The first question most of our clients ask: "Does laser tattoo removal hurt?" - The short answer is yes. The longer answer is that it does hurt but there are ways to reduce this pain and make the whole experience much more comfortable.
Here at ClearLase we use a Cryo-cooling device which directs a stream of freezing cold air at the tattoo before, during and after the treatment. Ice packs can do a similar job, but they are much less effective at keeping the skin cool and require breaks during longer treatments to re-cool the skin. The Cryo-cooler keeps the skin cool for the entire treatment, reducing pain and eliminating the heat created as the laser reacts with the ink particles.
Cooling in this method also helps to make the treatments safer; reducing the risk of thermal injury, side effects and scarring. As the laser reacts with the ink particles, temperatures
can reach extremely high points for a fraction of a second. If this heat is not controlled, thermal injury can occur which may cause burning, severe blistering or scarring.
Another effective method of reducing pain is the use of a topical anaesthetic. This can be purchased from a pharmacy and should be applied thickly over the tattoo area, wrapped and left for around 90 minutes before the laser session. Most people find that this makes the treatment much less painful, but due to how quick laser sessions are, most of our clients choose to go ahead without this and focus on breathing and other ways to take their mind off the pain.