While laser technology has advanced and helped tattoos to become more intricate, beautiful works of art a couple of things remain the same. Ink is still ink, and people still make mistakes. It is estimated that 45-50 percent of Americans have tattoos, of those, approximately 25 percent have one or more they would like to get rid of. Why so much tattoo regret? The reasons vary widely, but the overriding theme is change.

The Three Biggest Changing Factors With People Who Seek Tattoo Removal Are:

Tattoo Removal Factor #1: Beliefs Change

Beliefs change, which boils down to the fact that the tattoo no longer displays on the outside what’s on the inside. The cover and the title of the book no longer represent the story within the pages of the book. Obviously, this would include those with a name that’s no longer a meaningful name, a belief that’s no longer pertinent like “life sucks” or “everyone dies” etc.

Tattoo Removal Factor #2: Environments Change

People’s environment changes, which would be those who have tattoos in visible areas but the career choice or merely social perception doesn’t match this type of expression. Obviously, a CEO of a conservative corporate company doesn’t do very well with a neck, face or hand tattoo. A parent often can’t imagine their perfect, wonderful child with a tattoo, so they become self-conscious about the tattoo that they have. Military police and firefighters are often banned from having tattoos, so people reluctantly rid themselves of what stands in the way of a career advancement. Former gang members and prisoners often find it easier to discontinue a cycle if the outside markings of a prior life can be erased to match their growth and change.

Tattoo Removal Factor #3: Art Changes

Art changes. With the advancement of tattooing techniques and achievable artistry on the skin has drastically changed altered expectations of tattoo enthusiasts. If you’re wearing what used to be great 20 years ago, but you want something that’s great now, the easiest way to get what you want is to erase what you had and start with a clean canvas. Taadaa! This is where laser tattoo removal comes in!


What is laser tattoo removal?

Laser tattoo removal is a procedure that has been FDA approved for about twenty years. Both the process and technology have come long ways over the past couple of decades to become a safe and effective procedure. The tricky part of tattoo removal is the art of getting all the hundreds of variables lined up to achieve complete and successful removal. Tattoo removal is a relatively complicated and involved process.

However, it can be broken down into three main components which are the laser, the body, and the tattoo.

Laser Tattoo Component #1: The Laser

The First component of tattoo removal is the laser. When the laser beam comes in contact with the ink in a tattoo in the subdermal layer, it causes the ink to break down into tiny particles. The truth of the matter is that your body has always tried to break down the particles of your tattoo from the moment the ink was introduced. The reason your body has not been successful is that the ink particles have been too large for the body to digest successfully. This is why you can tell when a tattoo is older by its lighter hazier appearance. After ink molecules are shattered into microscopic particles by the laser, the body can finally be successful at doing what it’s been trying to accomplish since the tattoo was applied.

There are two different types or laser technologies available to someone seeking tattoo removal.

The laser that has been around the longest is the traditional Q-Switch ND YAG laser. A Q-Switch laser utilizes nano-second technology and a thermal wave to break ink particles down into a digestible size. Mostly seen as an “older technology” a q-switched ND Yay laser is extremely effective on dark, thick black inks. Working with darker Fitzpatrick scale skin tones of level five or six is most safely achieved with a traditional 1064 nanosecond laser.

The second and newer technology is Pico second technology. The main difference this type laser has brought to the table is the rate at which the laser goes in and out of the skin. Picosecond technology goes in and out of the skin in 1/10000 of a second while Q-Switched ND Yag technology is at 1/1000. The faster rate causes the ink the break down into even smaller particles than those hit with a nanosecond technology which allows the body to digest these particles at a faster rate. We have found that Picosecond technology works best with the 730/785/532 wavelength to remove colors like blue, green and purple which were nearly impossible to remove before. The pressure wave technology also typically leaves your skin in less discomfort during removal and post treatment.

Our Technology

Laser Tattoo Component #2: The Body

The second component to tattoo removal is the body on which the tattoo resides. After the laser has done its job by breaking down the ink, the body is left to dispose of it. The body’s natural immune system will begin to attack the shattered particles of ink and dispose of them through the bodies lymphatic system. This is why your health is an essential key determinant in laser tattoo removal, and also why the number of sessions needed for removal varies from person to person.

The healthier your immune system, the more quickly it will be able to digest and dispose of the shattered particles. If you have a healthy immune system with very few external stresses, the process should be relatively quick and easy. This is the part where you come in! There are four main factors of your health that we are concerned about. The first is your immune system, the second is metabolism and circulation, the third is the age of the client and the tattoo, and the fourth is your lifestyle.

What to Expect

Laser Tattoo Component #3: The Tattoo

The last component of tattoo removal is the tattoo itself. In the United States, there is no FDA clearance on tattooing ink. The composition of the ink itself will determine a significant portion of how quickly a tattoo is removed. Some ink compositions are relatively organic, lending itself to an easy breakdown and removal, other ink types can have very synthetic components like plastics or metals causing those inks more reluctant to break down when exposed to a laser beam. Elimination of this kind of ink is lengthier with more sessions needed to finally break down all the particles.

The application of the tattoo is another variable. If the artist was heavy handed depositing ink lower in the sub-dermis, the removal process is going to be more difficult. If a heavy-handed artist created scar tissue, the laser would not be able to remove the scar tissue. Sometimes we get lucky, and scarring is reduced because of stimulation, but this is off label and only a bonus if achieved. If scarring is present, it appears slightly raised on the skin and is most likely found in the outline of the tattoo because the outline is typically done with a lining needle which penetrates the skin at a deeper level.

Those tattoos that are applied by an artist with a light hand are much easier to remove completely. So, a very deep and dense application of a tribal tattoo or an Asian symbol is much harder to remove than a fluffy cloud like tattoo. The way a tattoo comes off is directly representative of how it was applied. The uneven application will result in uneven removal. It’s easy to tell when an artist has paused in a corner or gotten a little deeper in a bonier area. Just another reason why your tattoos should best be created by one of the amazingly talented artists rather than some guy in a basement who tattoos for cheap.

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