tattoo removal advice

Can’t shift that tattoo?

There are a few reasons why tattoos don’t easily disappear and we thought you might like a list like that.

Choose the right technology

We know that every second beauty salon has an IPL device – like everything else, the quality varies. But we have noted that, since the surge in demand for tattoo removal, many of those salons are promoting their IPL device for tattoo removal.

Using IPL for tattoo removal is like trying to crack an egg with a machine gun.

IPL is great for lots of indications; they are fantastic for hair removal and superficial pigmentation. Sadly tattoo removal is not one of the concerns where IPL is a star solution. The results are sub-optimal [it wasn’t really designed for that purpose] and expensive [because for any result at all the number of treatments is huge when compared to a device designed for this exact purpose].

One very experienced Melbourne practitioner, Hillary Quinn of Melbourne Tattoo Removal, was quoted by Choice magazine as saying “It [IPL] shoots a block of light of about two by six centimetres rather than the five to eight millimetre pinpricks of Q-switched lasers. It’s like trying to crack an egg with a machine gun.”

So when you have found a certified practitioner who used a proven technology, what else could be standing in the way of seeing that unwanted ink disappear?

The conditions make tattoos harder to clear

The Q-switched laser removal process will be impeded if:

  • you smoke
  • you have tattoo colours other than black and red
  • you have a tattoo larger than 30 square centimetres
  • you have a tattoo that’s more than three years old.*


*source: Journal of the American Medical Association

By |May 5th, 2015|Spectrum Blog|0 Comments

The truth about tattoo clearance

Any number of celebs are editing and removing older tattoos. We thought you might like the lowdown on what you can expect if you follow suit.

What is tattoo ‘clearance’?

It’s generally accepted to be ‘clearance of 95 % of the pre-treated tattoo’. So when we say tattoo removal, we generally mean tattoo ‘clearance’. There are no devices available that record 100% clearance – and this is important to note. For many years, however the Q-switched laser has been the go-to technology.

Are there tattoos that resist clearance?

Certain colours are hard to clear. Black is easiest and the most common colour, however the dense tribal tattoo designs, whilst certainly black in colour, are very difficult to clear and will take more treatments than the non-dense variety.

Why ‘Switch’?

There are 2 separate wavelengths produced in the clearance of tattoos by the Q-switched laser.

The 532 nanometre wavelength treats the red and orange targets in the skin. It is attracted to red and orange targets which includes ink, but can also include pigments such as age spots, freckles and sun spots.

The 1064 nanometre wavelength is a near-infrared light, which is invisible to the human eye. This is the wavelength that treats the black and dark tattoo inks.

Before treatment starts

Protective goggles are required by the operator and client and the treatment room should not have any mirrors. If there is anyone with you, they have to wear the goggles as well.

The practitioner treating should also have training at least to ‘laser safety certification’ level, and in some states more certification is required by law. You may want to pay attention to this because many insurance companies have a strong opinion on the cover they offer non-trained staff. If that opinion extends to ‘no cover’ and a problem occurs, this is a detail you will want to have checked prior. So do your homework; you are very entitled to check the name of the certificates on the wall matches your operator.


Pre care

Just like when you received your tattoo, the area will be cleaned before treatment and you may want to use a topical numbing crème for comfort. This can be purchased from a pharmacy without prescription. Other than that there is no specific preparation required.


Post care

There will be some inflammation after treatment. The treated area will also appear slightly raised – dress this area with a non-aqueous based, ointment and a flexi roll to protect for water, friction and injury.

Infrared red LED light for healing is recommended post treatment, at least weekly, to optimise the healing process, at least weekly to speed up the healing process.

When the surface layer is healing, and the dressing is removed, ensure you use a sun block to protect to healed skin.

Pain relief

This treatment will be uncomfortable – so prepare for that. A cooling device that blows cold air onto the skin during treatment will increase comfort. Numbing crème – apply 60 min prior and wrap in glad-wrap to infuse into the skin.

Number and frequency of treatments

Treatments 6 weeks apart – usually 6-8 sessions to clear a tattoo to 95%. Sometimes more depending on the colour, density and quality of the technology being used. Our trainers have indicated 6-8 is their usual program based on the Spectrum Nd;YAG.

Having treatments closer together won’t speed up the process. The lymph system, which actually clears the broken up ink particles, works on it’s own schedule and can’t be hurried no matter what the receptionist re-booking your appointment says.


The Q-switched laser is used for tattoo removal but also for nail fungus, dermal pigment and epidermal pigment.


Powered by Spectrum ND:Yag

find more information here


By |May 5th, 2015|Spectrum Blog|0 Comments

half of women under 35 ?

Surprising poll on tattoo lovers indicates that more young women than we actually though are donning their fave tattoo image, and 64% of those under 35’s are big fans.14% of over 45s have a tattoo

Nearly half of women under age 35 have gotten ink, almost double their male counterparts (47 percent vs. 25 percent).

It’s the reverse among those 65 and over: three times as many senior men as women have a tattoo (14 percent vs. 4 percent).

It’s a trend and that’s great.

For clinic owners and practitioners who need to service this growing demand, you know who to call….

for more 


By |March 31st, 2015|Spectrum Blog|0 Comments

Tattoo Trends

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It’s all about colour

The trend for highly coloured and extensive tattoo art is exciting all of us. A beautifully designed and created tattoo really makes a statement.

When it comes time to change or remove that tattoo, there are a few things you should know:

  • a Q switched laser system for tattoo removal is the gold standard
  • Black and Grey are the easiest ink colours to remove; and ND:Yag (1064nm) generally works best for these
  • Green is a new trend and the most difficult to remove, followed by light blue. The recommended treatment is with and ND:Yag or Alexandrite laser at a wavelength of 1064nm and 755nm.

Sunscreen will help maintain the colour in your new tattoo, so remember to slip, slop, slap.

By |February 18th, 2015|Spectrum Blog|0 Comments

Bridal and Body Art

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Perhaps the one time in a woman’s life that she may regret her ink.

Please don’t get us wrong; we love a well crafted tattoo, but many brides say they feel they need to compromise on their choice of gown to accommodate a tattoo whose time has passed.

If you or someone you know has a wedding deadline and a tattoo is getting in the way, here are a few things you should know.

  • Treatment time could be many, many months depending on the colour.
  • You cannot compress the time between treatments to speed things up because the body’s ability to remove the fractured pigments is limited to about 28 days.
  • Some colours are easier to fade than others

Red is the second most popular colour and it’s sometime hard to shift

Colours such as red, as well as more recent trends to blues and greens can become more difficult to treat depending on the quality and type of tattoo technique; was the tattoo amateur or professionally applied.  in some cases these tattoos can take twice the number of treatments to improve. Many experienced practitioners recommend a532nm laser

Black is the most common

a high powered, effective laser is key to use for any tattoo removal. An ND:Yag 1064 is the gold standard in tattoo removal – and also unwanted pigment [like freckles, and age spots]

Find more here

By |February 14th, 2015|Spectrum Blog|0 Comments