Are you guilty of having an embarrassing tattoo you'd rather like to get rid of? Well, you're not alone. Laser tattoo removal is more common than ever, and part of the reason is that techniques are improving rapidly. Interested in learning more? Here are answers to the most common questions people ask about laser tattoo removal.
How easy are tattoos to remove?
They're easier to remove than you think. A tattoo is just an indelible link that is inserted into the dermis layer of the skin where the pigment is retained indefinitely. And tattoos are actually not permanent — they can be removed when you no longer want them. This all depends on the ink and colors being removed as well as the technology being used.
Is laser tattoo removal painful?
Most medical providers offer different methods of pain control during treatments, ranging from prescription-strength numbing creams, external skin cooling devices, and local injections of anesthetic to make laser tattoo removal very tolerable.
How do lasers remove tattoo ink?
Essentially, lasers used in tattoo removal break down the ink and flush it out of your system. The laser penetrates the dermis layer of the skin, breaking the ink down into particles small enough for the lymphatic system to get rid of naturally.
Is laser tattoo removal effective on all skin tones?
Your skin tone and the colors used in your tattoo play a massive role in tattoo removal. While laser tattoo removal is available for all skin tones, it's most effective on skin that has less pigment. Black ink on less pigmented skin is the ideal combination.
How many treatments do you need?
Laser tattoo removal can take anywhere from eight to fifteen treatments spaced eight weeks apart, depending on the size of the tattoo as well as the colors and age. In general, older ink and black ink are easier to remove, but colors can be more challenging.
Can you remove a tattoo at home?
Absolutely not! Trying to remove a tattoo yourself is super dangerous, so put down the lemon juice and peroxide. DIY tattoo removal can lead to serious complications, like permanent scarring. Yikes!
Are there some ink colors that can't be removed?
Maybe. Some of the newer, ultra-vibrant, and colorful tattoo inks are far more challenging to remove and may not be able to be entirely removed.
Can you remove permanent makeup?
It's tricky. The colors used in permanent makeup, in conjunction with the tattoos' placement on the face, cause increased risk and liability, but it can still be done.
What kinds of tattoos are the hardest to remove?
Typically, colors that are lighter, like yellow, light blue, light green, and orange, are the toughest ink colors to remove. But the difficulty of removing a particular tattoo all comes down to its age, the colors, the location on the body, and your skin tone.
- "Everything You Need to Know About Laser Tattoo Removal," Cosmopolitan, May 16, 2016.
- "Tattoo Removal: How Much the PicoSure Laser Costs and How Much It Hurts," Cosmopolitan, January 6, 2020.