Lasers are not the high-power lasers you might imagine for a James Bond tabletop cutting. In fact, it is closer to the size of the tattoo gun that caused you trouble in the first place!
If you use an IPL treatment to remove body hair at home, you will be more familiar with laser tattoo removers.
These lasers produce short pulses of different wavelengths. When these light waves are directed at your tattoo, they penetrate the skin and are absorbed by the ink. The light breaks the ink into smaller particles, which are gradually cleared by the body and immune system.
The key word here is gradually. It usually requires multiple treatments, especially if the tattoo is large. It also depends on the color of the ink. Different colors require different wavelengths because colors absorb light differently. Yellow, green, and blue inks are generally the most difficult to remove, while black and red inks are the easiest to remove.
This means that the larger, richer and more complex the tattoo, the more often it will need to be removed at home.
As for the surgery itself, most people describe it as uncomfortable rather than painful. This will depend on your own pain threshold, but if you get past your first tattoo, you’ll be fine!
While older laser tattoo removers and surgical removal options can damage your skin, laser tattoo removal is safer and less likely to leave permanent damage. The first treatment may take about a week to heal, but subsequent treatments will take less and less time. Eventually, the tattoo will disappear completely.