9 Reasons Why Your Laser Tattoo Removal Treatment Might not be Working as well as you thought it would

by rburke on March 24, 2018

9 Reasons Why Your Laser Tattoo Removal Treatment Might not be Working as well as you thought it would


For those with tattoo regret, it’s natural to want quick and effective removal. Sometimes though, the results aren’t as impressive as you were hoping for. Here are the 9 most common reasons why your laser tattoo removal might not work as well as you might have expected.

  1. Type of laser used for tattoo removal

Safe and effective tattoo removal requires the laser used be powerful enough to break down ink pigments in the shortest amount of time possible. Many standard lasers do not have enough power and don’t break up the ink enough to achieve the desired result.

Newer, state of the art lasers such as the Astanza Trinity, are more likely to remove your unwanted tattoo completely and quickly, avoiding the unwanted side effects of burning or scarring.

Clinical research has confirmed the medical opinion that tattoo pigments are ideally removed by using the combination Q-switched laser and Ruby laser (Astanza Trinity Laser system). Ultrashort pulses generate Megawatt range power, producing a powerful yet focused and controlled photo-mechanical effect which shatters pigment particles and destroy the cells they are contained in. The effect is pigment removal and erasure of your tattoo.


  1. Laser wavelength versus ink colors

Different laser wavelengths are needed to remove different colors of ink. Dark colors are easier to remove than lighter ones.  Black is the easiest color to removel – a 1064nm laser is the right choice for removing an all-black tattoo. However, this is the only laser  offered at many tattoo removal clinics, it isn’t effective for removing colored tattoos, and it may not be completely effective in removing black since sometimes the black changes color during treatment (to green) which requires a different wavelength of light to treat.

Blue and green inks tend to be more difficult to break down – a 694 nm laser is the most effective for removing these colors, while red and orange inks require a 532nm laser. So, if you have multicolored tattoos, your best option: choose a laser clinic like the Michigan Center for Cosmetic Surgery which can treat all colors.


  1. Laser technician’s experience

The skill and experience of your laser technician have a profound impact on the success of your treatment, as well as ensuring your skin is protected. An experienced, technician applies the correct wavelength, spot size, and number of pulses to the area being treated for safe and effective removal. Here at the Michigan Center for Cosmetic Surgery, we have over 27 years experience in laser tattoo removal in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Most of our patients come from Canada, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and neighboring states although we welcome those from all over the world.


  1. Aftercare and Recovery

Since laser treatment causes heat build up in the skin, the skin is cooled immediately after each session to ensure excess heat is removed and prevent the skin from burning. You can also assist the healing of your skin by taking a number of precautions for 48 hours after each session – avoid getting the area too hot or wet, wear loose clothing and don’t participate in activities such as contact sports that could result in skin damage. No Saunas or hot tubs! Cosmetics and perfumes should not be used on the treated area.

Tattoo removal treatments should be spaced four to six weeks apart if treating the same area of skin. In some cases a longer treatment interval may be helpful.

  1. Location of the Tattoo

The positioning of your tattoo on your body plays a major part in how effectively it can be removed. Since tattoo particles are removed through the lymphatic system, tattoos farther from the neck and further down the body take longer to remove since the pigment particles have farther to travel, and in the case of the lower body are traveling against gravity.

  1. How old the tattoo is

The older your tattoo, the more easily it can generally be removed with laser treatment. Tattoos tend to fade over time making older ink pigment easier to break down with a laser, so an old tattoo generally takes fewer sessions to remove than a more recent one.

  1. Depth of ink

The ink in permanent tattoos penetrates the second layer of skin – the dermis – which is covered and protected by the epidermis or outer layer. The further the ink has penetrated into the dermis, the harder it is to remove. Because of this, professional tattoos often take longer to remove than amateur efforts. Professional tattoo artists  penetrate the dermis more deeply, using more ink.tattooremoval

  1. Smoking and Lifestyle

Lifestyle plays a huge part in the effectiveness of your tattoo removal treatment Smokers are 70 percent less likely to see effective tattoo removal over ten treatments.

  1. Sun exposure

Avoiding sun exposure is strongly recommended before, during and after treatment. If your skin is tanned, tattoo removal is more difficult.  (laser treatment cannot be performed on skin which has a sun burn).  If you can’t avoid exposure to the sun, minimize exposure, cover the area with loose clothing, and use a high spf uva/uvb sunblocker.




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