It’s hard to know with certainty how many sessions will be needed to remove a tattoo, and how effective a removal will be overall – however, there are some factors that can help us predict tattoo removal success. These factors, as followed, pertain to both the tattoo to be removed and the person seeking the removal.
1. Ink color
Traditionally, darker ink colors such as black and dark blue have been easier to remove. While this is generally still the case, recent advancements in tattoo removal technology have made it easier to remove lighter colors such as green and yellow.
2. Location on The Body
Tattoos located on the extremities (i.e. the arms and legs) are generally the hardest to remove. This is because there is less blood flow to these areas and they are farther away from the lymph nodes. It is our circulatory and lymphatic systems that carry the ink away in a tattoo removal.
One study, cited in the Wall Street Journal, found that smoking could reduce the chance of successful tattoo removal by 70 percent. This is because smoking generally hinders wound healing
4. Age of Tattoo
Older tattoos are generally harder to remove because they have sunk deeper into the skin. The good news for those who’ve had an unwanted tattoo for a long time is that tattoos tend to fade over time.
5. Size of Tattoo
A tattoo that’s larger than 12 inches is less likely to be successfully removed, and will certainly require more sessions if it is to be removed. The small symbol on your arm will take many fewer sessions than a full tattoo sleeve.
If your initial tattooing resulted in scarring, it will be more difficult to remove. Unfortunately, such scarring may not be visible, so it could be hard to predict how the removal process will be affected. Notably, tattoos done by less skilled tattoo artists will be more likely to scar and thus harder to remove
7. Skin Tone
Generally, it will take more sessions to remove a tattoo from someone with a darker skin tone, however, each session will cause less damage to the skin. This is because a higher wavelength laser beam, which causes less damage, is required when removing a tattoo from a darker skinned individual.
8. Ink Type
It may be unlikely that you’re aware of the type of ink that was used for your tattoo, however the ease with which a tattoo can be removed will differ widely according the compounds that comprise your tattoo’s ink.
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