Ask Dr Kevin Chua: Tattoo Removal

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Dr Kevin Chua founded Dr Kevin Chua Medical & Aesthetics in 2008 and is one of Singapore’s most respected doctors. Kevin actively pursues all areas of general practice with a special interest in aesthetics – he is certified in pigment lasers for tattoo removal, chemical peels, soft tissue fillers and operation of skin tightening devices by Aesthetic Dermatology Educational Group.

Tattoo removal is painful and tedious. If you’re thinking of making the ink on your body disappear, get free medical advice online from Dr Kevin Chua, a tattoo removal expert on DoctorxDentist Sessions. He has successfully removed the tattoos of more than 2,000 patients in the course of his career!

Dr Kevin answered readers’ questions about: 

  • tattoo removal process
  • types of lasers for tattoo removal
  • pico-second laser for tattoo
  • cost of tattoo removal in Singapore
How much does laser tattoo removal cost in Singapore, and what affects the costs of tattoo removal?

Generally, tattoo removal will cost approximately $2,000 for a simple single coloured tattoo. For more complicated tattoos, it can cost up to $4,500 to remove.

There are many different types of lasers available on the market right now. Typically, each laser session costs from $800 – $1,300.

Can tattoos be completely removed in 1 session?

I’m afraid that it would not be possible unless your tattoo has very little ink to begin with. Most tattoos usually require 3 to 12 sessions depending on the laser used and the person using it.

How long does it take to completely remove a tattoo? (photo)

Most black ink tattoos take about 3 to 12 months depending on the type of laser technology used. Colorful tattoos such as yours are harder to treat.

On an average, each laser treatment is spaced out between four to six weeks as stacking the treatments too closely together can cause damage and possibly leave you with scars.

Which tattoo ink colours are the easiest to remove?

Before the PicoWay arrived, it was green and sky blue. I would say that the hardest colour to remove is now red/brown. Black ink is the easiest and most straightforward colour to remove.

How painful is laser tattoo removal?

It is unfortunately quite painful.  Pain is of course, very subjective so it depends very much on the pain threshold of every person as well as the location of the tattoo.

The parts of our skin, which have more nerve endings, will have a stronger sensation. Areas such as the face, neck and fingers are more sensitive. These are areas where you might feel more pain as compared to the shoulder or forearm.  

Which is best for tattoo removal between laser removal, microdermabrasion or surgical excision?

The best method for tattoo removal remains the laser. Choosing the right person to do the job is just as important as the laser technology used.

How effective is laser tattoo removal? (photo)

100% clearance is possible but should be treated as an exception. My goal is to reduce most of the tattoos I treat to 90-95% faded. Your body’s immune system will continue to flush away the ink over time.

How effective is laser tattoo removal for dark skin? (photo)

Your skin color will be absorbing the laser energy as well as the tattoo ink. The darker you are, the more melanin you have. This also absorbs the laser energy in addition to the tattoo ink.

It is possible to remove your tattoo, except that you may very likely require more sessions when compared to someone with a lighter skin tone since I need to be more conservative with the energy settings used.

How far apart should each laser tattoo removal session be?

Your skin needs time to heal. Attempting to remove a tattoo whilst it is still healing only increases your chance of scarring.

Minimally, I would advise four to six weeks between each laser treatment.

How effective is tattoo removal cream?

I’m afraid that it is not very effective. I have seen these creams advertised as well and I have interviewed some of my patients who have used them.

The consensus is that the results are marginal, if any, at best.

How can I get the best results after tattoo removal, and what is the recovery process like?

It is very important to adopt proper post laser aftercare for the entire recovery process. After each treatment, the treated area may seem like a superficial burn wound and you need to treat it like an open wound.

How much scarring can I expect after tattoo removal?

Tattoo removal typically doesn’t cause scarring. However, there is still a chance that your skin will scar because it’s fighting against the trauma of tattooing and laser removal. There are also instances where patients scratch the wound while it’s healing and dig out the good skin cells, which leads to scarring.

How fast can one expect to see results after tattoo removal?

Many patients are eager to see immediate results, but it is important for you to understand that the tattoo removal s a long drawn out process and it takes time. Patience is key!

How can I find the best doctors for tattoo removal in Singapore?

Information is easily available online. It is also in the palm of your hands.  I would do a search on your favorite search engine either on your smart phone or computer and read a few reviews before making a decision on the ideal person to help remove your tattoos.

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