The 3 Ingredients of Successful Laser Tattoo Removal

You already know Laser Tattoo Removal is the most effective way to remove or fade tattoos. But unfortunately it’s not as easy as searching for ‘laser tattoo removal’ in your local area and expecting great results. Results can vary from complete removal to burning and scarring (and we’re guessing you’re after complete removal)

Laser Tattoo Removal good results
The results you want
The results you don’t

Below we’ve listed the 3 ingredients that go into successful Tattoo Removal. Follow these tips and you’re well on your way to getting rid of that unloved Tattoo.

1. The Right Laser Tattoo Removal Machine

Guess what? Anyone can say they have a laser that’s capable of removing Tattoos – but it doesn’t mean they do. The efficiency of lasers varies widely and some places may even pass off lasers not designed for Tattoo removal so it’s up to you to have at least some background knowledge.

What you don’t want

IPL lasers. IPL lasers are NOT designed or recommended for Tattoo Removal. If a clinic is suggesting they’ll use an IPL laser you need to run, not walk and find another clinic.

Laser Tattoo Removal Machine
The right machine for the job
cheese grater tattoo removal
The wrong machine for the job (see our Guide: Choosing the right cheese grater for you)



What you do want

You’re looking for a Class 4 Medical Grade laser that is TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) approved in Australia or FDA (Food and Drugs Administration) approved in the US.

The words you’ll hear most often are Q-switched or pico and the laser should operate in the nano or pico second pulse range. Ideally it should operate with single energy pulse technology to deliver the correct power output to the skin.

There are lots of different brand names out there which can make it confusing but if a clinic has the right machine for the job you’ll usually find one of these names on their website to describe their laser

  • Q-Switched Nd: YAG (the newest system in the Q-switched Class)
  • Picosure (operates in the pico second pulse range)
  • Q-Switched Ruby
  • Q-Switched Alexandrite

Different lasers are effective in removing different ink colours and you should discuss this with any clinic before deciding on which machine is going to get the best outcome for you.

2. The Clinician

Not all lasers are created equal, and neither are all technicians. As we like to say, Tattoo Removal is 1 part science and 1 part art – and the art comes from the skills and experience of the Clinician.

The best Clinician (besides using the right lasers in the first place) can also ‘read’ the skin of the client and their reaction to the initial test pulses. Every client is different and every skin reaction is different at every treatment, and being able to judge the ‘end-point’ or the actual reaction to the treatment is where the skill of the clinician comes in.

To get optimal results the Clinician needs to treat at a high enough pulse rate to gain a reaction, but low enough not to damage skin – a fine balancing act.

These skills develop over time with experience and repetition – the more often a clinician has performed Tattoo Removal the more skin types they’ve seen, the more reactions they’ve noted and the more skills they’ve developed.

That’s why we recommend seeking out a Tattoo Removal Clinic that specialises in Tattoo Removal – or at least a clinic that have clinicians that specialise in Tattoo Removal. Repetition and learning are key to developing the skills needed for successful Tattoo Removal.

While the thought of a manicure, pedicure, massage and tattoo removal clinic has its appeal, it’s not what you’re looking for

3. Time

Time between treatments is the 3rd critical ingredient in successful Tattoo Removal. Most people who decide they want their tattoo removed want it done yesterday which is understandable. So they think “the quicker I have treatments, the quicker it will disappear”. Unfortunately the opposite is true.

What the laser is doing is shattering the ink particles into small enough fragments so your body can flush them out through your lymph nodes – and this process takes time.

how laser tattoo removal works

At a bare minimum you should be waiting 4 weeks between treatments, and 6 weeks is becoming the industry standard. Some clinics are even recommending 8 weeks between treatments because they find it produces superior results.

So now you know the 3 (not-so) secret ingredients for successful Tattoo Removal – the right machine in the hands of the right clinician and sufficient time between treatments to let your body do it’s thing.