Archives for November 2014

Laser Tattoo Removal Cost

Here at the Devon Laser Clinic we use a class 4 active medical laser called a Q-Switched Ruby.

This laser is not to be confused with the small desktop passive lasers that can be purchased from China which are sometimes used in tattoo clinics to lighten a tattoo before covering, or by mobile tattoo removal operators.

The Q-Switched Ruby is an expensive laser and therefore the price per treatment is more than it would be if carried out with a desktop passive laser. We do however believe that our prices are very competitive for the South West compared to clinics with similar types of machine.

Also, very importantly, all laser treatments at the Devon Laser Clinic are carried out by Sara Colvin who is a Registered Nurse with over 12 years of experience of working with lasers.

Laser Tattoo Removal Advice

Start With A Tattoo Removal Test Patch

A test patch is a small trial in the treatment area which allows the clinician to assess how well the light energy is being absorbed and whether the skin is responding as would be expected. Generally black tattoos respond best to treatment, but with the Q-Swtiched Ruby laser, we are also be able to treat blues, greens and browns but not red. Some colours will not respond to any laser tattoo removal including white and yellow.

Please take note of any changes to the skin following the test patch so that you can report back to Sara before proceeding with treatment.


  • The area to be treated should be free from make-up, perfume, deodorant, body or face creams and fake tan including gradual tanning moisturisers.
  • There should be NO SUNTAN nor FAKE TAN in the area to be treated. Use of sunbeds or exposure to sunlight is not permitted the month prior to treatment and an SPF 30 must be used on the area between treatments. Suntans must be left to fade completely before treatment can start.
  • Fake tans must also be fully removed before treatment can commence.
  • We reserve the right to charge for any appointment booked but abandoned due to active sun-tan or fake tan. Avoid aspirin and alcohol for 24 hours before treatment for tattoos to help prevent pin-point bleeding.
  • A medical history is taken at consultation, but we rely on you to inform us of any changes to this. We need to know of any medication you are taking and if there has been any change to your health.


  • Typically, normal activities can proceed following treatment but it is best to avoid any activity that will cause excessive heat e.g. saunas, exercise or massage to the area. Apply cool packs if the treated area feels hot.
  • Make-up should be avoided on the treated area.
  • The area may appear red and raised following treatment and you may experience a tingling sensation. This is completely normal and will settle over a few days.
  • Wash and bathe as normal but take warm showers instead of hot baths. The skin should be patted dry rather than rubbed. Use aloe vera gel to soothe the skin.
  • Swelling after treatment is common and is normally worse for the first 1-2 days after treatment. Cool packs will will reduce the swelling.
  • Use a sunscreen (SPF 30+) to protect the area from sunlight as much as possible between treatments and for at least one month after treatment ends. LASER TREATMENTS ARE NOT COMPATIBLE WITH SUNTANNING.
  • Blistering can and does occur after laser tattoo removal. Don’t worry! If the area does blister, keep the area clean and dry and do not deliberately burst blisters. Do not use any lotions or creams on open skin as this may increase the risk of an infection.
  • If you have any urgent concerns or queries regarding the treated area, please phone the clinic for advice on 01271 327700.

Laser Tattoo Removal

After one treatment

After eight treatments

At the Devon Laser Clinic we use a Polaris Q-switched Ruby laser for tattoo removal. This is a class 4, active medical laser which means it has very high peak powers delivering its energy in a much more effective pulse than many of the cheaper lasers that can be found today.

The Q-Switched Ruby Laser is suitable for fair skinned persons for the removal of tattoos which contain mostly black, blues and greens. Some inks and colours will not respond to any laser.

The laser works by firing a beam of light through the skin in extremely short pulses. The light is absorbed by the tattoo ink creating a reaction which breaks down the ink into very tiny particles. This allows the body’s defence mechanisms to take over and gradually remove the pigment.

Because each pulse is so short (typically 25 billionths of a second!) and is targeted directly onto the pigment, there is normally no lasting damage to the skin or surrounding tissue. The whole procedure is repeated several times, usually at about six to eight weekly intervals, so allowing time for the body to remove as much pigment as possible.

Simple amateur tattoos may be removed in just a few treatments but professional tattoos may require 10-15 treatments.

What Tattoo Removal Side Effects Can I Expect?

Immediately post treatment the tattoo is likely to appear white. This soon disappears and the treated area will probably appear red and raised. Sometimes the skin might blister after but scarring is rare.

Occasionally pigment changes in the skin might occur where the skin lightens or darkens for a time after treatment. This is likely to be temporary but can sometimes be a permanent change.

Can All Colours Of Tattoo Be Removed?

The Q-Switched Ruby laser will most effectively remove black, blue and green shades. A different type of Q-Switched laser is required to treat reds and most light colours are extremely difficult to remove. Skin should be totally free of suntan or fake tan in the area to be treated. Dark skin types cannot be treated with the Q-Switched Ruby.

Does Laser Tattoo Removal Hurt?

The treatment is not without discomfort but whilst using the laser, a machine that blows out extremely cold air can be directed at the area to numb the skin. Most people liken the sensation to being flicked by an elastic band. If you can tolerate having a tattoo, you should be able to tolerate laser tattoo removal.