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Laser Tattoo Removal Clinic in London

Tattoo Removal Clinic in London

Tattoo removal is the process in which a tattoo is removed from the body, most commonly by a laser. We often make decisions which we regret, tattoos are a prime example. Oftentimes, individuals love the tattoos they receive, but other times an unwanted tattoo can become the cause of grief, anxiety and embarrassment. This may be due to reasons such as no longer wanting an image or name of someone or something you once felt committed to, or simply a change in style. Tattoos are generally viewed as permanent, but tattoo removal gives you the chance to restore your pre-inked skin.

The London Dermatology Centre can provide bespoke tattoo removal and finally relieve you of that burden. Our clinic uses the M22 Q-Switched Nd: YAG laser which is a superior technology for tattoo removal. The laser utilises a powerful beam which breaks the tattoo ink down into smaller particles, which are absorbed and removed by the body’s lymphatic system. Furthermore, the Q-switch function allows the treatment to be customised depending on the tattoo, giving a personal experience to the patient.

How does laser tattoo removal work?

There are different methods for removing tattoos. At the London Dermatology Centre, we use laser tattoo removal, the method considered the safest and most effective. The laser light breaks the tattoo ink into small pieces when directed onto the skin. These smaller fragments are then taken up by the macrophages and removed from the body via the lymphatic system. As more tattoo ink particles are broken down, the appearance of the tattoo lightens and therefore, after several sessions the ink is no longer visible.

M22 Q-Switched Nd: YAG Laser

The London Dermatology Centre uses a gold standard, unparalleled equipment for laser tattoo removal, namely the M22 Q-switch which is used to erase dark ink from the skin. Q-switch refers to the type of pulse created by the laser. These lasers create high-energy pulses which only last a rapid, mere billionth of a second. This concentrates the energy into the very powerful pulses required to breakdown the tattoo particles into tiny fragments. Incomparable to other laser technologies, the rapid nature of this equipment prevents damage to the surrounding tissue, reducing the prevalence of unwanted side effects. It can also significantly shatter ink into smaller fragments, which means they are easily absorbed, making them exceptionally more effective methods for tattoo removal.

Q-Switch lasers are differentiated by the crystal rods which are inserted, allowing variability for the wavelengths produced. In this instance, the Nd: YAG laser is used which produces 1064nm and 532nm wavelengths, so there is versatility in the tattoo colours it can target. Although it can target brighter colours, it is much more effective in darker inks, such as black and blue. The Q-switched technology also enables advanced combination treatment because of 7 different spot sizes – ranging from 2mm to 8mm. This results in customised treatments for patients’ individual tattoo removal desires and gives better results.

How many sessions will I need?

The sessions required vary from person to person, because tattoos are unique to the individual. The factors considered when identifying the number of sessions an individual requires are the following: the client’s skin tone, the ink type, the location of the tattoo, the size of the tattoo, the age of the tattoo, as well as the colour of the tattoo. The depth at which the ink was applied to the skin is also considered. All these factors will be discussed during the initial consultation, but as an estimate, most tattoos will require around 2-10 sessions, with larger tattoos requiring more sessions. To allow the body to heal and process the treatment, there should be at least a 6–8-week period in between each session.

Can the procedure be performed on darker skin?

The wavelengths of the M22 Q-Switched Nd: YAG laser is effective and safe on all skin types. The broad wavelength targeted by this laser, particularly at 1064nm, means that it only targets the tattoo ink and is poorly absorbed by melanin. Melanin is the pigment found in dark skin and if lasers were to target this, the outcome would be hypopigmentation. Before undergoing the procedure, there will be an initial consultation, so personalised plans are made for each patient. For those with darker skin, more sessions may be required to completely remove the tattoo and a longer time may be required between each session, however this is also dependant on the size and colour of the tattoo itself. It is important that the skin has sufficient time to heal between treatments, so the recommended time is at least 6-8 weeks. At the London Dermatology Centre, each procedure is performed by qualified dermatologists, with extensive experience and this alongside our gold standard equipment means the successful removal of tattoos, with minimal side effects.

What happens before the procedure?

An initial consultation will take place, where our expert dermatologists will first need to get take your full medical history, to determine whether you would be a good candidate for the procedure. The tattoo will then be examined, and the number of sessions recommended will be discussed. Aside from this, the practitioner will also explain what happens during the procedure and the science behind the lasers used. A patch test on a small area of the tattoo is also necessary, as standard, prior the procedure to assess for any adverse reactions that may take occur.

There are also some precautions to take. Excessive sun exposure to the treatment area should be avoided and a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 should be used in the weeks leading up to the treatment. On the day of your appointment, ensure that you have eaten, are well hydrated, and to alleviate any discomfort from the procedure, paracetamol can be taken at least an hour before. Depending on the location of your tattoo, loose fit clothing should be worn so that it is not rubbing against the treatment area and so that the area is easily accessible.

What happens during the procedure?

Your practitioner at the clinic will guide you through the procedure beforehand, ensuring you know what to expect. The treatment area will first be cleaned and prepared for the treatment. Protective eyewear will be provided for you to wear to prevent damage to your eyes from the laser. During the treatment your practitioner will hold the handle of the device and direct the laser over the tattoo, thereby removing it. Depending on the size of your tattoo, this can be performed in as little as 15 minutes.

