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Frequently asked questions

  • How does skin rejuvenation work?
    With the help of a treatment with the Fractional Laser, aging skin can be combatted and revived, healthy skin can be achieved after just one treatment. Fractional Laser Skin Rejuvenation is a highly specialised skin rejuvenation treatment that can fight the signs of ageing while simultaneously treating the appearance of open pores, fine lines, sun damage, and pigmentation. It’s FDA approved, which means you can feel confident with both the procedure itself and our appearance medicine experts. The Fractional Laser is a very precise tool and can be used for small zones of skin with the surrounding areas remaining untouched. The laser pulse creates tiny holes – through the top two layers of skin – and then triggers your body’s natural healing processes so that new, healthy skin tissue grows from the edges of the microscopic hole. A breakthrough in non-invasive laser treatment, Q-switched laser uses heat and light energy in a series of nano pulses. This activates the skin’s natural healing process and collagen remodelling. It also promotes the growth of new, healthy cells, improves the appearance of fine lines, and targets unwanted brown spots and facial redness, for a more vibrant complexion. What areas can be treated? Fractional laser is an ideal treatment for the face, neck, chest, hands and other areas of the body with noticeable signs of aging, sun damage or scarring. Do treatments hurt? No – you will experience a gentle warming of your skin’s surface during the procedure. There is so little discomfort associated with this treatment that it can be performed without topical anaesthetics, and patients often describe the experience as relaxing and therapeutic. We do offer cooling options and topical anaesthetic if required. How long do treatments take? Treatments last only thirty to forty minutes, so can fit into your busy schedule – even your lunch break. What is recovery like? There is no downtime with this procedure. Afterwards, you may notice a slight redness, which will go away in a few hours. You can get back to your day immediately – just make sure you apply sunscreen, as your skin may be more sensitive. What results can I expect? You’ll immediately notice smoother, brighter, more youthful-looking skin with even tone after just one treatment. However, two to three treatments gives the best results. Is this right for me? The technology used in the Genesis Laser can deliver impressive results on all hair and skin types. Like most laser treatments, it is not suitable if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, and can be dangerous if you’re on certain blood-thinning medications or have skin conditions. The result of this treatment is fresh, healthy, smooth skin tissue instead of unsightly imperfections. This cutting edge technology can be used to treat: Fine lines Skin tone issues Brown spots Pore appearance Acne scars Surgical and traumatic scars. You will likely experience some immediate redness, which should subside within a few hours. This, and any other immediate side effects, can be neutralised by applying ice-packs to the treated area immediately after the procedure and for the rest of the day. For the first 3 to 4 days after treatment, your skin will be fragile. Take special care when you wash your face during this time – and avoid using facial scrubs, washcloths and buff puffs. You should already notice your skin looking better by this point, and the results will continue to improve over the following months. You must use a broad spectrum SPF 30+ sunscreen every day to prevent further damage. Our staff can provide you with advice and answer any of your questions or concerns - starting you on a suitable skincare regime to match up with your skin type and your requirements.
  • How does tattoo removal work?
    Our Quanta European-made Q-Swich ND: YAG Laser is considered the gold standard for laser tattoo removal. Laser tattoo removal produces fantastic results and is the preferred method of removing an unwanted tattoo. Q-switched lasers have been developed specifically for tattoo removal. They can shatter tattoo pigment by emitting high-intensity light which is delivered in ultra-short pulses. Because only the tattoo pigment is targeted, there is no damage to the surrounding tissue. This feature of the Q-switched technology has reduced the risk of scarring, once associated with tattoo removal, to now being virtually non-existent. Different colours of tattoo pigment will absorb different wavelengths of light. For this reason if you have a multi-coloured tattoo you want removed, it is important that you have your treatment done at a clinic with a laser capable of effectively delivering the required three wavelengths to erase all colours. Our highly trained technicians can explain the process at your consultation.
  • Does tattoo removal hurt?
    This is probably the first question on everyone's mind. It can sting a little and clients say it feels like having an elastic band flicked against your skin. At the Aotea Laser Clinic we cool the area throughout the procedure making it as comfortable as possible. For sensitive areas, we can recommend a topical anaesthetic to minimize discomfort. We can discuss pain relieving techniques at your consultation. On the plus side, treatments are very quick, typically taking five minutes for small a tattoo and ranging from 15-20 minutes for larger one. If you can handle getting tattooed, you will be able to manage the mild discomfort of tattoo removal. You can prepare for your session with Emla numbing cream. When applied correctly, it has amazing numbing results. You can purchase this cream through us or at most pharmacies.
