Getting that tattoo when you’re 20 seems like an awesome idea up until the moment where you say…what was I thinking? Now you want it removed, but where do you start?
It takes about 10 laser sessions to remove a tattoo and costs about 10 times as much as it did to get the tattoo in the first place.
About 30% of people in the US have at least 1 tattoo, and about 25% of those people regret it. (By the way, if you’re a laser tattoo removal provider, that equates to about 27 million potential customers!)
Here’s another number: You will probably only see about 90% of your tattoo fully removed. This is for a variety of reasons.
Tattoos made of light colors, greens, yellow and white tend to be more difficult to remove, while blue and black are easier. The tattoo removal happens because the laser light beam breaks up the pigment. It takes different laser wavelengths to remove different colors and you’ll have different results based on color. So expect multiple trips to see your tattoo removal expert.
There are side effects to tattoo removal: redness, swelling, blistering, scabs, bruising, hyperpigmentation (skin darkening) and hypopigmentation (skin lightening). Good news – these effects are temporary.
Who do you see about your tattoo removal? Well, that depends. In New Jersey, only a licensed physician can do laser tattoo removal, but in most places your best bet is a dermatologist or other reputable technician. Whoever you see, have an in-depth consultation to discuss the process and likely outcome.
There are only 2 FDA approved laser systems for tattoo removal: the Q-switched ND: YAG model and more recently, the picosecond laser system. If you learn your clinic is only using IPL (intense pulse light) for tattoo removal, it’s a red flag and you should not proceed because it will only burn and scar your skin. It’s ok for hair removal and skin rejuvenation, but NOT for tattoo removal.