“Can laser tattoo removal not work?” I have been asked this question often, and the answer is… “it depends!”
There are many instances of laser tattoo removal not working, although in my opinion, full tattoo removal is possible assuming no scarring in the treatment area, the ink is black, and that you continue with treatments till the end game leaving at least 6 months between treatments, your tattoo would disappear eventually.
This view is a complete turn around from when I first started my laser tattoo removal business. 10 years ago, I was convinced that it was not possible to totally remove a tattoo and then people would come into my office and show me completely clean skin where their tattoo was removed from laser tattoo removal.
Based on this ‘I have seen it for myself’ experience I do now believe that it is possible to completely remove a tattoo with laser BUT there are a lot of variables. For instance, professional tattoos are difficult to remove and old home tattoos done with a needle and Indian ink can indeed be totally removed. Keep in mind, even with a home done tattoo, it might not come off unless the client is prepared to undergo many treatments.
Tom Lister, www.drtomlister.com is a very experienced tattoo removal professional who answered this question for me…
“There are many reasons that it (laser tattoo removal) wont ‘work’, including but (not) limited to: patient expectations (such as expecting complete clearance with no hypopigmentation), tolerance of pain where anaesthetic isn’t appropriate, some ink colours (pale blues, greens), allergic reactions to ink when released into the lymphatic system following laser treatment, depth of pigment, lasers without the required pulse energy or short enough pulse lengths, predisposition to scarring… “
So, Dr Tom believes that expectations are important in the laser tattoo removal process, I also believe this. Like all things in life you must really want it and be prepared to do whatever it takes to get what you want, including tattoo removal. Your tattoo removal experience is going to be costly, painful and will take time. My clients with realistic expectations and a determination to remove their tattoos get the best results, they also tend to swear less during treatment!