Here is a more detailed explanation of the most frequently asked tattoo removal questions.

Our state of the art laser produces a very high power in quick pulses. The light energy produced tends to pass through normally pigmented skin and specifically targets the pigment on the tattoo ink deep in the dermis layer. As the ink absorbs this light energy, the ink breaks down into smaller particles which are then evacuated from the body through normal immune response. As the ink particles are removed, the tattoo begins to fade. Multiple treatments will be required.

Depending on the tattoo and the result required (removal or cover up) up to 12 or more sessions may be required. It can be as little as 2/3 sessions but important to set realistic expectations.

Treatment sessions are minimum 6-8 weeks apart. The removal of a tattoo is a long process and clients are advised to be patient.

Treatment prices are between £30 to £80 per session depending on type of tattoo, size and colours used. We will be able give you a full quote during your consultation and test patch. A consultation and test patch takes approx 30 minutes and costs £20.

At Zero ink we keep our overheads low and can therefore pass the savings on to you. You can check out our pricing page here

Lasers will cause some discomfort and it is usual to experience a small amount of pain in the area afterwards The laser pulses have been likened to having your skin ‘pinged’ with an elastic band. This is usually tolerated by most people without any anesthetic.

However, some areas can prove more sensitive than others, especially around the ankles or the shoulder blade.

Fortunately, the discomfort does decrease as treatment progresses and the tattoo pigments fade. Most people will be able to tolerate the treatment but anaesthetic cream can be used if required.

Not normally, It is very unusual to develop any scarring but it is a possibility, especially with poor aftercare (there is a reported 5% chance of scarring following tattoo removal treatments).

The laser operated at our studio is specially designed for Tattoo Removals and Reduction. The low pulse width of our laser reduces the risk of scarring.

Tattoo removal lasers are very safe for use when used by a trained laser operator with correct working procedure and proper safety equipment (goggles to protect the eyes).

The radiation emitted by a tattoo removal laser is non-ionizing and carries no risk of cancer or other abnormal cell growth.
The procedure is non-surgical and non-invasive.

Straight after treatment the area will feel hot and skin will form a white frosting effect, these are water vapour spots created by the intense heat under the skin, and might be flat or slightly raised. This change usually lasts no more than a few minutes before it disappears, this is perfectly normal and a good sign that the treatment is working.
The white spots start to fade quickly and the remaining ink will start to show through.

Usually between 5 and 30 minutes, longer sessions could cause too much trauma to the skin so are not recommended, this means that larger tattoos need to be treated in several separate sittings 2 – 3 weeks apart.

Most side effects of laser procedures are temporary, generally few and to be expected. Normally symptoms will subside within a week and may include:

  • Localised Swelling and Redness – The most common side effects and could feel similar to sunburn for a day or two
  • Blistering – Not common but when blistering occurs, this is part of the normal healing process and the skin will heal nicely afterwards as long as you do not pick and scratch the scab.
  • Infection – There is always a risk of infection to the area after treatment. A good level of hygiene is important.
  • Scabbing – If you do experience blistering and/or bleeding, when the scab forms as with any healing wound it is very important not to pick any scabbing as this could cause scarring and impair further treatments.
  • Hypopigmentation – Loss of skin colour may occur. But, normal skin tone should return within 6 -12 months.
  • Hyperpigmentation – An abundance of colour in the skin at the treated area. More common in patients with darker skin types and patients with fresh tans.
  • Sunburn – A risk that follows treatment, It is important that you keep the area covered in a minimum factor 25 suncream at all times when the area is not covered by clothing or a dressing.
  • Slight pin-prick bleeding or weeping – This is all normal and nothing to worry about
  • Allergic Reaction – A possible development an allergic reaction to your tattoo dye as it is released into your system.

Detailed written aftercare instructions will be provided at your consultation – PLEASE follow them to the letter and do not listen to friends who inevitably will have well intentioned advice. The care routine is different to having a tattoo – please follow the provided aftercare instructions.

Certain medical conditions and medications would make exposure to the laser treatment dangerous to you.

