What Makes a Tattoo Harder to Remove?

Tattoo studio

While tattoos remain very popular, many people have found themselves wanting to have one or two removed, whether it is for cosmetic reasons or just simple regret. Luckily, laser tattoo removal is very effective in erasing the ink. However, there are several factors that come into play when determining the difficulty of removing a tattoo.

Ink Color

The easiest colors to remove are black, blue and green; while colors such as yellow, white, orange and red prove to be more difficult.

Tattoo Age

The older the tattoo, the easier it may be to remove. This is due to the fact that the ink or pigment may have faded over time.

Tattoo Size

It is unquestionable that the hardest tattoos to remove are those that are larger. This is due to the fact that it will take more treatments for a successful removal.

Skin Tone or Color

People who have lighter skin may find that removal is easier. The laser light emitted during laser tattoo removal is not absorbed as much by lighter skin; rather the energy is focused on the ink. Alternatively, darker skin absorbs or redirects some of the laser energy away from the tattoo. Also, most laser treatments on darker skin use lower settings, as these patients may have a higher risk of side effects.

Location of the Tattoo

It is harder to remove a tattoo if it is in an area that has limited vascular supply. Tattoos on the hands, lower legs, and feet are harder to remove than tattoos on the back or chest.

Amount of Ink

The amount of ink within the tattoo is also a factor that can determine the effectiveness of removal. Professionally done tattoos usually have a higher density of ink, as well as being deeper within the skin. Amateur tattoo ink is usually less in volume and superficial.

Layered Tattoos

Layered tattoos that are often found when one tattoo has been covered by another are very difficult to remove.

At The Skin and Vein Center, we use the advanced Picosure laser removal procedure. This advanced technique is very effective for tattoo removal, even if the tattoo falls into a “difficult to remove” category as outlined above. Picosure is so effective that it can reduce the number of sessions — and the cost — required for satisfactory results.  Give us a call today for an evaluation and consultation about how we can help you with tattoo removal.

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