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Laser Tattoo Removal

Tattoos have become very popular over the past few years. In fact a recent study found around one fifth of all adults in the U.K. have one (even the prime minister’s wife!). Although most people love their tattoo once it’s finished, there are also those who do not and wish it to be changed or removed. The Nd:YAG laser allows for accurate removal of tattoo ink meaning that tattoos can be faded, modified or completely removed. Fading of a tattoo allows for an effective cover up tattoo to be placed which can either incorporate or block out the original.

At Blairgowrie Dental Care our three principle dentists – Neil Rutherford, Claire Williams and Stewart McLean, have been fully trained in laser tattoo removal. This has included training by a Health and Care Professions Council Scientist, testing using a British Medical Laser Association (BMLA) approved exam, on site training and practical ‘hands on’ sessions using the Nd:YAG laser. Neil is also currently a member of the BMLA. All laser treatments are carried out within the practice where we adhere to the most up to date cross infection and disinfection policies for the medical profession.


The laser works by breaking up the ink particles into small particles allowing your body to get rid it. It requires several sessions, the number being dependent upon the size of tattoo, density/type/colour of ink and patient response to the treatment. It is important to leave a sufficient amount of time (usually 6-7 weeks) between laser treatments of the same area to allow your body to clear away the ink particles.

The easiest to remove tattoos are those which have been either been done by an amateur, older tattoos and tattoos with a lower density of ink e.g. line drawings or text.

Green and yellow ink are the most difficult to remove and, depending upon how the ink has been made, may not be able to be removed. White and fluorescent inks are unfortunately impossible to remove.


When we are treating larger tattoos it is more effective to concentrate on ‘sections’ of the tattoo rather than laser the whole area. This results in quicker healing and allows the body to rid itself of the ink more effficiently.

Our laser is incredibly accurate and allows us to fade back or remove areas of ink without affecting the overall look of the tattoo. This is very uselful when adjusting larger tattoos or sleeves allowing us to remove, for example a name, and replace it with a more 'up to date' one.

The first step in the whole process is contacting our reception and arranging an appointment for a consultation. We will require a full and detailed medical history form to be completed on arrival so please bring a note of any medicines you may be taking along with you. There will be a screening to ensure you are suitable for laser tattoo removal and if this all checks out then we can begin by carrying out a 'test patch' - small area of the different coloured inks is lasered. This gives you the chance to experience the sensation of the laser and also allows us to gauge the response of the tattoo and of your skin

The test patch shown above shows a typical reaction to the laser - small white blisters. There can also sometimes be a little bleeding from the area.

DOES IT HURT? - Different people and different tattoos respond differently. Our experience in anaesthesia and pain relief from dentistry allows us to provide you with a variety of options for pain relief including numbing creams and cold packs. The majority of people do, however, manage with no anaesthesia. The procedure is very quick and we even have a T.V. on the ceiling which you can watch to take your mind off it. The best description of the sensation of the laser (without numbing cream) we have heard is -

 'its like an elastic band flicking on your skin'

Some people decide that after the test patch they would like to use a numbing cream for the subsequent treatments. This can be purchased at our reception and works very well when applied 1 hour before appointments.

Aftercare following laser tattoo removal sessions is extremely important, especially if a cover up tattoo is planned. An instruction leaflet will be given to you following your treatment detailing all the do's and dont's. If you require this information please follow this link to our FAQ section and scroll to the end of the list -

COST - £25 for consultation and test patch and then £50 per treatment session.

If you have any questions or queries regarding laser tattoo removal please contact us by following this link -


If you have any further questions then please visit our FAQ page. We are always adding to this, however if we haven't included the Question and Answer that you'd like covered please let us know via our Contact Us form.
Last updated 28th June 2016