There used to be a time when getting a tattoo meant an ink etching would be a permanent feature on your body forever.
But fast-forward to the 21st century and this is no longer the case. Nowadays, you have the option of removing a regrettable tattoo choice, perhaps made in haste!
Tattoos have been around for a few millennia now, so naturally, the process of inking and removal has grown in leaps and bounds.
If you’re considering tattoo removal but unsure of what to expect during this process, find everything you need to know in this blog.
Everything You Need to Know about Tattoo Removal
Tattoos have become a huge part of mainstream culture today. In fact, you may be hard-pressed to find an adult without a tattoo somewhere on their body.
The stigma of tattoos has faded over time, but a regrettable tattoo choice is something that can really haunt you forever.
Luckily, with the advancement of technology and technique, these tattoo choices can be undone and forgotten.
So if you’ve been peering at a particular ink etching and wondering can tattoos be removed? We outline it all for you, here.
How are Tattoos Removed?
As soon as you receive a tattoo your body immediately begins to the process of eliminating it. A rush of white blood cells floods the area, trying to remove the ink particles which are seen as foreign objects in your skin.
However, the ink particles are a little too large to be fully removed by these white blood cells. The most they can do is slowly erode these ink particles – contributing to tattoo fade over time.
Laser tattoo removal is performed using an ultra-short pulse laser which sends short blasts of heat to the area to break up the ink particles.
The effectiveness of laser tattoo removal also depends on the amount of pigment your tattoo contains. So highly pigmented tattoos will naturally take longer to remove.
The white blood cells in your body then gather the broken down ink particles and carry them to the liver where they’re flushed out of the body as toxins.
How effective is Laser Tattoo Removal?
The effectiveness of your laser tattoo removal is largely dependent on a few factors. One of which is your laser therapist- click here for one of the best in the business!
Generally, it’s a highly effective procedure in completely removing a tattoo or at least 90% of it.
Laser tattoo removal is a process though and immediate results just aren’t guaranteed. It may take multiple laser removal visits before your tattoo is completely erased.
Complete tattoo removal can take anywhere from 6-12 laser removal sessions, depending on the size, color, pigmentation, and placement of your tattoo.
Between each session, you generally need to give your body the time it needs to heal and flush out the toxins from your system. This is normally 6-weeks between each laser session.
The success of your tattoo removal is dependent on these key factors:
1. The Color of your Tattoo
The darker your tattoo, the faster it will take to break down the ink particles in your skin. We get it, this may not make sense!
But this lasering technique uses amplified light, and like any black surface, this light is absorbed quicker than any other color surface.
So, the darker your tattoo the easier and faster it will be to remove according to the law of amplified light.
Lighter color tattoos, on the other hand, are far more reflective which means the laser light will bounce off these color particles.
This is why lighter colored tattoos are a little more difficult to remove and may require a few extra removal sessions.
2. Tattoo Placement
The placement of your tattoo will greatly affect how successfully it’s removed. The general rule-of-thumb for tattoo removal success boils down to blood circulation.
The greater your blood circulation in an area of your body, the quicker it will be to break down a tattoo and erase it completely.
So tattoos on the back, torso, shoulders, upper arms and thighs are likely to be removed at a quicker rate, with fewer laser sessions.
Tattoos located on the extremities, such as the wrists, hands, ankles, feet, and calves may take a little longer to remove.
This is because these regions receive a slower rate of blood circulation. Post-laser healing time between session may also be longer.
3. The Age of your Tattoo
Tattoos fade with time, this is common knowledge. Therefore, the older your tattoos is, the easier and quicker it will be to remove.
Tattoos which are generally over 10 years old require far fewer sessions to remove than those which are still a little ”fresh”.
4. There are no ”Quick Fix” Options
It’s important to remember that tattoo removal is a process – it can take up to a year to remove a rather large tattoo permanently.
When it comes to laser tattoo removal there is no such thing as a quick fix option. It’s a process which requires dedication and patience.
The older you tattoo, the quicker it may be to remove. But even so, this could take nothing less than 6 months with healing time in-between sessions.
Is Laser Tattoo Removal Painful?
The short answer to this commonly asked question is yes, to an extent.
The level of pain your experience during laser tattoo removal is greatly dependent on your own pain threshold.
Some people liken the pain to when they first received the tattoo. Others compare the pain to a simple rubber band snapping on the skin.
Pain is relative, but yes, you can expect some level of pain or discomfort during laser tattoo removal.
The placement of your tattoo may also affect your pain levels. More sensitive areas of the body may be more painful during laser removal i.e. the rib cage area, the inner thigh, the stomach etc.
Essentially, laser tattoo removal uses high heat. So when the skin is exposed to intense temperature, pain and discomfort can be expected.
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