If you're suffering from tattoo regret, you're not alone. CNN reports that between 2011 and 2012, the number of people having their tattoos removed by laser went up by 43%. And in the UK, almost a third of people with tattoos regret getting them. So if you've got a tattoo you're less than happy about, you might be wondering how easy it would be to remove.
Laser tattoo removal works by breaking down the pigments in a tattoo with a laser; these pigments can then be absorbed and removed by your body's normal healing processes. This is done through multiple sessions to prevent skin damage. How long this takes and how easy or difficult the removal is depends on many factors.
Size of Tattoo
It only makes sense – the larger the tattoo, the more ink needs to be broken down and removed. This means that larger tattoos can take more time to remove – a small heart on the upper arm will be easier than a desert panorama covering the entire back.
Colors in Tattoo
The more colors that are involved in a tattoo, the longer the removal process will be. Since the laser must use light of a matching wavelength to affect a particular color of ink, multiple lasers must be used for tattoos with multiple colors, slowing the treatment down. Tattoos whose colors have faded due to age are also easier to remove than fresh new tattoos.
Plain black tattoo ink is the easiest color to remove. In general, brighter or fluorescent colors are very difficult and require more treatments, while darker colors are easier to remove. But while it can be a long process, newer lasers have greatly improved dermatologists' ability to remove colored tattoos.
The worst color for tattoo removal is white. Some tattoo artists won't even do white ink tattoos because of the problems associated with them. Removal of white tattoos is usually possible, but it will take many sessions. Sometimes white tattoos turn dark or black when treated, further lengthening the removal process.
Location of Tattoo
After a laser session, the broken-down ink particles are carried away by your body's immune system, so tattoo removal is easiest in locations with good blood supply. Practically, this means that tattoos on the torso are easiest to remove; the farther along a limb a tattoo is, the more difficult it will be to remove. The thin skin of areas like wrists and ankles can also make tattoo removal more painful there, but icing and over-the-counter painkillers are sufficient to counteract that problem.
Makeup tattoos are located on some of the most sensitive parts of the body, and so they are usually the most difficult tattoos to remove. Even temporary discoloration of the skin is also much more noticeable when it occurs on the face, and scarring is a concern. Makeup tattoos must be removed very slowly and painstakingly to avoid damaging delicate facial skin, so it's crucial to find a dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon with experience in this type of tattoo removal if you want a makeup tattoo removed.
For more information about your specific tattoo, visit Vitality Natural Wellness and Medspa.