Tattoo Removal

A tattoo may seem like a good idea at the time, but you might regret the decision later on. Leading plastic surgeons and dermatologists regard laser as the superior method for the removal of unwanted amateur and professional tattoos. No single laser can remove all types of tattoo ink. Cambridge Skin & Laser Clinic offers 3 laser systems to ensure optimal removal:

Q-switched Nd:YAG for removal of dark blue, black, grey & white ink
Q-switched Ruby for black, sky blue & green ink
Q-switched KTP laser for red, purple, orange & brown ink

The removal of a multicoloured tattoo requires the use of these different laser systems in combination to ensure superior results.

Before Treatment During Treatment Almost Completed
Multicoloured tattoo before treatment
During treatment
Almost completed

Because we offer the entire range of tattoo removal lasers we can truly recommend the system that is best suited to your tattoo and skin type. Whichever system we recommend, you can be assured that we are not using it because it is all we have to offer but because it is the best choice for you.

Our expert medical team has in excess of 15 years laser experience and have completed more than 40,000 successful treatments. Rest assured you are in safe hands. All procedures at Cambridge Skin & Laser Clinic are performed by fully qualified doctors and nurses. We do not employ therapists or technicians to operate our laser systems. To ensure the highest ethical standards are maintained at all times, staff at Cambridge Skin and Laser Clinic are never offered bonus incentives to sell treatments.

All consultations are free of charge so why not call our team of experts today?

How does the laser work?

Tattoo ink particles are too large for the body’s immune system to remove naturally because when tattoo pigment is injected into the lower layers of the skin (dermis) it becomes locked away by a wall of collagen fibres. Q-switched lasers produce very short bursts of high energy laser light. The light is absorbed by the large ink particles, generating heat that shatters the tattoo pigment into minute particles which the body is able to remove. Because the laser energy is selectively absorbed by the tattoo ink, the surrounding skin doesn’t overheat and there is no lasting damage.

Do other light treatments effectively remove tattoos?

IPL (intense pulsed light) is increasingly being advertised as an effective alternative for tattoo removal. Because these systems are not Q-switched they allow heat to build up in the tissues around the tattoo resulting in an increased risk of skin damage and scarring. Low powered Q-switched Nd:YAG lasers are now also available. These pain free lasers typically generate less that one tenth the energy that clinical evidence suggests is required for optimal tattoo removal. At Cambridge Skin & Laser Clinic we only use the latest high powered Q switched Ruby, Nd:YAG and KTP lasers, ensuring superior results.

How many treatments are required to remove a tattoo?

Most amateur tattoos require 3 to 5 treatment sessions at monthly intervals. Most professional tattoos require 8 to 12 treatment sessions at monthly intervals.

What are the costs likely to be?

The cost of each session depends on the size and colour of the tattoo. The total cost of the tattoo removal depends on the number of treatments needed and this varies considerably from patient to patient.Prices start from £60 per session.

Do all tattoos respond to treatment?

In the majority of cases we are able to remove most tattoos. No one laser can remove all types of tattoo ink; this is why we use 3 different lasers on site to ensure optimal results.

How long does it take and does it hurt?

Typical treatment sessions last between 5 and 40 minutes depending on the size of the tattoo.The lasers do cause discomfort during treatment, similar to being “snapped” with a rubber band. Most patients equate the pain of tattoo removal with the pain of getting the tattoo. Some areas are more sensitive than others, such as ankles and the shoulder blade. The pain tends to decrease as treatment progresses and the tattoo ink fades. Most patients tolerate the discomfort of treatment very well, but a local anaesthetic is available if required.

Are there any after-effects following treatment?

Redness and swelling may occur, similar to sunburn. This settles within a few days. Some patients may blister, which is quite normal and does not indicate potential scarring. Blistering does not require treatment and will usually clear within days. The treated area should not be exposed to strong sunlight between sessions without the use of sunblock (SPF 30).

Does the treatment scar?

Our lasers are Q-switched, this means the lasers deliver high power in a very short pulse (25 billionths of a second!) there is normally no lasting damage to the skin. Very occasionally, mild changes in skin texture may occur.

Will the skin be normal when the treatment is finished?

