Laser Tattoo Removal
The History of Tattoos
Since the dawn of time, people have marked their skin through the practice of tattooing, with tools being discovered across the globe from Scandinavia to the Philippines. Ötzi the Iceman, a mummy found in the Ötz valley in the Alps, dating from the 5th to 4th millennium BC, possesses the oldest surviving tattoos. Ancient civilisations used tattoos for a variety of reasons – in the Philippines they were rank marks, Egyptians used tattoos as methods of healing and religious worship, and the Celts used them as marks of accomplishment.
However, as Christianity swept across the world, tattooing started to be considered pagan, barbaric and uncivilised, slowly falling out of favour, but the start of transoceanic journeys brought indigenous people, who were often tattooed, into the country. As a result, tattooing started to become acceptable once more.
At first, this new wave of tattoos began with the sailors and lower classes, but in time, as tattoo artists became more and more proficient, tattooing became hobby of the aristocracy. But then, in the see-saw history of tattoos, it became cheaper to have good quality tattoos, due to improved tools, they, once more, became the symbol of the lower classes, and the socially deviant.
It remained this way until 1960s and the hippie movement when tattooing slowly entered the mainstream changing from deviant behavior to acceptable form of self-expression. It became so mainstream that even Mattel started selling barbie dolls with tattoos, and nowadays people of both sexes, of every economic classes, and of all ages are wearing tattoos.
If you’re not as in love with your tattoo as you once were, you’re in luck as they can be removed using modern technology and laser tattoo removal is a safe and effective way to get the job done.
During the tattoo removal procedure, laser light is applied to the tattooed area of the skin. The light is selectively absorbed by the tattoo ink particles, leaving the surrounding skin tissue and chromophores unharmed. The tattoo ink particles absorb the laser energy, heat up, and break down into smaller ink particles. In the days and weeks following a laser treatment, the body’s immune system flushes away the microscopic ink particles, causing the tattoo to fade. Over a series of treatments, more and more of the ink breaks down, leaving the skin free of ink.
Most salons and clinics use Q-switched lasers. Rather than a solid beam, these fire rapid pulses. These laser energy pulses, which are in billionths of a second, release the pigment into the skin so it can be naturally reabsorbed and disposed of by the body.
Different types of Q-switched lasers are used to target different colors of tattoo ink depending on the specific light absorption spectra of the tattoo pigments. Typically, black and other darker-colored inks can be removed completely using Q-switched lasers while lighter colors such as yellows and greens often take more sessions to remove, and the final result can depend on a wide variety of factors including skin color, ink color, and the depth at which the ink was applied.
So, whilst it’s still a case of thinking before inking, if you’ve grown to regret that tattoo, there is help available.