The Apprentice winner on safe tattoo removal

It's more common than we think-you would be surprised how often people have feelings of regret when it comes to their tattoo.

At my London clinic, I've seen it all: from no longer loved football club logos, names of past lovers or the odd choice of Chinese symbol. Whether it came from a drunken holiday, a rebellious impulse, or a past love gesture; the truth is that a tattoo is a permanent masterpiece etched onto the skin and can often turn into a regret you feel you can't run or hide from.

How permanent is permanent?

According to a recent survey from the British Association of Dermatologists, 1 in 3 people suffer from tattoo regret, and 1 in 6 of these people are unaware of how advanced tattoo removal technologies have become.

For those who find themselves in this predicament, fear not. The answer to your tattoo problem is just a laser click away as, thanks to advanced medical grade lasers, permanent tattoos have finally met their match.

A few basic facts

I have found that there are a few common misconceptions to address when it comes to tattoo removal.

Contrary to common belief, tattoo removal does not involve burning the top layer of the skin off.  In fact, tattoo removal uses the same safe current as some laser hair removal machines.

Also, many people believe tattoo removal only works on black-ink tattoos, this is simply not true. A 1064nm YAG laser is used for darker colours such as black, blue and greens. For more colourful creations such as red, orange and yellows a 532nm wavelength is the one for you, although typically these shades are harder to remove.

How does it work?

To understand how a tattoo gets removed, it's important to first grasp what a tattoo really entails. Put simply, a tattoo is a permanent mark or design made on the body when pigment is inserted into the dermal later of the skin through ruptures in the skin's top layer

To remove a tattoo, the laser's current is altered to attack the colour with high peak releases of energy; this change is referred to as Q-switch. The current shatters the clusters of colour into smaller, more manageable particles. These particles are drained away using the body’s natural filter; namely the lymphatic system.

Each treatment can take as little as 10 minutes depending on the size of the tattoo. Treatments are performed normally 8 weeks apart and 6-8 treatments are required for the removal of a standard black, blue or green tattoo.

There is minimal downtime and the process is less painful than having the tattoo itself. Pricing varies, but is usually determined by the surface area of the design.

Does it really work?

Tattoo removal works to reduce the actual amount of ink in the area. This can work in several scenarios, whether you want to fade it to prep for a cover up tattoo, or remove it entirely; this treatment is the way forward.

Whatever the reason for getting the tattoo you no longer want was; it is never too late to opt for removal. Each tattoo tells a story, some are worth keeping while others aren’t so much – It is now within our control to decide what we want to look and feel like.

If a bad decision is making you feel regretful or self-conscious, then it is time to shed the negativity and introduce yourself to the laser.