  • How much does treatment cost?
    The prices given on our Pricing guide page are a guide only and pricing will vary depending on: Size and age of the tattoo, colours used, depth and type of ink, location of the tattoo, whether it was professionally done or homemade, your general level of health, and whether you are a smoker or not. ​ If you would like to get an estimate of cost for removal and the number of sessions likely required, please email, including a picture of your tattoo and its measurements. Please be aware that laser tattoo removal is a process that you must have patience with as well as realistic expectations. The laser sessions must be combined with good general health practices and correct spacing in between sessions to achieve the best results. A price guide quote will give you an indication, but will need to be confirmed via a free in-person consultation before treatment can begin.
  • What can I expect after the treatment?
    Immediately after the procedure there will be whitening of the treated area called frosting. This is due to the energy created in the break-down of the ink particles and will subside within an hour. The body will respond to the treatment by moving fluid to the area to help flush away the ink. This immune-response will be obvious in the form of some swelling and redness in the area and may feel like mild sunburn. An antibacterial ointment and a dressing will be applied to the area. The treated area should be kept clean with continued application of any ointment given to you by your physician. A shower can be taken but you must keep the skin clean and dry for 5-7 seven days and the treated area should not be scrubbed. Recovery times depend on the extent of the treatment and the individual’s capacity to heal. Redness and sensitivity may continue for several weeks, and there may be discoloration and a change in skin texture in the area, which will gradually improve. We provide our patients with detailed aftercare instructions to help them manage their skin after the treatment. Adherence to these instructions will contribute significantly to achieving the great results you desire. Most people are satisfied with the pigment removal achieved through laser treatment. However, It is important to remember that your skin will never look as it did before you had the tattoo, even though the tattooed pigment has been removed.
  • How good is the Quanta laser machine technology used?
    Quanta lasers are state of the art machines at the forefront of laser technology. It has three wavelengths that can remove most tattoo colours from most skin types. At your consutation we'll assess the best form of treatment for you. Pkease click here for more information about the Quanta Evolution laser.
  • Can you give me a quote via email?
    If you would like to get an estimate of cost for removal and the number of sessions likely required, please email andrew@aotealaserclinic and include a picture of your tattoo and state its measurements. This pricing will give you an indication, but will need to be confirmed via a free in-person consultation before treatment can begin.
  • How many treatment sessions are needed?
    If you are in good health, have realistic expectations and do not have hypo-/hyper- pigmentation, tanned or Keiloid scarring in your family or personal history, you may be a good candidate for Laser Tattoo Removal. On the average, professional tattoos require 6-8 treatments, while amateur tattoos require 4-6 treatments, all spaced at least 6 weeks apart - we will often recommend leaving it longer as the body will continue to remove ink particles over time. The number of treatments depends on the amount and type of ink used and the depth of the ink in the skin. Not all colours will disapear as easily as others. Dark blue/black and red inks fade the best. Oranges and purples usually respond well. However, green and yellow inks are the most difficult to remove, although additional treatments can produce significant fading. Like a tattoo itself, laser tattoo removal can be a time-consuming process, which takes commitment and perseverance. As well as your commitment, though, there are other factors that affect the length and effectiveness of laser tattoo removal. 1. Skin tone Tattoos are designed to be permanent. The ink used in tattoos penetrates the second layer of skin called the ‘dermis’ which is protected from all outside elements by the first layer of skin, called the ‘Epidermis’. For a tattoo to be removed, a laser is used to penetrate the dermis whilst leaving the epidermis without any damage. Skin tone can affect the length of time it takes for a laser to penetrate the dermis. Darker skin tones, on average, take a lot longer to successfully achieve a tattoo-free look. The reason for this is because a higher wavelength laser is required, which causes less damage, but is less effective at tattoo removal. A low frequency wavelength on dark skin can cause scarring or hyper/hypo pigmentation. 2. Ink quality/ink types Tattoos are not just unique in their design – they are unique in their composition. All tattoo artists use a variety of compounds to create tattoo pigment. The trouble is tattoo artists can’t determine the exact make-up of each tattoo pigment. This composition does not only include colours – it also includes ink quality and ink type. Common inks include homemade concoctions, Henna, Kuro Sumi, Intenze, plus many more. Some compounds in ink, such as beryllium, are hard to laser remove. 