Written by Catherine Rein (last updated April 22, 2009)
My sister got a tattoo of a butterfly on her ankle when she was a junior in college. After a few years she decided to have the tattoo removed. Apparently the laser removal took about three months of treatment and cost several times more than the original tattoo cost.
Some things to consider when looking into laser tattoo removal:
Patients with fair skin are the best candidates as are those with tattoos on the arms, chest, buttocks or legs. Tattoos in other locations, such as the hands or ankles are more difficult to remove because these locations have less fat. Individuals with dark skin are also more difficult to treat and the tattoo removal may not be as complete.
Newer tattoos are more difficult to remove than older tattoos. Over time the body absorbs some of the ink so older tattoos tend to be more faint in appearance. The color of the ink used in the tattoo also plays a factor into laser effectiveness. Turquoise tattoos are extremely challenging to remove because no laser effectively targets that color. Red, white and flesh colored tattoos are also a challenge, as they may turn black after laser treatment.
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