hope that the results will speak for themselves!
What Is Laser Tattoo Removal?
Laser tattoo removal breaks up the ink particles of a tattoo that are held within the skin so that it can be absorbed by the body’s immune system and removed naturally over time. The number of treatments required to remove a tattoo entirely varies depending on the size, colour, placement and age of the ink.
NAAMA Studios use the LightSense™ laser system, which is one of the most advanced laser tattoo removal systems in the world and led me to choosing to use them for my treatment. Not only is it safe, effective and more gentle on the skin than other lasers, but it is also able to remove a wide range of ink shades including black, blue, green, red and yellow. The tattoos that I am having removed are all black ink and I’ve had them for around 11yrs on my ring finger which has blurred and around 2-3yrs on my thumb and index finger which have faded.
NAAMA Studios have a team of experienced technicians who are highly qualified in laser tattoo removal, which is essential for safe and effective results. I really like how they work with each client to develop a treatment plan that is tailored to your own individual needs, as we all have different skin types as well as the varying age and extent of body art which is important to take into account.
They also offer a free consultation to all potential clients, which was a great opportunity for me to learn more about the laser tattoo removal process, and to ask any questions before having my first treatment. It’s best to ask as many questions as possible when considering any type of aesthetic treatment to ensure that you have a realistic expectation of what results can be achieved, over what time span and at what cost as an individual.
Despite having having a wealth of before and results and glowing recommendations from previous customers who have travelled from far and wide to have treatment, NAAMA Studio’s prices are still competitively affordable with a variety of payment options available to make treatment accessible for all.
What To Expect Before & After Treatment:
Prior to treatment it’s best to avoid sun exposure for at least two weeks before and after, which includes tanning beds and spray tans also. If you like, you can exfoliate the area around your tattoo for a few days before your treatment to assist in effective results, but it’s not compulsory.
It’s also recommended that you avoid taking any blood thinners or aspirin in the days leading up to your treatment, and drink plenty of water before and after. The cheerful technician started by taking before photos of my hand tattoos to examine and document the condition of the ink within my skin. My dots were blurry, faded and uneven and looked even worse close up on screen!
I was given a pair of dark goggles to protect my eyes from the laser as she then cleansed my skin, before using a handheld device to blow very cold air onto my hand to numb the area around my tattoos and make my treatment more comfortable. Seeing as I have dots which are 1-2mm in diameter, I knew that this would be quick and easy to treat, and from having a previous tattoo removed by laser a few years ago I was expecting it to feel very hot and sting when the laser flashes.
With my hand nicely numbed from the cold air, the laser was then positioned just above my skin and I took a deep breath in anticipation. The laser breaks up the ink particles in the skin, turning it instantly white or lighter, which will re-darken shortly after treatment to look as though nothing has changed, before being absorbed by the body’s immune system and naturally removed over time.
The technician told me that the treatment may cause me some discomfort, but most people find it to be tolerable, and the length of the treatment will vary depending on the size of each tattoo. My treatment took less than two minutes, with each zap of the laser being around half a second in duration and consisting of a warm flash to my skin which felt a bit like standing in front of a bonfire for a split second before the sensation instantly disappeared.
Compared to my previous laser tattoo removal some years ago, which was red ink on the top of my thigh, the black dots on my hand were far more comfortable to treat. I’m aware that the technology used today is far superior and some areas of the body are more or less sensitive than others. But if you can sit through having a tattoo in the first place then you can definitely cope with having it removed with this state of the art laser which was far kinder on my skin.
Following my treatment the technician applied a cooling gel to my skin and left the treated areas uncovered due to it being on my hand, as normally they would dress it before providing instructions on how to care for it at home. It’s important to keep the area clean and moist for a few days after treatment as well as avoid sun exposure and any strenuous activity.
There may be redness, swelling and blistering to the area around the tattoo which is normal and subsides within a few days, but in my case I didn’t experience any symptoms aside from redness and within an hour it looked and felt like I hadn’t had anything done.
These pictures were taken at the studio before and directly after my first laser tattoo removal treatment and the major difference was the appearance of the ink was instantly lighter, with some dots along my thumb in particular having instantly disappeared.
I was fully expecting the ink to return, as I was told is part of the healing process, so that the body can gradually break it down over the next few weeks, before I return in 21 days for my second treatment. It’s really hard to say how long this process will take as the dots on my ring finger are over a decade old and the dots on my index finger and thumb had already naturally faded as my body attempted to break them down from the day that I got them a few years ago.
I’m excited to see that my tattoos are already lighter and less noticeable and can fully understand how people just wake up one day and decide to remove an entire sleeve or back piece in order to return to blank skin after years of having tattoos. Whilst I’m still a huge fan of body art, and love all of the other pieces that I have, I’m incredibly excited to see that there is finally a comfortable, affordable and effective way to permanently remove blurry, faded and unwanted ink so that tattoos no longer have to look worn out or become unwanted with time.
I’m now taking bets on how many treatment it will take to remove my dots, and will continue to share a before and after picture here at each session. If you’re considering laser tattoo removal then I can personally recommend NAAMA Studios in Great Portland Street, London as the staff are amazing and the service is exceptional. Stay tuned for my progress!
My Second Treatment
These past three weeks have absolutely flown by and I had to do a double-take on my calendar to make sure that my next appointment was today. With the build up to Christmas I seem to blink and whole days have passed.
Whilst busying myself with work, and life in general, I haven’t been clock-watching my tattoo progression, and so when I attended my appointment today it was a great chance to reflect upon the progress made.
It’s estimated that my tattoo may take around 6 sessions to remove, which spaced at 3wks apart for recovery totals 18wks. My ink did return to a dark colour following my first session as expected, but was markedly lighter with some dots all but disappearing on my thumb which was so exciting to see so soon into my removal journey.
Today the staff used another setting on the laser to achieve the frosting, or whiteness, to the surface of my tattoo to indicate that it has been successful. The technician explained that the body can get used to the laser and so tweaking the settings as the ink changes with each session allows them to achieve maximum results in the shortest time.
Within around an hour of my treatment my tattoo colour returned to my hand as expected, but this time showed a pinkish red colour in and around some of the dots which is a sign of the ink within the skin lightening and disappearing in places which is most noticeable on my thumb.
My second session was just as quick as the first which conveniently means that it slots perfectly into my lunch break so that I could return to my day immediately after. I can’t wait to see my results in three weeks time, stay tuned!
NAAMA Studios have very kindly given me the discount code “TRACYKISS50” which you can use for £50 off of your first laser treatment!