Tattoo removal

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

Surge in tattoo removal fuelled by regret

Survey in our Spectrum office says that we know that regret is a high ranking cause for users to seek tattoo removal, but we are all about evidence, so here it is…three in ten say tattoos make them feel sexy

You can definitely say that the surge in laser tattoo removal has been fuelled by regret, and the new technology that has been released makes it that much easier to have your tattoos removed. A Harris Poll which was taken two years ago, found that 21 percent of Americans have at least one tattoo, a figure which is up from 16 percent in 2003, and of those people, it’s roughly 14 percent of them who now regret their decision.

Strangely, when we reviewed the survey results closely, we found that 30% of the respondents also said their tattoo made them feel sexier.


Review the survey results HERE

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

Smoking reduces the effect of tattoo removal

Variables Influencing Outcome and Sequelae in a Large Cohort of Treated Patients*

Our team have received a few questions recently on some of the widely accepted facts about tattoo removing with Q-switched laser and where that information originated, so we have located the source article.

A major finding of this study was the effect of smoking on tattoo removal. The chance of achieving removal after 10 treatment sessions was decreased by 69.7% in smokers compared with nonsmokers.

*view the entire abstract HERE


the effect of smoking on tattoo removal

the effect of smoking on tattoo removal

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

Increase in infections during tattoo application

An interesting piece of news from the US – The Harvard Health Blog reflects on an outbreak of Mycobacterium bacteria linked to tattoos. for the entire article

Safe Post-Tattoo Protocol

Best practice post your tattoo treatment is as follows

After a tattoo session is over, take off the bandage within three to five hours. Wash your hands with antibacterial soap and warm water, then wash the tattooed skin. Pat dry with a paper towel or clean cloth towel.

  • Allow the skin to air dry for 5 to 10 minutes. Then apply a very thin layer of Vaseline, Aquaphor, or other ointment.
  • Repeat the washing, drying, and moisturizing process three to four times a day for four days.
  • When the tattooed skin starts to shed a thin flaky layer of skin, do not scratch or pick at it. At this point you can switch to a moisturizer—don’t let your tattoo get dried out for the first few weeks.
  • Call your doctor—not the tattoo artist—if redness or swelling persists after a few days, you have a fever, or you notice a rash in or around the tattoo.

Read the entire article here


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

Tattoo Trends

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

Australian Tattoo and Body Art expo

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The seventh Sydney expo is coming soon and we would love to see you there. With tattoo removal experiencing a huge increate in demand – for complete removal, fading and ‘do-overs’ we are busy bees at these events.

When:13-15th March 2015

Where: Royal Hall of Industries, Moore Park, Sydney

Opening Times:

Friday 13th –  Noon – 10PM

Saturday 14th –  Noon – 10PM

Sunday 15th – 11AM – 7PM


By |February 14th, 2015|Exhibitions|0 Comments

Salon Melbourne 2015 – March 1&2

Hope to see you among the 8,600 hair and beauty professional who are planning on attending this year’s event at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

This year’s opening hours are:

SUNDAY 9am – 6pm

MONDAY 10am – 4pm

We have an exciting ‘scan your ID card to win’ campaign and some hot new products to share.


Looking forward to seeing you there!

Book your tickets here

Stand 3916


By |February 14th, 2015|Exhibitions|0 Comments

10th Laser & Cosmetic Medicine Conference 2014

For nine consecutive years the National Laser and Cosmetic Medicine Conference (LCMC) has been providing medical professionals and cosmetic technicians with the knowledge and skills to assist them in keeping up to date with this rapidly expanding area of medicine.

The 10th LCMC Conference was held in Melbourne from 15-16 November at the Sofitel Melbourne on Collins, and present an outstanding program featuring plenary sessions, demonstrations, concurrent streams and workshops. The team rom Spectrum Science & BEauty were very excited to attend for the first time.

The program included more surgical procedures, and new and innovative non-surgical cosmetic medicine procedures including tattoo removal and laser skin rejuvenation.


By |November 28th, 2014|Exhibitions|0 Comments