Do Old Tattoos Take Longer to Remove Than New Tattoos?

Older tattoos are able to be removed faster than new tattoos because over time the body tries to break down the tattoo ink on its own. At first glance, this tattoo appears to be all black line work, but when taking a closer look you will notice slight green and red pigments, too. These pigments faded over the tattoo’s life span of 17 years (luckily).

Removal Challenge #1 Skin Type

Helena is a Fitzpatrick skin type 5-6, which means that she has more melanin in her skin to protect her from the sun. If the green and red pigments remained saturated and vibrant, Helena may not have been able to remove her tattoo completely. Tattoos on laser tattoo removal clients who are skin types 4-6 and have any colour outside of black can be a challenge to safely remove.

Removal Challenge #2 Ink Colour

Red and green ink can be a challenge to remove on darker skin.

The particular wavelengths that laser tattoo removal treatments produce make red and greens a challenge. Red ink best responds to the 532 wavelengths. This wavelength is unable to yield safe results on darker skin types due to the melanin absorption. In short, if applied to the skin with high melanin content, it will typically create hyper- or hypopigmentation, which is the lightening or darkening of the skin. This condition can be permanent.

Green pigments respond best to a 730 wavelength. Much like the 532 wavelength, these wavelengths can cause pigmentation damage that is unsightly to someone desiring complete tattoo removal.

How to Remove Chest Tattoos

To give this client the best results possible, the PicoWay® laser was used at each treatment and utilised its 1064 wavelength. This wavelength is the safest to use on darker skin tones and is most effective on black inks.

How Lifestyle Impacts Laser Tattoo Removal

This removal was done in so few treatments largely in part to the age of ink, the health of the client, and placement of the tattoo. This individual leads a healthy lifestyle and followed Removery’s guidelines to promote speedy removal. This involves daily exercise, high water intake, and abstaining from smoking and alcohol consumption.

Healthy life choices allow the body’s immune system to focus on the removal of broken down ink caused by the laser at a more efficient rate than a client who does not. The most important factor a client seeking full removal can do is abstain from sun exposure one hundred percent. This will help reduce the chances of unnecessary side effects. This is especially true with a client who has a darker skin type. Even the slightest amount of sun exposure (including tanning beds and self-tanners) can cause pigmentation damage and change.

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