A form of self-expression. This is how a lot of people view tattoos especially the tattoos that have special meaning to one’s life. As much as getting inked is considered art, “tattoo regret” is also a thing and some people do not want to go on living with that regret plastered on their skin for the rest of their lives. to peel off unwanted and regretted tattoos. This is why a lot of Singaporeans turn to cosmetic tattoo removal to help them wipe.
Want to give your skin a fresh start? Here are 10 important things you need to know about tattoo removal in Singapore.
1. The most effective method for tattoo removal is with the use of medical-grade lasers.
"Tattoo removal has been tried in many different ways but among various methods, but only medical-grade lasers have shown significant improvement in erasing tattoos permanently and safely, and therefore has long been recognized as the “standard method for tattoo removal”.
2. Lasers shatter tattoo ink into dust-like particles that naturally exit the body.
In essence, lasers are non-invasive procedures that remove tattoos by delivering powerful pulses of light energy into the target area to break down tattoo ink pigments into tiny particles that are then absorbed by the body’s immune system and exits the body naturally. This process lightens the tattoo and when done in multiple sessions over a period of time, can partially or fully remove traces of ink on the skin permanently.
3. In Singapore, only licensed clinicians are allowed to use lasers for tattoo removal.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking of “lucking out” on a cheap laser tattoo removal performed by non-medical practitioners at salons or spas. Laser treatments are a form of medical procedure; therefore, your safety should be given utmost importance. This is why only licensed and trained medical doctors can perform laser procedures in Singapore.
4. The type of laser technology used for tattoo removal matters.
Not all clinics use the same type of laser for tattoo removal and various types. And laser brands have different levels of efficacy in removing tattoo ink. Although older technologies like the Nanosecond Q-switched lasers can do the job, it will not be as effective as recent improvements such as the picosecond lasers found at 1Aesthetics.
Picosecond lasers distribute ultra-short pulses of energy into the treatment area on the skin in trillionths of a second (or picosecond) and equate to more effective tattoo removal. Picosecond lasers are also FDA-approved and certified safe, with a lesser risk of complications like scarring and pigmentation compared to inferior lasers.
5. Many factors influence the number of sessions required for effective tattoo removal.
Typically, a tattoo cannot be completely removed in just one session and at least 3-8 sessions (or more) are required to achieve the desired result. The number of appointments can vary from patient to patient and are greatly influenced by the following factors:
- Ink Saturation - Simply put, then denser the ink tattooed on your skin, the more challenging it is to remove.
- Tattoo Size and Style - Smaller and simpler tattoos are easier to remove compared to larger and complicated ones.
- Skin Color - Usually, patients with darker skin tend to absorb laser energy thus making tattoos more difficult to remove compared to patients with lighter skin.
- Location of Tattoo - Since shattered tattoo inks are absorbed into the lymphatics and exit the body naturally, tattoos in the parts of the body with better blood circulation are easier to remove than body parts with poorer blood circulation.
- Skin Type and Sensitivity - The way your skin reacts to the treatment may also influence the number of sessions required. Patients with more sensitive skin may require extra care.
- Type of Laser Used - In contrast the more advanced picosecond lasers, Nanosecond Q-switched lasers and other conventional ones, may require twice the sessions to produce similar results or may not even deliver results at all.
6. Different tattoo colours require different wavelengths to be effectively removed.
Apart from ink saturation, ink colour is the most vital factor that determines the number of sessions and the success of tattoo removal. Multi-coloured tattoos are harder to remove since multiple wavelengths are required to target different colours while black ink is more easily removed. This is why it is important to look for clinics that have the right technology to completely erase tattoos with distinct colours.
7. Like getting inked, expect some level of discomfort during the tattoo removal process.
As shared by patients, tattoo removal comes with a level of discomfort, especially when the bursts of laser beams hit the skin. Some patients even say that tattoo removal is way more painful than getting a tattoo itself.
Just like any other medical procedure, each patient has their own pain threshold, and if you have a low tolerance for discomfort, better advise your doctor beforehand so he/she can administer available methods (usually anaesthetics) to help you be more comfortable throughout the procedure.
8. With advanced laser technology, there is a lesser risk of scarring and complications.
When done by a skilled doctor, the risk of scarring and is very low with advanced picosecond lasers while inferior laser technology can cause scarring, hyperpigmentation, change in skin texture and further complications, particularly if you have sensitive skin.
However, right after each laser procedure, you may expect some downtime of at least 2-5 days. During these days, you may experience redness and light scabbing on the treated area but there is no cause for alarm as they are normal and will be better after a few days. To help you heal faster, protect yourself from direct sunlight to avoid irritations.
9. How much improvement after the tattoo removal procedure?
Different laser technologies can partially or fully remove all the ink on your skin. Among the available lasers, the advanced picosecond lasers can deliver 80—90% improvement right after the treatment depending on various factors that were already mentioned above.
10. In Singapore, the cost of tattoo removal may vary.
For Picosecond lasers for tattoo removal, the cost may range from $800 – $1500 per session while Nanosecond Q-Switched lasers may cost way less but may require double the sessions. Prices for tattoo removal in Singapore may vary depending on different factors such as but not limited to:
- Type of Tattoo
- Laser technology used
- Doctor’s fee and Consultation fee
- Number of Sessions
- Aftercare (when complications are developed)
While tattoos have long been thought as permanent, advancements in the world of beauty have made it possible to wipe away tattoos that have lost their significance to a person’s present life. Before getting inked, bear in mind that tattoo removal can be very expensive and painful so better think carefully on what tattoo you’re going to get.