3. Tattoo location The success of a laser tattoo removal will often be determined by where it is located. As a general rule, the closer the tattoo is to your heart, the more effectively it can be removed. Areas of the body with a large blood and lymph node count, such as the face and neck, are the easiest to work on. The upper and lower back also have a high blood and lymph node count, as do arms and legs. The lower down the body a tattoo is, though, the harder it is to remove due to the lower blood and lymph node count. The Wall Street Journal cites location as a key factor in tattoo removal. 4. Aftercare When a tattoo is made, there are several things that happen to your skin. The major issue is damage to the epidermis, which is a given – although quality tattoos heal well, lower quality one’s heal more slowly and can result in scarring (even if it is not visible). Scar tissue is harder to remove a tattoo from than regular skin. 5. Size of tattoo The size of your tattoo is one of the biggest factors with regard to how many tattoo removal sessions you will require. For example, a 3cm x 3cm heart on your arm will take fewer sessions than a half or full sleeve tattoo. 6. Age of tattoo As tattoos age they sink into the skin more. That’s why some tattoos appeal ‘faded’ as they get older. In general, an older tattoo will take less sessions to remove than a new tattoo. 7. Ink colours Contrary to what you might think, darker inks are actually easier to remove than lighter inks, with black ink being the easiest to remove. Most traditional lasers such as the Nd:Yag struggle to remove green, pale blue, and yellow, but the Quanta with Ruby lasers can treat these colours effectively. For more information on the easiest and hardest ink colours to remove read this post. 8. Depth of ink Depth of ink refers to the level of penetration ink makes into the dermis (second layer of skin). Professional tattoo artist tend to use more ink and penetrate a little deeper than amateurs. The further the ink is in, the harder it is to remove. 9. Immune system Your immune system is a vital component to good laser tattoo removal. In fact, your immune system does ALL of the work, after a laser session, of course. A healthy immune system will remove destroyed ink efficiently, using Macrophages. Macrophages eat and destroy alien bodies, including ink. For further reading, Harvard Medical School have a great piece about boosting your immune system. 10. Smoking Research from Italy has found that smoking can reduce the chances of successful tattoo removal by 70% over a ten session period! That number halves to 35% over 20 sessions. If you are serious about getting rid of your unwanted tattoos then smoking is a no-no! 11. Sun exposure Laser tattoo removal cannot be performed on sun burnt skin. On tanned skin, the chances of effectiveness are slightly reduced. Also, the avoidance of sun exposure is highly recommended before, during and after treatments. If sun exposure can’t be avoided then cover the area loosely and don’t spend longer than 10 minutes in the sun at any one time. 12. Scarring Tattoos may result in increased collagen deposition in the skin, with potential for scar formation. If the original application of a tattoo left some scarring then removing the ink will be more difficult and likely require more treatments. 13. Cover-ups Cover ups involve tattooing a pigment similar to skin tone on top of an existing tattoo. Cover ups add to the amount of ink in the skin and therefore will require more tattoo removal treatments. 14. Type of laser There are a few different types of laser used in the removal of tattoos. Traditional Q-Switched lasers are among the most common and can take around 10 – 20 sessions to achieve a good clearance. With the new Quanta nanoscond laser you can expect to see more complete tattoo removal up to 75% quicker than traditional lasers. Traditional lasers heat the ink in your tattoo breaking it into small pieces, but the patented impact from the Quanta laser shatters the ink into tiny particles which are more easily disposed of by your body. If you are having a tattoo removed soon or if you’re considering it, it’s important to take into account each of the factors above (especially smoking). These will all contribute to the length of time it will take for a safe laser tattoo removal and ultimately, the cost. Prior to any removal, a consultation will be required and then a small patch test to see how your tattooed skin reacts to the laser.
  • Do you offer appointments outside of normal office hours?
    Yes, our clinic has hours in the evening at at the weekend, making it easy to schedule an appointment around your work, family and other commitments. Contact us to arrange a time that suits you.
  • Do you offer payment plans?
    We accept Humm (formerly Oxipay), which allows you to spread the cost of your payments. See the Shop Humm website for more information.
  • Are gift vouchers available?
    They certainly are. Just contact us and we can organise one for you.
  • Do you have a question that we haven’t answered?
    Please contact us and we will endeavour to answer any question you might have.
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