In short, yes, a tattoo can be removed completely. Each patient’s tattoo removal experience is different, as many variables can come into play during this process. How long it will take to completely remove your tattoo depends on the following factors; skin type, laser technology used, technician’s process and experience, tattoo location, depth of ink, type of ink, the tattoo’s age, any scarring and damage caused by original tattoo process, aftercare compliance, and your immune system.
Your Skin Type
Believe it or not, skin tone can play a massive role in the length of time it takes to remove a tattoo completely. Tattoos remove faster and easier on someone with a lighter complexion. When using laser removal on darker skin tones, a higher wavelength laser is required in order to appropriately penetrate the dermis without causing any damage to the epidermis. If you were to use a low wavelength during laser treatment to have a tattoo removed on someone with darker skin, the patient will very likely experience hyper-pigmentation and scarring after removal. It is reasons like this that it is extremely important to first make sure you’ve chosen an experienced and professional technician when getting a tattoo removed.
It is important to consult with your laser tattoo removal technician in order to make sure you’re happy with the laser equipment they’ll be using on your skin. The Q-switch and PicoSure tattoo lasers are among the most common. Feel free to do your own research on the technology after your consult to prepare yourself for your tattoo removal. Factors such as the technology used and the experience of your technician will determine whether you experience scarring or not. Scarring is an unlikely occurrence in the world of laser tattoo removal. Be sure to find a company and technician you trust, and your laser treatment to remove a tattoo will be stress and complication free.
Is your Technician Qualified?
Laser tattoo removal clinics are popping up all over town these days, it’s important to make sure your visiting an experienced skin specialist to have your tattoos laser removed. Doing your research and going in for a consult first is always a good idea. Here, your technician will be able to assess your tattoo ink and explain the tattoo removal process in depth. It’s key to find a technician you’re comfortable with considering the tattoo removal process is a long one and you’ll be working with this technician for at least 6 months.
There is a general rule of thumb to note whether the location of your tattoo will result in a successful removal treatment. Typically, the tattoo ink can be removed most effectively the closer it is to your heart. Removing tattoos located on forearms and calves typically take the longest. These locations will heal slower between laser removal sessions as they experience less circulation with slower healing rates and aren’t as high in blood and lymph nodes as other parts of the body. For example, the tattoos removal process on the face and neck are the easiest as they have a large lymph node and blood count.
Depth of Ink
It is more difficult to remove tattoos done my professionals. The deeper the tattoos ink has penetrated the skin, the more sessions will be required to achieve complete tattoo removal. Amateur tattoo artists tend to use a lighter hand, making the laser removal process much easier.
Type of Ink
Ink pigments are all made up of different ingredients, this largely effects the tattoo removal process. Black ink is the easiest to remove completely, followed by green and blue which can be a little more difficult. Pigments such as purple, yellow and white are the most difficult to remove completely. In order to successfully remove a bright, multi-coloured tattoo, different laser wavelengths are required.
The Tattoo’s Age
It can sometimes be an easier and faster process to remove an older tattoo completely. This is due to the ink diffusing upwards from the deeper layers of skin over time. A tattoo that has existed for 10 years or more may take one or two less sessions to remove. This is because by this point, your immune system would have already started to slowly absorb the ink particles. This allows the laser to break up the ink a lot easier.
Did your Original Tattoo Heal Properly?
When you get a tattoo, you can experience scarring from improper aftercare or if you visited an inexperienced artist. The process of getting tattoos injures the epidermis layer of skin, following aftercare protocol will lower the risk of experiencing scarring. If you visit an unprofessional tattoo artist, there’s a high chance you’ll receive a low quality tattoo. The artist you choose can effect numerous factors which may lead to a more difficult tattoo removal process later in life. Tattoo scarring isn’t always visible, which is why it’s super important to care for your fresh ink properly and to research the artist you use as removing ink particles from scar tissue makes the process much more difficult.
Following proper aftercare for your laser tattoo removal will effect the speed and effectiveness of the laser removal process. Waiting the recommended time between each laser removal session will allow your body to dispose of the ink and heal in preparation for another session of tattoo removal. Talk to your laser technician for more information on laser tattoo removing aftercare.
Once your technician has broken down the particles, your immune system does all the work of removing the ink from your skin. If you have a healthy immune system, your body will absorb the ink much faster due to macrophages. These are cells which eat and dispose things such as infections, dead cells and of course, ink.