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In the past, tattoos were mainly symbols of toughness and were commonly seen in men. These days, a lot of women get them too, opting for tattoos that express their femininity or their unique qualities. Take celebrities like Nicole Richie, for instance. Along with her wild hair transformations, she sports various tattoos that give her an eccentric yet alluring physical appearance.

Of course, like other people, Nicole does regret some of the tattoos that she had gotten when she was young. She had one on her lower back that she wanted to get rid of previously, and more recently, she confessed that she doesn’t like the one on her nape, either. She thinks the dainty red bow with her last name printed on it doesn’t suit her, and she hates that it’s so visible after getting her pixie cut.

If, like Nicole, you want to get rid of your tattoo, look into laser removal. Before you can appreciate how laser tattoo removal works and why it’s an arduous process, you first have to understand why tattoos are difficult to erase.

Tough Metals

The ink used in permanent tattoos like hers is actually made by combining ingredients derived from heavy metals like lead, copper, manganese and even mercury for red ink. These compounds, when deposited deep in the skin, give tattoos their permanence. Although the human immune system would try to fight these ink particles, they are too large to be eliminated right away.

Of course, your immune system is strong enough to take apart the ink particles little by little, but the dents made are so tiny. This is why tattoos may fade in vibrancy over time, but they won’t completely disappear. That is, unless you use lasers.

Tougher Lasers

The location of the ink particles (deep in the skin) and their size are the main challenges in removing them. These particles have to be broken up in such a way that they don’t wreak havoc on your skin and your pain tolerance. Lasers came into the picture because of their usefulness in accomplishing these things.

Traditionally, Q-switch lasers are used in tattoo removal. These lasers are very hot and quick—enough to cause the ink particles to expand and break apart. After that happens, the tiny ink fragments can be engulfed by white blood cells (soldiers of your immunity) and carried to your liver to be disposed of. Multiple sessions are needed to completely destroy the ink particles.

The benefits of this technology were refined in PicoSure laser treatment, which is offered by establishments like the Pasadena Aesthetic Laser Center in Los Angeles. These tools lessen the number of sessions needed and the complications that arise from traditional lasers.


Here’s what really happens when you remove a tattoo with lasers, Business Insider

PicoSure – for better tattoo clearance in fewer treatments, PicoSure

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