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Does Laser Tattoo Removal Work?

That tattoo that seemed like a great idea on Spring Break at 18 may have long become a curse that you try to cover up with makeup or long sleeves. Many who are seeing a more permanent option for tattoo removal begin to consider laser tattoo removal. However, you may have a whole host of questions in making this important decision, since after all you donít want to make another costly mistake.

Will it work? - That may be the biggest question of all when it comes to laser tattoo removal. After all, if the procedure canít actually get rid of your tattoo, you could end up worse than where you started. Unfortunately, there is no one clear answer to the question as a lot depends on the type of tattoo you have.

woman with tattoo

Certain tattoos are much harder to remove then others. Newer tattoos, for example, can be especially difficult to remove because advances in ink technology and the tattooing field have made tattoos more permanent than ever. Any tattoo applied after 1990 will typically be much more difficult to remove, and permanent scarring is likely to occur.

The color of the tattoo, your own skin color, and the location on your body also play a role. Black and blue ink are usually the easiest to remove, while green and yellow can be quite difficult. Fair skinned individuals with tattoos on the buttocks, arms, chest or legs may also fare better then those with darker skin or tattoos on areas where less body fat exists.

Does it hurt?

Once youíve alleviated your concerns that the process will actually work, the pain may be forefront on your mind. Unfortunately, getting that tattoo was painful and getting it removed will not be any easier. Lasers create heated pulse waves that can feel uncomfortable or tingly on the skin. Some compare it to being snapped with a rubber band. Tylenol can help, however, or a local anesthetic ointment can be applied to alleviate the discomfort.

Making the Decision

Once you have made the decision to have laser tattoo removal, speak to a qualified plastic surgeon or dermatologist who can help you evaluate your options and give you the best perspective on the possibility of completely removing your unwanted tattoo.