If you're not in love with your tattoo as you once were, laser tattoo removal is the only safe and permanent way to get rid of it.
But, before you take the plunge to get that tattoo removed, here are six misconceptions about what lasers can (and can't) do:
1. It's safe to get laser tattoo removal done anywhere
Though there are tons of laser centers to choose from, it's essential to make sure a reputable place does laser tattoo removal. With this kind of procedure, there's a risk of blooding, infection, and scarring, all of which can be avoided if you choose a trained and experienced professional. It's up to you to do your homework, so research and choose wisely.
2. Laser tattoo removal is like an eraser
While laser tattoo removal does permanently remove tattoo ink, it is a process. Sometimes complete removal of a tattoo can take one-to-two years, with treatment occurring every six-to-twelve weeks. Lasers remove ink by blowing up pigment molecules into tiny pieces, which the body then clears away. Plus, it's an investment that can cost thousands of dollars.
3. The procedure isn't painful
Laser tattoo removal can be painless, but usually because practitioners give you a numbing agent first. For larger tattoos, a medical professional can administer a lidocaine injection to numb the area. Removing small tattoos can be just as painful as larger ones because the laser settings reflect the color of the tattoo and not its size.
4. Laser tattoo removal is safe
Not everyone is an ideal candidate for laser tattoo removal. Those with darker skin experience increased risks, such as burns and hyperpigmentation, based on the way lasers work. The laser targets pigment that's in the dye, but it can also target melanin in your skin. The darker your skin tone is, the more complicated it is to remove tattoos using lasers.
5. All tattoos are easy to remove
Not all tattoos are created equal. Black tattoos are the easiest to remove compared to colorful ones. Green and blue inks tend to be the most challenging to remove, and yellow, white, and purple inks are almost impossible to remove completely. Multiple lasers are required to remove a multicolored tattoo successfully. In general, professional tattoos tend to be harder to remove than amateur ones because of the depth of the ink.
6. There are no risks and side effects
While it's possible to have a smooth healing process after getting your tattoo, laser tattoo removal might be a different story. Lasers can cause scarring and permanent skin discoloration. You should read up on all potential risks and side effects before having laser tattoo removal done.