The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS) states that there were 68,000 tattoo-removal procedures conducted in 2016, based on a survey by ASDS members, and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery states that on average it costs $463 for one tattoo removal procedure in the U.S. Forever Institut’s Luigi L. Polla M.D. shares info about the laser tattoo removal process and discusses some useful information that clients need to know before the removal treatment.
Lasers break up the pigments of a tattoo into microscopic particles, which the body’s cells are then able to remove, says Polla. Clients should be reminded that when removing pigment, they might be faced with the possibility of scarring. If there is a lot of ink on the skin, the tattoo becomes harder to remove without scarring. “What we observe is that, unfortunately, when they do the tattoo, if they inject too much ink or another pigment, they create a scar,” says Polla. There are a few pigment colors that are harder to remove from the skin. “Yellow, for example, is difficult because the wavelengths we have with this laser are not very well absorbed by the yellow pigment,” says Polla. He says that the darker the pigment, the easier it is to remove. “Black, for example, responds to any wavelength. Yellow responds only to ultraviolet wavelengths.”