Both Ruby lasers and KTP lasers are absorbed by skin pigment as well as tattoo ink. Darker skinned patients may notice some lightening of the skin (depigmentation). This usually returns to normal in 6 to 12 months. We tend to limit treatment for darker skinned patients to the Nd:YAG laser as the risk of pigment change is less.

Who performs the treatment?

All procedures at Cambridge Skin & Laser Clinic are performed by fully qualified doctors and nurses. We do not employ therapists or technicians to operate our laser systems.

Is laser treatment safe?

There is no evidence whatsoever to suggest that the treatment can lead to skin disorders or an increased risk of cancer. Our laser centre is registered with the Healthcare Commission ensuring the highest level of safety for the patient. Our lasers are cleared by the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and have full CE clearance for Europe.

Non Laser Tattoo Removal

Other methods are available to remove tattoos without the use of a laser. Unfortunately they usually carry high risks of complications and often deliver poor results.

Organic Creams

These chemical irritants encourage the body to stimulate an inflammatory reaction resulting in ejection of the cream and the ink. The result is a high risk of scarring, usual depigmentation and considerably long recovery time.


Skin grafting involves surgical excision of the tattoo followed by removal of skin from another area of the body to treat the original wound. The result is 2 separate areas of scarring.


This involves stripping off layers of skin either superficially or deep down into the dermis in an attempt to remove the tattoo pigment. The result ranges from partial thickness to full thickness scarring.

Acid Tattooing

Acids can remove tattoo pigment either by bleaching the skin or by expulsion of the tattoo ink during the acid burn healing process. The result is usually high levels of scarring and pigment change and only partial removal of the tattoo.


Although not removal, this cover up method is a temporarily effective measure to disguise the presence of an unwanted tattoo.

2 x 2 cm
3 x 3 cm
4 x 4 cm

Please Note: prices quoted are per session and approximate guide. They relate to solid blocks of tattoo pigment and not tattoo size. If you require a more accurate pricing prior to consultation please contact us directly.

Prices are normally fixed for session 1 to 10, sessions 11 to 15 are at a reduced price if the area needing treatment is significantly reduced.

Although laser treatment for tattoos may seem expensive, one must bear in mind the enormous acquisition and maintenance costs of the laser devices.

I went for laser tattoo removal for a few treatments at a clinic in Northamptonshire. It hurt like hell, bled a lot and scabbed over afterwards. I started coming to Cambridge Skin & Laser Clinic privately because it was nearer and that’s when I discovered Cryo and realised that laser tattoo removal doesn’t have to hurt. Also I don’t get the bleeding and scabs because the Cryo protects yours skin. CSL also have different laser types for different colours so after a course of treatment here my tattoo has virtually gone. I am very pleased with the results.

Sarah From Huntingdon

I had tattoos done on both forearms in the early seventies. I still can’t imagine why I had them done; it seemed like a good idea at the time. It was a big mistake! As time went by I felt more and more embarrassed by them. I would always wear long sleeve shirts, even in hot weather. I started having laser treatment in 2000 at a laser clinic in London using a Yag and Ruby laser and the treatment lasted for about half an hour. The tattoos gradually began to fade after about a year. The laser clinic closed down in about 2002 and I went to another laser clinic in North London and then in Harley Street. The clinic in North London only used Ruby lasers and over a period of time they began to fade even more until I was left with only green pigment in the skin, the hardest colour to remove.

I have now been attending Cambridge Skin & Laser Clinic and the new equipment that is now in use has made a dramatic difference. Now after nearly seven years they are nearly gone with only slight touching up required and I am very pleased with the result.

Peter from Cambridge

I am a 58 year old man with amateur tattoos on both hands and arms. These were done by myself at the age of 15, when I was easily led by others. By the age of 18, I joined the RAF and it was then that I started to become self conscious. Upon leaving the forces 5 years later, my thoughts were now concentrated on a new career. I knew that the tattoos would now be a bigger problem.

Upon interview for a Police Officer several years later my application was declined because of them. After seven treatments at the laser clinic people are now commenting on how different they are to see. This has boosted my confidence and made me more comfortable in social environments. I am predicted another two treatments, by which time my hands will be completely clear.


Nathan & Staff

Just a note to say a "big thank you". My tattoo removal has honestly changed things in my life, i.e. my confidence.

I have worn T-shirts for the first time in 15 years – it’s great. It means so much to me and Claire and Oliver.

Thank you


Call us on 01223 844544

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