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What You Should Know About Tattoo Removal

By HERWriter
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What You Should Know About Tattoo Removal Via Unsplash, Edited By Jordan Haiber

Let’s be real. We can legally get a tattoo at the age of 18, but we will continue to grow and change as a person after that point. With this personal growth, a plethora of changes in our identity begin to surface.

At some point you may find that the tattoo you got at 18 of your favorite song lyrics at the time isn’t exactly relevant to your life anymore. Or the boy you swore you were going to marry broke your heart but now you have his initials inked on your wrist as an unwanted reminder of a failed relationship.

There’s an obvious difference between us and our tattoos. As we are ever-changing, tattoos remain almost permanent. I use the word "almost" because tattoo removal does exist and it's a popular choice among people who want to rid their skin of a regretful tattoo.

So what exactly does tattoo removal entail?

When deciding to remove a tattoo, you have to take all of the possible outcomes into consideration.

Even after several treatments, some tattoos may only fade partially, leaving behind a ghost-like image of your unwanted tattoo to haunt you.

The possibility of permanent, raised scarring at the site of the now-removed tattoo is likely as well. However, with newer technology the process of removing tattoos successfully is improving.

The process of tattoo removal is not just a one-time thing. Depending on the size and colors of the tattoo it can take up from two to 10 visits.

And talk about pricey! During these visits a professional removal technician will use lasers with a high-intensity light beam in order to break up the ink particles. These tattoo removal lasers are also called Q-switched lasers or ultrashort pulse lasers.

The lasers are red-hot and perform in a very narrow frequency at a rapid speed. The speed and heat of the lasers are critical when it comes to breaking the ink particles apart. After each session, the tattoo will progressively fade more and more until it is gone.

When it comes to the physical pain of this process, that tends to vary. It has been regarded as pretty painful. Some feel that the removal process hurts more than getting the initial tattoo.

Read more in HER Beauty

1) Here's What Really Happens When You Remove a Tattoo With Lasers. Business Insider. Accessed August 30, 2016.

2) Laser Tattoo Removal: 10 Things You Should Know Before Getting Your Tattoo Removed. RealSelf. Accessed August 30, 2016.

3) Laser Tattoo Removal. WebMD. Accessed August 30, 2016.

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EmpowHER Guest

My brother has a really embarrassing tattoo on his lower back that he got when he was drunk at a party. It has been a couple of years that he has been dealing with it and as a gift, I wanted to get him a removal. This article is really helpful to show him how it will be when he goes into the process. My favorite part that you mentioned was using red-hot lasers that are very speedy and break the ink apart. Thanks for the awesome information I will be sure to let me brother know.

July 14, 2017 - 6:57am

ooh.. that sounds painful. this is a must read before getting a tattoo. :)

September 6, 2016 - 3:48am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.