How Laser Tattoo Removal Works

The Natural Fading Process of Tattoos

One of the reasons why tattoos are so popular is their permanent design. However, for many, it’s the permanency that later leads to regret and ultimately removal. Although tattoos are permanent, your immune system immediately works to remove your tattoo the moment ink is embedded into your skin. This natural fading process explains why tattoos gradually lose color and fade over time.

So how are tattoos permanent? A needle inserts tattoo ink particles into your skin’s dermis layer, the deepest layer of skin underneath the epidermis. Due to the large size of the ink particles, your lymphatic system is unable to flush the particles away. Instead, your immune system sends bacteria eating cells called macrophages to continuously chip away tiny fragments of ink. At the same time, new skin cells absorb the ink particles which trap them in the skins dermis. This process is what allows ink to stay permanently etched in your skin while also slowly fading over a lifetime.

How Laser Tattoo Removal Works

Laser tattoo removal speeds up the natural fading process by breaking the large ink particles into smaller fragments that your immune system can more easily flush away. During a treatment, our Astanza Duality laser emits ultra-quick pulses of light energy onto the tattoo. Each laser pulse uses wavelengths of light to target specific colors of ink in your tattoo. The ink particles absorb the light energy, heat up, and shatter into significantly smaller fragments that are naturally removed through your lymphatic system. The laser specifically targets the ink pigment while leaving the surrounding skin tissue unharmed.

Virtually every tattoo will need multiple treatments to achieve complete removal or significant fading. Each laser session targets a layer of ink, starting from the shallowest layer and working down to the deepest layer. You will see your tattoo fade more and more with each treatment until you reach your desired goal.


Fading a Tattoo for a New Cover-Up

Laser tattoo removal is not only used to remove tattoos, it’s also used as a tool to fade tattoos in preparation for a cover-up. In majority of cases, cover-up tattoos are limited in their size, color, and design because the pre-existing tattoo contains dark, heavy, or dense black ink that is difficult to conceal. More tattoo artists are recommending clients to fade their tattoo with laser tattoo removal to create a cleaner canvas to work on. Not only does a faded tattoo give your tattoo artist more flexibility, it lifts the restrictions for colors, sizing, and other design elements that come with covering a heavily pigmented tattoo. For sufficient fading and lightening for a cover-up, most clients will need as little as 3 to 4 treatments, and many will see significant fading after their first treatment.