So – you've decided to embark on some laser tattoo removal treatment to get rid of that old, ugly tattoo that seemed such a good idea at the time?

Congratulations – me too – I'm presently 3 sessions into my own laser tattoo removal treatment.

Assuming you're already au fait with the pros and cons of laser tattoo removal versus other methods, and you're aware of the cost of what may be up to 12 sessions (or more) to be rid of the damned thing, your next step is choosing someone you feel comfortable with to work with on the laser tattoo removal treatment.

Previously, laser tattoo removal treatment used to be purely the province of expensive cosmetic surgery clinics. However, these days it is not uncommon for beauty salons and tattoo parlours to also offer the procedure. But don't be swayed by price alone and risk letting an inexperienced person loose on you with a laser – the results could be disastrous.

Here are some important questions to ask about laser tattoo removal treatment:

Ask what kind of tattoo removal laser they use.

Are they using a Q-switched laser, or IPL (Intense Pulsed Light)? The Q-switched laser is widely regarded as the best.

What laser tattoo removal treatment training have they had?

Beware of someone who has only taken a short course in laser tattoo removal treatments - experience matters when it comes to getting the right results.

How much experience do they have of laser tattoo removal and using the laser?

Ask to see before and after photos and ask for references of happy customers. Any reputable removal expert will willingly provide these.

Is the environment clean and hygienic?

If it's a grubby little room, how can you be sure the equipment is well maintained and they will operate in a sterile environment? A skin infection is the last thing you need.

Do you feel comfortable with the person offering the laser tattoo removal treatment, or are you only introduced to a colleague/feel not listened to?

Are they too focused on selling you the treatment, or do you feel that they will actually care enough to do a good job?

Just as many of us made rash decisions when we chose to have our tattoos applied, many can make rash decisions in choosing the person to remove the tattoo. A poor choice can result in a more painful laser tattoo removal treatment, mean there are more sessions required to complete the process and make what is already an uncomfortable experience a potentially dangerous one.

Personally, after visiting a selection of local businesses offering laser tattoo removal treatments, I chose my local tattoo studio to remove mine, who are an extremely professional and a well-established outfit. They understand removal just as well as application, and my laser tattoo removal expert, Dave, was more than happy to answer all my questions at length and show me his results before I chose to proceed.

And yes, for the record, having laser tattoo removal treatment is infinitely more painful than having it applied – more's the pity!

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