When it comes to having a tattoo removed, there are many things to consider. The process can be painful, and it might take a few visits for the tattoo to be fully removed, depending on the size and color of the tattoo being removed. Here at Vanish Laser Tattoo Removal in Alexandria, VA, we want to make that process as painless as possible, so here are some things to consider before having the tattoo you once loved removed forever.
What Colors of Ink are Used?
Some ink colors are easier to remove from the skin than others. The easiest colors to remove are greens, blues, and various shades of black. However, shades of red, yellow, orange, and white can be harder to remove. There are techniques and tools that have come out in recent years to make removing all colors easier to remove. For example, the Astanza laser has proven to make the efficiency of removing colors all the easier. Most of the time, it only takes one or two treatments to remove at least 75 percent of green and blue pigments with this device. Black, on the other hand, can be removed in, at most, four sessions.
How Old is the Tattoo in Question?
The age of a tattoo has a lot to do with how easily it can be removed. The older a tattoo is, the easier it will be to remove. Why? Well, as tattoos age, their ink loses pigment, which means it is easier to remove over time.
How Large is the Tattoo?
It goes without saying that larger tattoos require more treatment sessions than smaller tattoos. In a study conducted by the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2012, it became apparent that tattoos larger than 12 inches in diameter could take up to as many as 10 sessions to remove completely.
What about Smokers?
The same study mentioned above also revealed some information about people who smoke that want tattoos removed. People who smoke regularly saw a slower rate of removal because of smoking’s effect on wound healing. It takes longer to heal, and scar tissue is normally tougher to deal with. Therefore, smokers might find that it can take as many as 10 sessions to remove a smaller tattoo that might take a non-smoker fewer sessions.
What Skin Tone Do You Have?
Believe it or not, a person’s skin tone has a lot to do with how easily a tattoo can be removed. Lighter skin tones do not absorb laser light well, so the laser can more easily be focused on the tattoo. The opposite happens for darker skin tones. Therefore, lower energy settings may be used to people with darker skin tones to avoid negative effects on their skin from absorbing too much of the laser light. At the same time, this situation might mean that it takes more sessions for a tattoo to be removed.
Where is Your Tattoo Located?
The location of a tattoo also determines how easily it can be removed. Some areas have a limited amount of vascular supply, which means it will take longer for healing between each session. For example, tattoos located on lower legs and towards the hands or feet will take more treatments than areas like the chest or back.
Is the Tattoo Being Removed a Cover Up?
Tattoos, where ink has been layered one on top of the other, are harder to remove. In short, there is more ink and scar tissue to work with. More often than not, the cover up is larger and darker, so it has more pigment to be removed overall.
These are some of the things to consider when having a tattoo removed. Here at Alexandria Va Tattoo Removal, we want your experience to be as efficient and easy as possible. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us today.