Successful laser tattoo removal is the intended outcome after every session. After all, that people are willing to go through another painful process—again—speaks volumes of how badly they want to get rid of their tattoo. In laser tattoo removal, no pain, no gain!
Imagine the frustration from their end when they commit to a full tattoo-removal cycle, only to find out the ink has not been completely erased even after the final session. Yikes! These stories are pretty common, though, and explain why some people start to poke at the credibility of laser tattoo removal.
Yet here’s the thing that only a few people know about: tattoo-removal outcomes weigh heavily on certain factors. Your specialist’s skills matter, yes, but they won’t do much when pitted against the force that is biology.
Laser tattoo removal requires a tailored and personalized approach to meet the treatment goals. Read on to find out the 5 elements that have a hand in your treatment results, if you’re eyeing a full tattoo-erasure cycle, or until all your body ink is gone.
Everyone makes mistakes, no one’s perfect—these are pretty much a given. So you want to have your tattoo erased. Maybe looking at the tattoo on your wrist—you know, the one you got as soon as you hit college—is too painful a reminder of those mistakes. Or maybe you’re bored of its design and want a new lease on life.
It’s okay. Your reasons for going through laser tattoo removal don’t matter (they are personal, after all), but the amount of time your tattoo has been inked on your skin does.
See, while tattoos convey a sense of permanence, they aren’t exactly permanent in the truest sense of the word. Given enough time, the ink pigments fade. Or your skin encounters changes. Multiple external factors come into play, and it’s just not possible for your tattoo to remain unchanged.
Thus, the older your tattoo, the lighter its pigment is likely to be, and the higher your chances of a successful laser tattoo removal. It wouldn’t take much work for the laser to accomplish its purpose, so you’re likely to be satisfied with the results.
On the other hand, if you’re out to remove a fairly new tattoo, it’s best you manage your expectations with the outcome. Fresher inks are bolder and crisper; therefore, they’re more challenging to remove. In fact, your tattoo will probably require a greater number of sessions.
In laser tattoo removal, not all colors are the same or equal. Some are a breeze to remove, while others require a bit more effort and time.
If your tattoo comes in hues of green, blue, and black, you’re in luck. These colors are the easiest to come off; therefore, the laser gets right down into the heart of the matter and breaks the pigments away. Off they go!
But say you opted for white, orange, red, and yellow for your tattoo. Do you just throw in the towel for laser tattoo removal? Of course not. The laser can still get into these pigments; the results will just take time.
Thank goodness for modern technology, though. Recent studies show that advanced laser devices are more effective in breaking off red, yellow, orange, and white pigments. By effective, it means that as much as two-thirds of the tattoos are closing in on the 100% removal scale.
At this rate, it’s likely in the future ink color won’t weigh as much for a successful laser tattoo removal. Crossing our fingers on this one!
Not all factors that make tattoo removal a success can be found outside. Sometimes, it can be found inside too. This holds true for your immune system. Yup, your ability to fight off disease plays a part in your tattoo-removal results.
After the laser session, your immune system steps in and gets to work. How, you ask? Simple: it flushes away the ink pigments off your body.
This flushing out is due to phagocytosis, a process wherein a cell devours another cell. This process is normal; after all, phagocytosis gets rid of debris and pathogens found floating inside the body.
One habit that could drastically affect your immune response—and eventually your chances of a successful laser tattoo removal—is smoking. If you’re still sucking on that stick, well, better quit!
Studies reveal that smokers have a lower success rate than their nonsmoking counterparts by as much as 70%. Experts believe this is related to smoking’s ability to slow down wound recovery. Thus, your body can’t recover fast enough from the procedure, even if it wanted to.
In addition, neglecting sleep, eating poorly, and stressing out can affect your tattoo-erasure results. If you plan to do away with your ink, make sure you’re in the pink (of health, that is).
You can pretty much predict your success rate in laser tattoo removal by looking at the skin you were born in. Does your complexion lean toward the more pigmented side, or is it the type that burns easily after spending just a few moments under the sun?
Skin comes in various beautiful shades, but its composition remains the same. It comes built in with melanin, a naturally occurring pigment, and it’s this melanin that’s responsible for your color. More melanin means more color.
If your skin’s pretty light, you’re likely to have a successful laser tattoo removal session. This is because lighter skin doesn’t absorb much of the laser light. Laser focus remains on the tattoo-covered area, ensuring a speedier operation.
For darker complexions, laser tattoo removal can be a bit tricky. See, dark skin absorbs a large quantity of laser light. If the laser happens to fall on a tattoo-free area, this can lead to risks and side effects. Nope, you wouldn’t want that.
In addition, tattoo-removal professionals use lower laser settings on darker complexions. This makes for a safer treatment session.
Curious as to what skin type/color you have? Check out the Fitzpatrick scale. Dermatologists use this scale to classify clients’ skin hues and classifications. You can take the quiz here.
Tattoo location is a subjective matter. For sure, you gave it a lot of thought. Well, it turns out your location of choice has a say in your tattoo-erasure results.
You’ll recover faster from laser tattoo removal if your body art is in strategic locations. These refers to areas that have a rich blood supply, such as the back or the chest.
On the other hand, tattoos inked on hands, lower legs, and feet are likely to be more difficult to remove. Since these areas have lesser blood supply, healing takes place slowly. Slow healing means a slower recovery and longer sessions.
With this scenario, you’ll have to put off a successful laser tattoo removal experience—for now, at least.
Regardless of your reasons, you deserve an outcome that jives with your goal of why, in the first place, you want your body art erased.
After all, it’s your body and health we’re talking about here. Pain and discomfort levels are great, and so are the risk of side effects. Plus, you’re spending for a procedure that doesn’t cost peanuts. Another thing, you need to focus on aftercare too.
You’d want a successful laser tattoo removal session, of course. However, keep in mind the 5 factors mentioned in this article. Maybe you won’t get the results you expect. Maybe you’ll end up disappointed, or even worse, maybe you’ll be throwing money down the drain.
Again, it pays to make an informed decision before you go through any medical procedure. Laser tattoo removal is no exception.