As tattoo artists, it’s never fun to hear about people regretting their tattoos. Whether it’s misspelled, a poor design, or just badly done, tattoo regret can happen to anyone. Luckily, tattoo removal has come a long way. However, there are still a ton of myths and misconceptions out there about the process. Here are some of the most common things people get wrong about laser tattoo removal!
Myth 1: “It’s simple, quick, and easy to get a tattoo removed”
Tattoo removal is not an eraser. There’s a reason it’s called a process to get a tattoo removed. Completely removing a tattoo can take years. Treatments happen every 6, 8, or 12 weeks. And often, they don’t go away completely. Lasers work by blowing up the ink molecules into tiny pieces that are then absorbed and removed by the body. Healing from the sessions is no joke either. The laser breaks the skin’s surface, which can cause bleeding, swelling, and pain. In other words, laser tattoo removal is complex, long, and difficult.
Myth 2: “It isn’t as painful to have a tattoo removed”
Do you remember how much it hurt to get the tattoo done? Well, multiply that by a few and you’ll know how much laser removal will hurt. Doctors do provide patients with numbing cream and injections to help with the pain of removal, but you’ll still feel it. It’s far less painful to just get a good tattoo, no matter how long it takes than it is to get a bad one removed.
Myth 3: “It’s safe to get it done anywhere it’s offered”
Unfortunately, laser tattoo removal isn’t as regulated as it should be. Legally, laser centers and spas can offer the treatment, but it’s best to have it done by a dermatologist. The reason why is that the ink is complex. There is also a serious risk of bleeding, infection, and scarring, which can happen if the process isn’t done by someone that isn’t trained properly. Make sure you thorough research and check on the clinic where you get your tattoo removed.
Myth 4: “It’s safe for everyone”
Just how not everyone is a good candidate for tattoos, not everyone is an ideal candidate for laser tattoo removal. Individuals with darker skin may not have great results. The laser works by targeting the dark ink (which is why black ink is easiest to remove) but it can also target melanin in the skin. Certain medical conditions can also make laser removal unsafe, which is another reason to go to a professional dermatologist.
Myth 5: “All tattoos are easily removed”
Unfortunately, when it comes to tattoo removal, not all ink is equal. Black tattoos are the easiest to remove as the laser can target the ink better. Brightly colored tattoos are harder to remove. Blue and green ink is more challenging, and yellow, white, and purple are nearly impossible to completely remove. A good laser removal will take away about 90% of the tattoo visibility. Don’t expect to see that tattoo completely gone.