How Does Tattoo Removal Work? [Detailed Guide]

Tattoos have been around for centuries. They are a form of art and expression that can be seen on many people’s skin, but not all tattoos are permanent. Instead, tattoo removal is when laser treatments or topical creams break down the ink, so it fades away over time.

Tattoos are a permanent form of self-expression, so it’s not surprising that more people than ever before want to get rid of them. But what is the best way? Laser removal or excision surgery? This blog post will explore both methods and how they work.

How Does Laser Tattoo Removal Work?

Laser removal works by breaking up the tattoo ink into small particles, which are then absorbed by your body’s immune system. The procedure penetrates the skin with a beam of concentrated light energy while leaving surrounding tissue unharmed.

The laser is often accommodated to treat different colors and shades in a single session; how well it works can vary depending on how deeply pigmented or big/small the design is.

For example, some people have only 4 treatments and get rid of their black tattoos completely. But for other individuals, this process takes much longer – between 8-20 sessions. It depends on how deep the dark pigment was inserted into your skin. And how your immune system will respond to the ink.

How Does Tattoo Removal Work?

When light is absorbed by dense pigment and skin, it can cause a chemical reaction that destroys and breaks down the tattoo ink particles. Tiny blood vessels in the skin dilate (get wider), causing inflammation – which helps move ink fragments into your circulatory system so they can be filtered by your liver and removed from your body through bile or stool.

The procedure works best on new tattoos, but some stubborn ones may require more sessions depending on how deep/dark they are.

Tattoo removal systems differ from other laser treatment techniques because light interacts with pigment rather than how light affects surrounding tissue. Other laser treatments treat skin conditions such as psoriasis or hair removal work by targeting hemoglobin, melanin, and other molecules found in the skin.

However, tattoo ink does not contain any of these targets, so the light energy should be absorbed by how large, how much how dark, how brown how black ink particles how small are they are to be able to carry out a session.

UVA lasers can remove tattoos because they produce highly focused beams of pure visible light that target only specific color pigments. Although UVA can penetrate the dermis layer deep enough to break apart tattoo ink pigment particles, its wavelength is too long (400–320 nm) to effectively against black pigment.

Black tattoo ink absorbs all wavelengths below 420 nm and reflects wavelengths above 420 nm, appearing essentially transparent to these wavelengths.

What Are The Benefits of Laser Tattoo Removal?

Laser tattoo removal is an empowering way to take back control of how you look. The laser procedure can help make the world see how you want to be seen by removing your tattoos.

Benefits of Laser Tattoo Removal:

– Reduces the appearance of unwanted tattoos

– Recovery times are shorter

Side Effects From Laser Tattoo Removal

There are many short-term side effects of laser tattoo removal, including:

– Redness and swelling

– Increased pain and discomfort to touch

What is a Q Switch Laser?

The Q Switch laser is the most effective way to treat your unwanted tattoos. It is FDA approved for the treatment of tattoos. The Q switch allows for the highest peak power without causing thermal damage to surrounding tissue.

A higher peak power means more energy can be delivered in a shorter pulse length, allowing highly efficient absorption by black pigments used in tattoo coloration. All other lasers on the market today use dyes made of absorbable dye that break down during treatment, causing scarring and hyperpigmentation (areas without any ink). By employing the Q Switch laser, we can deliver an effective treatment while significantly reducing side effects and discomfort.

Normal tattoo removal using a Q switch laser can be uncomfortable for several reasons:

1) The peak pulse power is only 50% of the maximum power because it needs to be focused on a small area like skin or ink, so there is more energy being delivered than with other lasers which cover larger areas.

Smaller area, more energy! How uncomfortable? Sounds counterintuitive, right? However, your nerves alert your brain about how much heat/energy is required to cause harm. So if a smaller area has lots of energy delivered, you get the message that it’s super hot/painful, even if it doesn’t burn you or remove any tissue at all.

