Tattoos can be a great way to express your beliefs, remember a loved one, or just get a cool piece of art inked permanently on your body. But sometimes, if someone chooses an inexperienced tattoo artist and doesn’t quite get what they wanted, bad tattoos can become a burden to carry on your body. As a result, laser tattoo removal is fairly common, with about 11% of people who have tattoos having one removed (or are in the process of getting one removed). The tattoo removal method is still confusing to some people, so in this article we’re going to take a closer look at some frequently asked questions about tattoo removal.
How Does Laser Tattoo Removal Work?
Laser tattoo removal uses, you guessed it, lasers. The process involves the pigment in the tattoo absorbing the energy from the laser and then shatters into smaller pieces. This is done by the incredibly fast pulse of energy that is given off from the laser, causing a shockwave effect which in turn breaks up the ink. In order to fully remove the tattoo, lasers with different wavelengths can be used to treat different ink colors. Once the tattoo ink is shattered by the lasers, the body will naturally move fluid to the area to help flush the ink away. This may cause redness or swelling in the area.
Will the Tattoo Be Gone After One Session?
Unfortunately, laser tattoo removal doesn’t work like a magic eraser. Tattoo ink goes on in layers and the thick concentration of the ink cannot be completely broken down all at once. Each session will break up the ink further and further, each time causing the tattoo to fade more.
When Will My Tattoo Be Completely Gone?
The rate at which a tattoo fades depends on a few factors:
- Color: Some colors, like red and black, are easier to remove than other colors, like light green or light blue. Color plays a huge factor into how quickly tattoo removal works.
- Density: Tattoos with a lot of shading, which is easily removed, will most likely be completed removed after a few sessions. Areas with shading are a lot less dense, allowing the lasers to break up the ink easier.
- Age: Newer tattoos are more difficult to remove than older tattoos. Since newer tattoos have more pigmented ink, the lasers are not able to break up the ink as easily.
- Location: If a tattoo is on an area of the body with less circulation, it may take longer to show results. Since tattoo removal relies on the area to naturally flush away the shattered ink, areas that have more circulation will flush away the ink particles faster.
Laser tattoo removal can be a long process, but if you’re patient and determined, you can free your skin of your unwanted tattoo and go on to get something you really love.