Why tattoos don’t have to be forever

Posted on 15 Apr, 2012

Before laser tattoo removal, once you had a tattoo you were usually stuck with it. Early tattoo removal methods are thought to have included the injection or application of wine, lime, garlic or pigeon poo. They may have caused the ink to fade, but I dread to think of the damaging effects they could have!

Luckily, nowadays, tattoo removal tends to be much more high-tech. Laser treatment offers a non-invasive and safe way of gradually causing the tattoo inks to fade away. When the laser is applied to the tattooed skin, the light energy is absorbed by the coloured pigments contained in the tattoo ink. This causes the pigments to heat up and then to break down into much smaller fragments. The body’s scavenger cells are then able to remove the fragments from the site.

While the effect of the treatment is accumulative, the results can be astonishing and are achieved with minimum risk of infection or damage to the skin tissue. Application of the laser is not pain-free, and the sensation has been compared to the snapping of an elastic band on the skin, but it is by far the most effective tattoo removal treatment available, and certainly beats rubbing in pigeon poo!