Customer name – Ryan
Age – 35 years old
Type of Tattoo – Two tattoos: a Tasmanian Devil on his upper left arm, and a baby devil on his inside right forearm.
Age of Tattoo – The Tasmanian Devil is 20 years old; the baby devil is 19 years old.
Description of Tattoo –The Tasmanian Devil is mostly outlines but there is a bit of purple and light blue – in the anchor and the beer glass. Being 18 years old the tattoo had faded a bit over the years.
The baby devil on Ryan’s inside forearm is outlines with some red and purple shading, with a small amount of yellow (in the trident and the horns).
Story behind the Tattoo – Ryan got the Tasmanian Devil when he was just 15 years old, and the baby devil when he was 16. He is originally from Northern Ireland and when he was 15 went on a trip to Scotland with his sister. On the last day of his trip, he and his sister went to a tattoo studio. Even though 15 is obviously too young to get a tattoo (you have to be 18 to get a tattoo in the UK), the tattooist went ahead anyway, knowing that Ryan was going back to Northern Ireland by boat the next day. Ryan’s sister got a black panther on her stomach and a marijuana leaf on her ankle.
A year later Ryan went back to the same shop in Scotland and got the second (baby) tattoo.
Reason for Visit – Ryan has grown out of his tattoos. He was a different person at 15/16, and thinks it was a ‘childish’ decision to get them. He’s had them for 20 years and just doesn’t like them any more, which is why he wants to get them removed. Ryan works in construction so there’s no issues with having visible tattoos. It’s just that he’s grown out of them.
Initial assessment – Ryan originally came in to have the Tasmanian Devil treated. Since it was such an old tattoo and already quite faded, we expected that it would be fairly easy to remove. On his fourth visit, he decided to get the second tattoo treated as well.
The colours in the baby devil were still quite fresh-looking, so we suspected that this one may take more sessions to remove.
Treatment overview – Ryan started treatment at Fade to Blank in March 2016. He has since had 10 treatments on the Tasmanian Devil, and 7 treatments on the baby devil. Toward the last 2 treatments we increased the time between sessions to every 12 weeks.
We thought the Tasmanian Devil would be quite an easy one to remove. It was mostly outlines and faded colours. However, over the course of the treatments, some parts of the tattoo kind of spread out a bit in a kind of a ‘smudged’ look. The outlines became less black and more of a blueish colour. This demonstrated that not all inks respond predictably to laser treatment, and that some inks can be made up of other colours that only become visible after the first few laser sessions. It also shows that there is no ‘standard’ for tattoo pigments anywhere, either in Australia or Scotland!
Before treatment of Ryan’s devil tattoos
At first we used the ‘standard’ 1064nm wavelength to treat the black ink. However, after 3 or 4 sessions this wavelength was no longer as effective. We then switched to the 694nm (ruby) wavelength, which is specifically designed to target blue and green ink. The tattoo responded really well to the ruby laser, and after 9 sessions, the tattoo is now unrecognisable. After one or possibly two more treatments, the Tasmanian Devil will be completely gone.
As for the baby devil, we expected this would fade more slowly than the first tattoo because the colours were brighter and it didn’t look as old. However it actually faded fairly quickly.
The 1064nm wavelength was used to treat the black outlines, while the red, purple and yellow parts were treated with the 532nm. We always start with a very low fluence (power) for the first treatment as the 532nm is a more aggressive wavelength. If a client has a darker skin tone we would always carry out a patch test on a small area and wait until the next treatment to make sure there have been no unwanted effects on the skin. In the latter treatments we treated everything with 1064nm. There was a bit of oxidation on the yellow parts (trident and horns) and on parts which may have had some white ink (the whites of the eyes). These will lighten with further laser sessions, or eventually by themselves over time. After 6 treatments the tattoo is pretty well faded.
Ryan is very happy with the progress of his tattoo removal treatments. He will have 1 or two more treatments, but these will be spaced at least 12 weeks apart, rather than the 8 week intervals he had had before.
After treatment – We apply some antiseptic cream to the treatment area, and put on a simple dressing to protect it for the first 24 hours. After the first couple of treatments, Ryan experienced some slight blistering 24 hours after the treatment on his Tasmanian Devil. This sometimes happens and is difficult to predict. Blisters are a normal part of the process for some tattoos and they subside after a couple more days. The best thing to do is to try to avoid popping them, and covering them with a clean dressing to protect them.
Sun exposure should be avoided both before and after laser treatment. Obviously, in Ryan’s case he is very fair skinned, with lots of freckles, and no doubt avoids the sun anyway.
Equipment used – At Fade to Blank we use the Quanta Q-Plus C. This medical grade Q-switched laser is capable of removing even multi-coloured tattoos safely and effectively. Without the ruby laser, we would have found it difficult to get such a great result on the Tasmanian Devil. The 694nm (ruby) laser can remove those lighter blue and green inks that other laser clinics may not be able to.
No of treatments – 9 sessions on the Tasmanian Devil so far; 6 sessions on the baby devil.
Summary – It’s not always possible to predict how a tattoo will react to the laser. Types of ink, skin types, and age of tattoo all play a part in determining how many treatments a tattoo will need for full removal. In Ryan’s case he was lucky in that his tattoos were 20 years old. Older tattoos generally need fewer sessions than newer or fresh tattoos.
Ready to work with us at Fade to Blank?
At Fade to Blank we can remove your tattoo safely and effectively. Tattoo removal is a long process, and it requires patience and commitment. If you’re interested in having a tattoo removed, be sure to get in touch with us today and speak with one of our friendly consultants. We look forward to hearing from you.