Are you one of those who have a tattoo? As society evolves, the negative stigma associated with tattoos has decreased, causing an increasing number of people to bear the pain of the intricate and fascinating world of tattoos. Nothing expresses your uniqueness like a fantastic tattoo. However, people change over time, and a proud tattoo you got 10 years ago may have gradually turned into a regret. Fortunately, today’s laser technology makes tattoo removal a viable option. How does laser tattoo removal work, though?
This article delves into how lasers can shatter your tattoo into oblivion, restoring your skin to its natural, ink-free state.
HOW DO TATTOOS FUNCTION?
Before we can learn how to remove a tattoo, we must first understand how they are applied.
Tattoos are applied with needles that puncture the skin and insert ink particles into the dermis layer of the skin. Tattoo needles are not your typical hollow point needle. Instead, they use capillary action to hold the ink in between the needles before delivering and depositing it into your skin.
But what causes tattoos to be permanent? Why do our immune systems fail to recognize and eliminate foreign ink? Our immune systems and white blood cells try to remove these ink particles! Unfortunately, most ink particles are far too large for our white blood cells to remove. They can only remove small particles at most.
Our bodies will continue to recognize tattoo ink as a foreign intruder and will attempt to remove it. Because of this, tattoos fade over time. However, large ink particles cannot be removed by the body alone.
This is where the laser tattoo removal machine and process come into play.
WHAT IS THE PROCEDURE FOR LASER TATTOO REMOVAL?
We can now answer the question ‘how does laser tattoo removal work’ because we understand how tattoos work and why they are relatively permanent works of art.
We previously discussed how typical ink particles are large and far too large for our white blood cells to remove. By ‘zapping’ and breaking up these large ink granules into smaller particles, the laser helps our cells. This enables our white blood cells to do their job and be removed via the lymphatic system.
Let’s go into more detail.
Lasers are concentrated forms of light energy. Energy and heat are absorbed by ink particles when delivered in short, intense doses. As a result, they shatter into small pieces. To be more specific, the laser intensely heats one side of the ink granule, causing it to expand and create stress fractures, eventually shattering the granule.
Laser tattoo removal is frequently done in multiple sessions over a long period. This is because your body requires time to remove the tiny ink particles. Downtime is also required following each session to allow your body to heal. Choose the person who has taken the tattoo training for the best results.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO REMOVE A TATTOO COMPLETELY WITH A LASER?
Laser tattoo removal is a tried and true method of removing ink regrets. Most laser devices can completely remove a tattoo in 8 – 10 removal sessions. These sessions are spread out over two or three years. However, its effectiveness is heavily dependent on a variety of factors. These are some examples:
Tattoo Dimensions and Color
One obvious one: the larger the tattoo, the longer it will take to remove completely. Tattoos larger than an A4 sheet of paper necessitate a significant amount of time and multiple sessions. Furthermore, tattoos with bright, vibrant colors will take a little longer to remove than their black and white counterparts.
Laser tattoo removal works by directly targeting the distinct colors of the ink. This means that if the contrast between your skin and the tattoo is greater, the lasers will be able to identify it more easily. The lighter your skin tone, the easier it is to remove your tattoo. This is not to say that people with darker skin tones should avoid laser tattoo removal. The method will still completely remove your tattoo, but it will take a little longer.
Location of the Tattoo
The location of your tattoo has a significant impact on how quickly it can be removed using laser tattoo removal. Because the removal process is dependent on the lymphatic system, areas of the body with high lymph counts and good blood flow are removed faster. These include the chest, shoulders, neck, and upper arms, which are close to the heart. Lower legs and hands, on the other hand, will take longer to completely remove.
The overall health of your body and immune system will undoubtedly influence how quickly lasers can remove unwanted ink. Avoiding things like excessive alcohol and smoking will keep your body in the condition it needs to transport ink particles through and out of your body.
WHICH LASERS ARE USED IN LASER TATTOO REMOVAL?
Finding out which type of lasers are used in the process is critical to understanding ‘how laser tattoo removal works,’ which can be narrowed down to two major types.
Lasers with Q-Switches
The most common type of tattoo removal laser. Q-switching is a technique that uses a laser to generate a nanosecond pulsed output beam. The light pulses produced penetrate the layers of skin, where they reach and break up the ink pigment. Different types of q-switch lasers are more effective than others at breaking up specific dyes and ink colors. Q-switched nD: YAG lasers, Q-switched Alexandrite lasers, and Q-switched Ruby lasers are examples of these.
Lasers With Picosecond Pulses
Picosecond lasers, a relatively new type of laser technology, deliver short, rapid bursts of light energy at a trillionth-second rate. They are extremely effective at removing almost all types of colors and inks.