Laser tattoo removal has grown since the late 1990s as the techniques have improved and become more mainstream. But despite the increase in the procedure, there are still a number of misconceptions and misunderstandings about the best methods to get rid of that unwanted tattoo. Here are some things to keep in mind if you are thinking about getting the procedure done:
Fading Creams Work Better Than Lasers
There are dozens of creams on the market that promise to fade tattoos with regular use. But there is a reason that their sales are generally limited to the Internet: they don’t work. There are no studies that support their use and because tattoos are often complex and created by using different inks and techniques, any cream strong enough to remove some of the tattoos would also likely create a lot of scar tissue.
Laser Removal Isn’t Burning Off The Tattoo
This was often the case in the very early years of laser tattoo removal and those techniques led to the stereotypical heavy scarring some people still of when they hear “laser tattoo removal.” But modern Q-switched lasers work by breaking up the pigments in the tattoo and they letting body’s own immune system get rid of the remnants. While it is remotely possible some scarring can occur, it’s usually the result of too much energy being applied by the laser.
Cosmetic Tattoos Can’t Be Removed
That’s generally not true, although they are often much more difficult to get rid of. Eyeliner tattoos require special eye shields to protect the eyes and temporary loss of eyebrows can occur. Special protection of the teeth is an issue when removing lip tattoos. The biggest problem is with some flesh-colored cosmetic tattoos which are created using iron pigments. Those pigments can turn black when hit with a laser, making tattoo removal difficult.
Multi-Colored Tattoos Can’t Be Removed
They can be completely removed, although it might require several different techniques to get it done. In general, black ink tattoos are the easiest to remove with a laser. But even black inks can be difficult if they were created using metal-based inks. While it is possible to remove multi-colored tattoos, the rule of thumb is that the more colors in the tattoo, the more sessions will be required to remove the tattoo.