So, you’ve thought it over and finally decided that tattoo you got was a bad idea. Maybe it only took you a few months to decide that, or maybe you’re looking at an old friend that’s been with you for years, and you really wish you could go your separate ways. You’ve also decided that you want to do it right, which is why you’re going to get a laser tattoo removal. Before you sit down in the chair, though, you should be prepared for what you’re getting yourself into.
How Laser Tattoo Removal Works
Before you make your appointment, it’s important to separate the science from the science fiction. When you get a tattoo, what happens is that a needle pushes under the skin, and leaves ink behind. Using thousands of little pinpricks, different colored inks, and a unique art style, a tattoo artist creates an image that sits under your skin. This ink, particularly with modern tattoos, is designed for longevity, and to resist fading when exposed to the sun. Older tattoos, particularly those from many decades past, often lack this kind of fade resistance and can turn blotchy or patchy.
The way a laser is a beam of focused light. Different settings mean the light is moving in different wavelengths, which can affect your body, and the things inside your body, differently. For example, one wavelength is used on darker inks like blacks and purples, a different wavelength is used for brighter colors like reds and yellows, and a third is used to remove blues and greens. The light penetrates the upper layers of your skin, strikes the ink in your tattoo and breaks it up so that it’s no longer visible. The whole process takes a few seconds of exposure, and because you’re focusing on the surface layers of your skin rather than deeper areas, there’s rarely any scarring, and irritation tends to fade rather quickly. For extra, added comfort, the area to be treated tends to be numbed first, so there’s minimal pain throughout the entire removal process.
So It’s Just In, Out, and Done?
Yes and no.
How long a tattoo takes to remove completely depends on a lot of different factors. There’s the size of the tattoo, how old it is, whether it was done in a tattoo shop or it’s homemade, the colors involved, and a slew of other factors. If you have a tattoo that you want to be removed with a laser, chances are good it’s going to take somewhere between three and ten sessions before it’s completely gone. Once the treatments are complete, and your body has been allowed to remove the broken-up ink from your system, the only thing that will be left in place of your tattoo is the memory.
Why Live With A Tattoo You Don’t Want?
Tattoos used to be one of the most permanent things you could have. They were a life decision there was no going back on, and if you wanted to undo it you typically had to cover it up with a different tattoo. While that’s still an option, for people who’d rather just undo their past decisions instead of just picking up a bigger shovel to dig out of the hole, laser tattoo removal is almost like a way to turn back time.
What’s even better, though, is that it might cost you less than getting a cover-up tattoo would. So ask yourself, why deal with that ink you don’t want anymore when you don’t have to? Especially when getting rid of it can be done quickly, and relatively painlessly?