Why isn’t my Laser tattoo removal working?

Why isn’t my Laser tattoo removal working?
November 7, 2016 Ben Mills

If you are having your unloved ink lasered somewhere else and it’s not working here are some things you need to understand:


  1. Lasers are not all the same – They have to be the right wavelength and have enough power to actually fragment your ink.  The most commonly available laser in tattoo removal services is the 1064nm which is the right wavelength to tackle black ink. But the problem lies in the fact that MOST lasers available are simply not powerful enough.  They are however powerful enough to burn your skin if they are used over and over on the same bit of skin so BEWARE. ‘Low’ energy lasers are usually small ‘desk top’ machines with a flexible hose between the box and the handpiece.
  2. The right wavelength of laser is needed for different colours.  1064nm is the right one for black.  You need 532 nm for reds and 694nm for blues and greens. Note that even with the right wavelength of laser we still find blues and greens are very stubborn.  If you have a multicoloured tattoo and the place you are going to only has one laser wavelength then it ain’t going be able to remove all your tattoo.
  3. More lasering is NOT better.  Each laser shot leaves heat in the skin.  When the tattoo isn’t responding the temptation for the poorly trained operator is to keep lasering.  This DOESN’T result in more ink removal, it just builds up more and more heat in the skin, eventually cooking your skin and causing a burn, which in turn is likely to become a scar.   From our videos you’ll see our treatments take 1-2 minutes at most and then we immediately cool-pack the skin to pull that heat out.
  4. More often is not better.  You MUST wait at least 6-8 weeks before re-treating the same area of tattooed skin.  In fact we think you might be better waiting 3 months but we understand that especially at the beginning people are keen to remove their ink as fast as possible.  We see a lot of scarred, half removed tattoos from elsewhere and one of the common threads is treatments every 3-4 weeks.  This means the skin hasn’t recovered enough from the last laser induced injury before you are treating/re-injuring it again.


So how can you tell if your laser treatment is likely to fail before you even start? Simple – check out the laser they use or failing that think about the price.  The most expensive part of the whole process should be the laser.  Ours costs around £60,000.  That has to be reflected in the price of the treatments.  If you are being offered cheap treatments then think about how much they have spent on the laser.  It doesn’t matter how cheap it is if it isn’t actually working. Or worse, if you are left in a scarred mess.

We know that it seems a double injustice that you’ve got to pay to remove this thing you don’t like.  But think of all the money you’ll save in not having to choose clothes to cover it up….