2) Because of how the laser operates, there is a slight delay between when light first hits your skin and when you feel it as pain. This may be how tattoos are removed in the future: with lots of small pulses and emitting near-infrared.

3) The color of your ink makes a difference in how painful it can be to remove with Q switch lasers because different colors absorb different amounts of energy from a Q switch laser which determines how much heat is delivered, how fast how uncomfortable. 

4) How big or how high quality the tattoo is also making a difference in how much pain, how many treatments how expensive. The more ink in the skin, how big, how high quality, how colorful how involved it is will make it harder for lasers to remove.

5) The newer Q switch lasers can break up tattoo pigment into smaller, less painful bits of debris. This allows these bits to be dispersed by your body’s lymphatic system faster and with less discomfort (but not completely pain-free.)

If you want to get the best tattoo machine for you then you can check out: Top 5 Best Tattoo Machines in 2021

Things To Consider Before Getting Tattoos Removed With Lasers

1. Understand your tattoos and the meaning behind them

Before you go ahead with tattoo removal, it is important to know why you got tattooed in the first place. Some people get tattoos as a symbol of their devotion towards a person or group of persons (such as family members).

Other people get tattoos to mark an experience they would want to remember forever, while some other uses for tattoos can be an educational or personal expression. If you face economic or social problems, and getting a tattoo is the only way to vent your frustration, if you can find something else that may be more productive, think twice before getting it done.

If you have removed your tattoo for the above-stated reasons (economic/social issues), you will probably need to get another one in the future to cancel out the negative symbol associated with your first removal attempt. Unfortunately, you might end up spending all that money on an ugly-looking replica of what was once beautiful and meaningful about your tattoos.

2. Consider how much does it cost?

Tattoos cost anywhere from several hundred dollars to several thousand dollars and beyond depending on size, colors used, and placement location. Removing them can cost anywhere from $400 to thousands depending on the size of the tattoo, the number of sittings, and the type of laser used.

Although removing tattoos using lasers has become cheaper over time due to technological advancements, it is still costly than merely getting a new tattoo or having the old one touched up.

3. Seek professional advice before getting yours removed with lasers

If you are considering removal treatments for aesthetic/artistic reasons (i.e., because you don’t like your friends commenting on your ‘tattoos’), my advice would be not to remove them completely but instead try out creative methods in covering them, such as intricate designs or Chinese calligraphy.

It will do wonders in saving you enough money while making small everyday changes to your appearance.

If you are considering removal treatments for medical reasons such as malignant melanoma (skin cancer), I will encourage you to contact a board-certified dermatologist first so that they can advise on the best course of action. You might be able to have it removed using non-laser methods such as by excision, which is also known as surgical extraction or ‘cutting out’.

Some people opt for laser treatment due to convenience and cost; however, there are risks involved with undergoing this procedure. It is important to note, too, that there is no guarantee that the tattoo will completely disappear after treatment, even after several sessions of invasive laser therapy. Its success rate depends on many individual factors, including skin type, ink color, the amount of ink injected into the skin, and how deep it was buried in your skin.

So before you decide to go ahead with laser tattoo removal, make sure you know all about the risks involved.

Most people tend not to notice or fully consider that while a tattoo may have been made using clean needles and pigments, there are no guarantees as to what kind of disease is being unknowingly passed on each time someone gets a tattoo done.

Therefore getting double-checked for common diseases like hepatitis B and C, AIDs, etc., would be advisable since infection from these diseases can actually happen during this process. Similarly, if you get tattoos removed by a laser, you may end up with permanent scars.


Tattoo removal is an ever-growing industry, as more and more people regret their decisions to get tattoos. We’ve discussed the various tattoo removal methods available today and what you should consider before making your decision.

Whether you want to know how laser tattoo removal works or explore the benefits of this method, we hope that our blog post has given you some insight into a difficult topic. If there are any questions about tattoo removal, please don’t hesitate to contact us! Our team will be happy to answer all your inquiries on time.”

You can check out some of my other best articles:
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