Is the procedure painful?

The procedure does involve some level of pain; however, it is tolerable. Patients have described feeling a heat sensation on the area whilst being treated and compared the sensation to a band snapping on the skin. Others have also compared it as equivalent to the pain felt from having the tattoo applied. It is recommended to take paracetamol at least an hour before the procedure to alleviate any discomfort.

What happens after the procedure?

After your treatment, you will notice small white circles on the tattooed area. These may turn into redness and swelling, which will dissolve within a day. 24 hours after the procedure a thick crust will begin to appear on the treated tattooed area. Do not be alarmed by this, as this is the skin’s natural response to recovery. The crust will fall within 2 weeks. During this period, you will slowly begin noticing the fading of the colour and shape of the tattoo. Sessions are spaced 6-8 weeks apart allowing your skin to process the treatment. Results are accumulative - getting rid of the tattoo completely will take multiple sessions.

Will laser tattoo removal leave me with a scar?

It is very uncommon for laser tattoo removal to cause scarring. Proper aftercare of the area can lead to a faster recovery time and reduce the onset of scars or the occurrence of infections. Before applying any antibiotic ointments, ensure that the area has been gently cleaned with mild soap and patted dry. You may shower a few hours after the procedure, however, soaking or bathing the area in a swimming pool or hot bath should be avoided as this can lead to infection and scarring. It is important to note that the instances for scarring to happen are minimal and rare. Laser technologies, such as IPL, which are not used at our clinic will cause a scar as it doesn’t just target the tattoo, but also the surrounding skin.

Is laser tattoo removal safe?

Unlike other tattoo removal methods, laser tattoo removal is relatively safe as it avoids damaging the skin while removing the tattoo. The M22 Q-Switch is not recommended for patients who have inflammatory skin conditions, active infections, viral, fungal or bacterial diseases and skin disorders. Side effects include redness, swelling and pigmentation changes. The laser beam only affects the ink and does not harm the surrounding skin. Whereas with older laser technologies, the laser could burn the skin.

What are the benefits?

You will receive visible results from the first session and your desired results after a series of treatments. After the first treatment, you will notice a change in the colour density of the tattoo. The Q-Switch technology allows for optimal tailoring of tattoo removal depending on the type of tattoo you wish to remove. Furthermore, the laser is a non-invasive (non-surgical) form of treatment, therefore surgical removal of the tattoo would not be required and there is a reduction in the downtime.

What are the costs?

The cost of the procedure would vary depending on the size and the location of treatment area. This would usually begin from £150. It should also be noted that for all new patients, there is also the cost of the initial consultation, as well as any other follow-up consultations and this will be added to the final treatment cost.

What are the reasons for tattoo removal?

Not everybody who gets a tattoo commits to their decisions. Sometimes individuals get tattoos in their teens or young adulthood and regret it later in life, when their taste and style changes. Furthermore, tattoos may become a source of embarrassment as well as an inconvenience depending on lifestyle factors, including the patients’ current or aspiring career. Covering up unwanted tattoos with clothing and makeup can be extremely inconvenient and tiresome. Tattoos that are symbolic of relations, such as the name of a partner can trouble individuals once the relationship comes to an end.

Here are a few reasons one may decide to undergo tattoo removal

  • Natural looking skin
  • Free of names that no longer have meaning
  • The style of the tattoo may not suit the individual’s style or appearance


There are many reasons that one may decide to remove tattoos. Whatever this may be, be it because of regret or a change of heart, the London Dermatology Centre is here to facilitate this journey to removing your tattoos. Laser tattoo removal is superior to alternative, traditional methods, such as dermabrasion, excision, cryosurgery and chemicals that may be offered in other clinics. This is because they effectively reduce the appearance of the tattoo ink with minimal damage and side effects at each session. There is also a lower risk for infection and recovery time is significantly reduced. Although some pain and discomfort are associated with laser tattoo removals, surgical methods are much more painful, where local, or even general, anaesthesia would be required.

Laser tattoo removal gives you the choice to be free from regretful decisions and embark on a new start. The tattoo will not be eliminated in one session and the number of sessions required will vary from person to person, but results will certainly be visible from the first session. Determining factors for the success of tattoo removal include the age of the tattoo, skin colour, and depth of the ink. Using the M22 Q-Switch Nd: YAG laser available at our clinic, you can be sure that you are receiving optimal treatment conducted by trained professionals, customised to the needs of your desired tattoo removal. The M22 Q-Switched laser has 7 different spot sizes, ranging from 2mm to 8mm, ensuring that the procedure is customised to your needs.

Rest assured that at the London Dermatology Centre, the consultations and procedures are conducted by trained and qualified professionals, with treatment plans tailored to the needs of each individual patient. With the expert knowledge of our dermatologist and our state-of-the-art equipment, your unwanted tattoos can be effectively eliminated, leaving not only clear skin but a clear mind in that you no longer have to work through any anxiety or regret the tattoo may have caused.

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