There is scientific evidence that tattoos have been gracing the bodies of people from almost every culture across the globe, as far back as 3500 BC. And for nearly as long, these same humans have tried to remove them, but rarely succeeding successfully.
The numbers are showing that there are 60,000 new tattoos each year in the United States alone. Some estimate that about 14% of Americans have at least one tattoo, 17% said they regret getting one in the first place, and 11% are having, or have had a tattoo removed. The rising popularity of tattoos has spurred a corresponding increase in tattoo removal. Not all tattoos are for aesthetic reasons. Some are cultural customs, others for a medical necessity such as marking the radiation area in cancer patients.
The first tattoo removal attempt discovery was in several Egyptian mummies, which go back to around 4,000 BC. Ancient Greek writings describe attempted removal with salt abrasion or with a paste containing cloves of white garlic mixed with Cantharidin, a caustic substance excreted by the Spanish Fly, which causes severe skin blistering.
Some more “modern” techniques involved included dermabrasion, TCA – which removes the top layer of skin through the use of chemical acid – and Sal abrasion, which is the process of removing the top layer of skin by abrasion with salt. All of these tattoo removal processes were extremely painful and did not create positive enough results for most people to keep continuing with the treatments. Home remedies, crèmes, and balms aren’t effective, as they cannot penetrate the skin deep enough to break up the ink particles of the tattoo. There are many products on the market that claim to remove tattoos, but unfortunately, none of them can live up to those claims.
The creation of Q-switched lasers in the late 1960s the world to professional laser tattoo removal developed. These lasers drastically increased the success of tattoo removal. Unfortunately for many, the process was also terribly painful and expensive, with recent rapid advancements in laser technology it easier than ever before to remove tattoos. Most studios use multiple lasers depending on the size and color of the tattoo. Every year technology develops, and lasers are improving.
While the results vary from person to person and no laser removal is 100% guaranteed, the latest technology has allowed us to create and perfect a tattoo removal process that reduces pain and damage to the skin.