If you’re having tattoo-regret, clear, ink-free skin is only a few laser treatments away. The idea of lasers on your skin may sound scary, but trust us; it’s a safe and effective way to erase a bad body art decision. There are lots of misconceptions about laser tattoo removal, but we have the facts. Read on to find what’s true – and what isn’t – about laser tattoo removal.
Myth #1: The darkest colors are hardest to remove
Surprisingly, black is the easiest color to remove due to the fact that darker colors absorbs all wavelengths of laser light, while lighter shades like greens and yellow are harder to remove because they selectively absorb the laser light.
Myth #2: Each treatment takes a long time
Think you’ll be dealing with lengthy laser treatments? Think again. The sessions are actually very fast (think mere minutes). One thorough pass of the small light pulses from the laser is made on your tattooed area until it has been completely covered, unlike the multiple hours you spend actually getting a tattoo.
Myth #3: You have to go for treatments every week
It takes numerous sessions to remove a tattoo, but even if you wanted to go weekly, you wouldn’t be able to. Treatments have to be spread out (usually six to eight weeks apart) to allow ink from the tattoo to be absorbed by the body and the skin to completely heal between sessions.
Myth #4: The laser burns off your tattoo
Lasers might cause damage in sci-fi movies, but when it comes to tattoo removal, the process only targets the ink in your body art, not your skin. Using a pen-like hand-piece held over your skin, your doctor will deliver pulses of laser light into the tattoo.
Myth #5: Amateur tattoos are hardest to remove
You might think that the ill-advised tattoo you got at a party would be easier to remove, but it’s the professionally-performed tattoos that tend to be harder to remove than those applied by amateurs.
Myth #6: Partial removal isn’t possible – it’s all or nothing
Lasers used in tattoo removal are very accurate so if like one part of your tattoo, but not another, you can just remove the part you’re unhappy with. Johnny Depp, for example, had his “Winona Forever” tattoo changed to “Wino Forever” when he broke up with Winona Ryder.
Myth #7: Tattoos on thick-skinned areas are hardest to remove
Think that tattoo on your bicep will be harder to get rid of than the one on your ankle? Think again. Tattoos on areas of thin skin—like the ankle or a finger—are more difficult to remove than those on thick-skinned areas, like the abdomen.
Myth #8: Older tattoos are easier to get rid of
Just because you’ve had it for a while doesn’t mean your tattoo will be easy to remove. Older tattoos that have migrated from their original site and become blurred can be particularly difficult to remove entirely.
Myth #9: The cost is the same no matter what kind of tattoo you have
The cost of tattoo removal depends on a lot of factors including the complexity of the tattoo and the number of laser treatments required. These factors in turn depend on things like the tattoo’s size, age, type, depth, and location on the body.
Myth #10: You can remove tattoos at home with creams
There are various tattoo removal creams on the market, but they can’t completely remove the tattoo ink and may not be safe for your skin. They may be able to fade your tattoo slightly, but laser removal is the most effective option and is considered the gold standard in tattoo removal.
Myth #11: There is a long recovery time between sessions
You can rest easy knowing there is little to no downtime related to laser tattoo removal. You should be able to get back to work or whatever you were doing right after the procedure.