One treatment won’t be enough The fact is, you won’t be able to get rid of your unwanted tattoo with just one treatment. In fact, it’s hard to know how many it will take, exactly. Success depends on location, how evenly the tattoo was applied, ink composition, and many other factors that cannot necessarily be determined in advance.
Doctors usually recommend six to ten week intervals between tattoo removal treatments, and you can expect at least six treatments – maybe more than 10-15. This is not a quick process, and it can’t be sped up because of the effects of lasers on your skin. Usually, you can expect full results in 1-2 years depending on the number of treatments you unique tattoo will require.
Location of the tattoo matters
The general rule is, the closer the tattoo is to your heart, the faster the fading. This is because your blood circulation is better in areas close to your heart, so you get quicker results.
So, if your tattoo is on your ankle, chances are it’s going to take quite a while for that ink to noticeably fade. Your immune system is actually doing the work here, so you’ll have to wait for it to sweep away the ink that is broken up by the laser.
Color of the tattoo matters
You’ll actually need different laser wavelengths to remove different colors of pigment. Light, as you may know, is delivered in varying wavelengths, each of which will be absorbed by a very specific set of colors. The absorption allows ink to be broken up and fading to occur. Green light is good for removing reds, for example, although red is the hardest color to remove.
There are side effects of tattoo removal
After a tattoo removal session with a laser, you may experience a number of side effects that range from temporary redness, pinpoint bleeding and in some cases blisters. Swelling, raising of the tattoo, and other such conditions should not last more than a week or so. Be sure to take your doctor’s advice on aftercare treatment of your tattoo.
However, if you experience darkening and/or lightening of the skin this may take longer to resolve – up to a year – but in most cases it does resolve. Scars and skin texture changes may never fully recover.
The truth is, getting a tattoo removed is a much longer and involved process than getting the tattoo in the first place. It can also be painful. If you want to remove your tattoo, do your research, with multiple laser facilities if possible, before you decide how to proceed.