Patients that should not be treated:

  • Pregnancy, or a patient trying to become pregnant.
  • Breast feeding,
  • Chemotherapy within last 6 months because of sensitivity to light and compromised status of immune system
  • Users of Accutane or Tretinoin-Retin A within last 6 months for the treatment of acne or other dermatological conditions.
  • Type I Diabetes
  • Bleeding Disorders
  • Anyone with an immune system disorder
  • Active Infections or inflammatory skin conditions at the treatment site
  • Tanned or sunburned skin in area of tattoo
  • Thrombocytopenia
  • Peripheral Vascular Disease
  • Anaemia
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis/Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Chronic Disease (Crohn’s Disease, IBD, etc.)
  • Renal Failure (Acute or Chronic)
  • Malignancy
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Epilepsy (because repeated flash may induce a fit)
  • Collagen Vascular Diseases
  • Used St. John’s Wort (herbal remedy) in the past 3 months
  • Waxing, plucking, sugaring or threading depilation treatment of the area in the previous 4~6 weeks
  • Surgical metal pins or plates under tissue to be treated
  • Wearing a pacemaker
  • Taking any topical medication (e.g. hydrocortisone) or is wearing perfumes, deodorants, sun block, oils etc (which could cause photosensitivity)

*Some conditions will only temporarily prevent you from undergoing laser treatment, medical contraindications will be discussed during your consultation.

Patients to exercise extra precautions or care with:

  • Allergic reaction to ink, primarily red tattoo ink, may lead to increased chance of anaphylaxis. Either should not be treated or patient should take Claritin or Benadryl prior to treatment and for at least 3 days while they are healing.
  • Darker skin types because of increased chance of hypo/hyperpigmentation
  • History of keloid scarring.
  • History of hyper or Hypopigmentation
  • Antibiotic use may cause an increase sensitivity to light.

Other Conditions to Consider:
Chronic disease because of delay in healing. These patients may need longer between treatments to heal. Older clients may also take longer to heal. We are not registered to treat clients under 18 years of age


Possibly, modern lasers can give fantastic results but there are no guarantees. Sometimes the total elimination of the tattoo is not possible despite the use of the most advanced tattoo removal equipment.

There are many factors that can affect treatment results such as:

  • Age of tattoo
  • Application method
  • Type of ink used
  • Depth of ink
  • Depth of colour
  • Area of tattoo
  • Your healing ability
  • Skin type

Tattoos that are carried out by professionals are usually more difficult to remove as the ink pigment is applied deeper in the skin, they contain more pigment colours and there is usually much more detail in the design.

Sometimes amateur tattooists create pocket of inks that are too deep and extremely difficult to eradicate completely.

We insist that a patch test is always carried out on your tattoo before any course of treatments can begin so that potential complications of laser treatment can be predicted. See progress pictures here

No. Our ND Double YAG Machine works best on tattoos of black ink but can also be used on many other colours. As the laser is attracted to the darker areas, fair coloured skin gives a greater contrast allowing the laser to work more effectively. Black ink is also able to absorb the full spectrum of light.

A wide range of other colours can usually be removed successfully or lightened to a large degree:
Brown, Red*, Orange, Darker Green, Blue, Purple

The most difficult colours to remove are pastel colours such as:
Light Green, Pale Blue, Teal, Turquoise, Pink*

These colours may be lightened, but it is difficult to remove them completely. If you are looking to cover-up your tattoo with a new design these pastel colours are usually easy to cover.

Occasionally the tattoo may go darker where the ingredients in certain ink colours carbonise. This irreversible darkening is sometimes seen with the following colours: White, Pink, Flesh Tone colours,Fluorescent or Ultra-Violet, Light Brown, Red

Although these complications are rare, it is one of the reasons we insist on a patch test for each colour in the tattoo so that potentially rare complications can be predicted before undergoing laser treatment.

We will discuss your individual tattoo at the consultation and if you have colours that do not respond.

Be careful of any Southampton based tattoo removal company claiming they can remove green or pale blue are just interested in taking your money. Only a Ruby laser can achieve this and no one currently has one except skin clinic which charge much more than us. Please check our pricing page

Yes. Our lasers are very accurate. We can take the face off your pin up girl to have it redone. We can take just the name off pieces or remove misspelt letters.

Yes, once the treatment site has fully healed you can have a tattoo on the same area. We recommend a minimum of 6 months after your last treatment.

Occasionally you will but usually the tattoo will look normal again after treatment. The main fading is in the first 4-6 weeks after treatment.

No, The targeted ink takes time to break down and be removed by the body. Visits are scheduled 6 weeks apart to allow the body to absorb and dissolve the disrupted ink.

If you have any other questions or would like to discuss any of the questions further then please contact us.