Tattoo Removal in San Diego: What No One Tells You About the Process (Hint: It’s Not That Bad)

tattoo removal

It was a whim! A moment of fun! But now, you’re over it…

Tattoos are an ancient form of self-expression. When they’re done correctly, they’re a beautiful piece of artwork to carry with you throughout your life. Or sometimes, you end up with a tramp stamp in the shape of Tweety Bird.

It’s okay. You made a mistake and now’s the time to fix it. Tattoo removal is a common and effective procedure. 

But you need to know what you’re getting into before you decide to remove Tweety Bird. Here are a few things you may not know about the tattoo removal process. 

How the Heck Does It Work, Anyway?

The whole idea of laser tattoo removal sounds like something straight out of the future. But it’s actually an effective way to nix your unwanted ink. Here’s how it works.

Have you ever wondered why tattoos fade for a few weeks after you first get them? It’s not because the ink comes off on the outside. It’s because the ink is removed by your body on the inside. 

Tattoo ink is injected into your skin using tiny needles. Your immune system sends out white blood cells to attack those ink particles. And they succeed… with the smaller particles. 

But the bigger ink particles are too much for the white blood cells to handle. So they stick around. And that’s why tattoos are permanent after the initial fade. 

So what does the laser do to get rid of those big, bad ink particles? It breaks them up into tiny pieces.

Lasers like the PicoWay, heat up the ink with tiny, superfast bursts of light. It’s got to get really hot to break up the ink. But it happens so fast that you only feel a tiny pinprick.

Then, your body’s immune system carries away the ink particles like it did the first day you had the tattoo. But this time, it’s able to get rid of them all. 

So why does the top of the skin “frost” over after the laser goes by? That’s because the little burst of heat causes a tiny tsunami of skin cells to break free. This “frost” is the top layer of your skin that has separated from the under layers. 

Yes, It Removes All Ink – Even Colors

Tattoo ink comes in every color under the rainbow. And every ink color is made of different stuff. So it takes different wavelengths of light to get rid of different ink colors. 

Black ink is usually the easiest to remove. It absorbs all light and can take more of the heat from the laser. And green and blue ink are also some of the easier inks to remove.

White, yellow, red, and orange are more stubborn than their darker counterparts. But the PicoWay laser is the first laser that effectively removes all colors. 

That’s because it works a lot faster than traditional lasers. It gets its name from a “picosecond” which is one trillionth of a second. In fact, the PicoWay is so good, it can remove a full-color tattoo in as little as three sessions!

Success Depends on a Number of Factors

Not all tattoos are created equal. And that difference has an effect on how easy it is to remove the tattoo.

It’s best to discuss your expectations with the tattoo removal specialist before you start treatments. They can look at all the major factors and let you know how long they think it’ll take. Let’s take a closer look at some of those factors.

How Old Is the Tattoo?

Older tattoos have been under attack by your body’s immune system longer. The tattoo is already somewhat faded. So this helps with the removal process. 

How Thick Is the Ink?

Every tattoo artist has their own way of tattooing. And that means that some use more ink than others. The thicker and deeper the ink, the harder it is to remove.

Many experienced artists work with more ink and they deposit that ink deeper into the skin. Newbies tend to tattoo closer to the skin surface. And ink usage is more uneven. 

Ink thickness also applies to tattoo coverups. When you cover up an old tattoo with another, the ink is double the thickness. Which means it’ll take more sessions to remove.

How Big Is the Tattoo?

Size matters (obv)! But really, 12-inch angel wings on your back need more sessions to remove than a small Tweety Bird on your ankle.

Where Is the Tattoo Located?

The location of the tattoo on your body makes a big difference in how easy it is to remove. It has to do with blood flow. The more blood flowing to the tattoo site, the quicker your body removes the ink.

There’s Some Pain, but Not as Much as You Think

Ah, the question that’s on everyone’s mind when they decide to get a tattoo removed: will it hurt? The answer: yes… and no.

Everyone experiences pain differently. Your tattoo removal might not hurt at all.  While someone else’s might be really painful.

Again, the location of the tattoo has a lot to do with how much pain it causes. Certain areas of the body, like the ribcage and tops of the feet, are more painful. If it hurt going on, it’s more likely to hurt coming off.

The PicoWay laser works so quickly, that most people feel very little pain with it. Most people describe it as more uncomfortable than painful. 

Will it hurt as much as it hurt to get the tattoo? No. Tattoo removals aren’t nearly as painful as getting the tattoo in the first place.

Tattoo Removal Is Possible and Safe

Everyone makes mistakes. Tweety Bird was a mistake and there’s no reason you should have to live with that mistake forever. Tattoo removal is an effective way to right those wrongs.

Here are some final words of advice. Know your expectations before you start. Talk with the tattoo removal professional so that you’re all on the same page about how long it will take. And what it will look like when it’s all done. 

The success of your tattoo removal depends on a number of factors. And there will be some pain. But not as much as when you got the tattoo in the first place. 

Trust us, you’re better off with Better Off! We are experts in safe, effective tattoo removal. Contact us today to set up your consultation!