Can You Remove Your Black Ink Tattoo? Proof Through Pictures & Science

According to the Food and Drug Administration, 1 in 8 American adults regret getting a tattoo.

Are you planning to have your black ink tattoo removed? This article will guide you on the steps on removing black ink tattoo.

Is it possible to remove your black ink tattoo?

Yes, it is possible. However, we cannot guarantee it (nor can any other tattoo removal clinic truly guarantee it).

It all depends on several factors which could include the following:

The color of ink. Typically, green, blue, and black inks are easier to remove. Red, orange, yellow, and white are more challenging. With the development of new devices, removal of these tattoo colors has become more efficient.

Tattoo age.  Older tattoos are prone to pigment facing which makes it much easier to remove them compared to newer tattoos.

Smoking, Smoking has a direct effect on healing. If you smoke regularly, it will probably be more difficult to remove your tattoo.

Color of skin. Tattoo removal is more effective for people with lighter skin. Light colored skin doesn’t significantly absorb laser light so laser energy is focused on the tattoo pigment. On the other hand, dark skin will siphon a portion of laser light from the tattoo.

Amount of ink. Professional tattoo artists use a greater density/volume of pigment that resides deeper in the skin making it more difficult to remove. On the other hand, tattoos done by amateurs are usually uneven, superficial, and with less ink.

Scarring or tissue damage. People with dark skin have the tendency to develop scars or other tissue damage during the tattooing process. Ink pigments that resides under scar tissues poses a challenge to the one who will remove the tattoo.

Layered tattoos. Layered tattoos are tattoos that cover an initial tattoo. These types are more difficult to remove. Since the new layer is usually larger and darker, fully removing the tattoo can be very difficult.

What’s the best laser to remove your black ink tattoo?

For black ink tattoo removal, the best laser is a q-switched laser.

Q-switched lasers are derived from the idea of Anderson and Parrish’s theory of selective photothermolysis, a process of destruction using light and heat energy. They use light and heat energy to destroy the tattoo pigments and break them into tiny fragments allowing the body to flush them out.

Q-switched lasers pass through the skin and targets only the pigments so there will be no extreme dermal cell reactions. Cellular activity will be in “defense mode” while they are exposed to intense light and heat exposure. While there may be temporary patches, it will last only up to 72 hours.

Q-switched lasers use different wavelengths depending on the color of ink. Certain colors of tattoo respond better to certain wavelengths. Also, compared to the picosure, Q-switched lasers are proven technology.

How many treatments does it take to remove a black tattoo?

Most laser removal clinics use the Kirby-Desai scale in determining the speed of treatment for removing tattoos.  The scale takes into account the following factors in determining the rate of removal:

Type of skin. People with darker skin will require more treatment than those with lighter skin. The former have pigments that will interfere with the laser hitting the pigment of the tattoo thereby delaying or prolonging the removal process compared to the latter.

Source of tattoo. Tattoos made by professional artists are harder to treat because they are designed not to wear off on their own. In contrast, amateur tattoos lighten on their own. They are also not usually well-placed in the skin and can be removed much easier.

Age of tattoo. Older tattoos are easier to remove as the body has its own removal process. They also are prone to pigment fading.

Ink color. A 2012 study revealed that black pigments show 75% clearance in as early as 2-4 treatment sessions.  Another study showed 75% clearance of blue and green pigments after 1-2 treatment sessions.

Your health. Your body and immune system play a factor in the removal of tattoo ink particles. If you smoke regularly, sickly, and is 70 years old, it will take more treatment sessions compared to a 22-year old who is in a clean bill of health.

Black Ink Tattoo Removal Before & After

Removing black ink is possible. Here are some pictures to prove that it works.

Finger tattoos can be quite hard to remove. Fingers get low levels of blood circulation – yet, as you can see, this person had a complete removal of their black ink tattoo on their fingers.

This back tattoo with black ink saw great results as well.

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