While it seemed like a good idea at the time in a moment of rebellion, a tattoo can become a permanent regret.
Early attempts to remove tattoos have had a less than desirable results as dermabrasion and excision often left scars behind.
However, lasers have been used successfully at Ashbury cosmetic Surgery and Vein centre in thousands of treatments.
The introduction of the Q-Switched ND-Yag laser has permitted the removal of most tattoo inks with a low risk of scarring.
According to Dr James Chen, cosmetic doctor at Ashbury, medical lasers use an intense beam of light to gently remove tattoos without harming the surrounding healthy cells.
The procedure is one of the most popular treatments at Ashbury, with many patients choosing to have their tattoos removed due to concerns over diminished employment opportunities and a decrease in self-esteem.
The laser removes tattoo ink with the energy of light. The rapid absorption of the laser light energy causes the tattoo ink to destruct and it is then removed by the body’s natural filtering systems.
Dr Chen explained some patients feel a slight sting, like the snap of a rubber band on the skin, followed by the feeling of sunburn.
Most treatments do not require anaesthetic, however some patients feel more comfortable with a local numbing cream.
On average professional tattoos should be spaced around one month apart. The number of treatments depends on the amount and type of ink. Other skin conditions treated with lasers include aging and sun damaged skin, moles, warts, skin tags, acne, scars, spider veins and pigmentation.