Tattoo Removal. A Guide to How Tattoos Are Removed

Did you know that 17% of people with tattoos regret them? Since their inception more than 6000 years ago, tattoos have caused more than their fair share of regrets! 

There are lots of reasons to undergo tattoo removal. Maybe it’s the name of an ex, an outdated design, or a bad-quality tattoo. Regardless of the reason, tattoo removal has advanced a lot and you can get rid of almost anything and start fresh. 

However, many people still find themselves intimidated by laser tattoo removal. They wonder if it will work or if it’ll leave a scar. And most importantly, if it will hurt.

To answer all these questions and more, we put together this complete guide to tattoo removal. Read on to learn all about it! 

How Does Tattoo Removal Work?

Tattoos are made through the repeated injection of ink into your skin. The needle penetrates the dermis, the innermost layer of skin. Normally, your skin replenishes itself with new cells, but tattoo ink goes so deep that it’s never re-absorbed and will never disappear over time.

When ink first enters the body, your immune system tries its best to absorb it, treating it like a foreign invader. However, it can only absorb small particles, so the larger particles still remain and are permanently incorporated into the skin. 

As your tattoo ages, your immune system will chip away at the smaller particles, so some colors will fade slightly over time, but the result is still permanently tinted skin. 

How Does Laser Tattoo Removal Work?

Laser removal works by shining a bright light onto the skin that heats up and ultimately shatters the ink particles. The heat is turned on and off in intervals, and the fluctuating temperature causes the particles to break. As they do, they become small enough to finally be absorbed by the immune system. 

Normally high temperatures and shattered skin particles would result in a scar. However, laser technology is sophisticated and very accurate, targeting only the tattoo ink. This results in precise tattoo removal without scarring! 

Sometimes multiple treatments are necessary because the laser starts with the shallowest layers before reaching the deepest layers. It takes time and repeated laser treatments to penetrate the entirety of the tattoo. This is especially true if your tattoo is dark, colorful, or large. 

What Affects Tattoo Removal Results?

Modern tattoo removal has advanced a long way and almost all tattoos can be removed. However, some tattoos will have better results than others. The age, color, and placement can all affect the removal. 

Ink particles weaken over time, so the older the tattoo, the easier it is to break down and remove. This is one of the main reasons that old tattoos are great candidates for tattoo removal.

No single laser can remove every color. Each color has its own laser, and they have different results.

Black ink is the easiest color to remove because it absorbs light better than other shades. Yellow, purple, and blue colors are more difficult. If your tattoo has a lot of colors or is very bold, your results will take more time than if your tattoo is just black. 

In addition, darker skin types have higher levels of melanin, which impacts the colors that can be treated. Black ink is always safe to treat, but other colors will be more difficult to remove. 

Does Tattoo Removal Hurt?

Unfortunately, tattoo removal is more painful than actually getting the tattoo. The heat and intensity of the laser will cause the skin to “frost,” giving it a white appearance similar to a burn. 

However, these effects are only temporary and the pain fades within a few seconds. Your tattoo removal clinic will also have some ways to manage your pain. They’ll give you a topical numbing cream and you can take a few over-the-counter pain pills before your appointment too.

During the healing process, the area will be slightly swollen and tender. Many clients compare it to sunburn. Taking proper care of the site will reduce discomfort, so be sure to follow your technician’s guidance. 

In addition, some clinics offer CBD pain relief and healing lotion that can speed up your healing process and reduce your pain during the recovery stages. 

What to Expect From a Tattoo Removal Appointment

Your first appointment will be a consultation. During this time, your tattoo removal expert will discuss what kinds of results you can expect. They’ll also formulate a treatment plan.

The process for how to remove tattoo designs varies based on the specifics of your tattoo. Your technician will guide the treatment time, how many sessions you need, and how to give you the best result possible. 

How Much Is Tattoo Removal?

The cost of tattoo removal depends on how many treatments you need. Many tattoo removal clinics bury additional fees in their tattoo removal service. 

It’s best to find a place that offers a flat fee for the job, allowing you to get the same permanent results regardless of how many sessions it takes. This allows for total transparency between you and your clinic and gives you the best possible result for the least amount of money. 

Give Yourself a Blank Slate 

No matter what kind of tattoo you have, removal is always an option. Get yourself a blank slate and wipe the past away with laser tattoo removal. The results are unbeatable, and what you thought was a permanent mistake doesn’t have to be!

If you have any questions or concerns, reach out to us at Better Off. We’ve seen everything, so our experts can give you guidance, answer your questions, and book your first appointment!