Know Your Ink: How Your Tattoo Pigment Impacts Removal

Cynosure Laser Tattoo Removal

Research suggests that some of the most common reasons for considering tattoo removal is that the tattoo didn’t turn out as expected, it wasn’t well thought through or that your once loved body ink no longer represents who you are. However, once you have made the decision to begin your journey to tattoo-free skin there are a variety of factors that need to be kept in mind due to their impact on the tattoo removal process – one of these is the type of ink pigments that have been used in your tattoo. Due to the different light wavelengths t­­­hat need to be utilised to effectively clear different coloured ink particles, what may look like a simple tattoo might not be the easiest to remove.

We recently sat down with MJ Driver, renowned tattoo removalist and tattoo enthusiast from MJ Driver Laser Tattoo Removal Clinic and asked Driver some of those burning questions when it comes to the removal process, such as what you need to keep in mind when considering tattoo removal and how the type of pigment used in your ink can impact clearance.

While it is widely known that some tattoo inks will be harder to remove in comparison to others, it is not largely understood why this is the case. According to Driver this is due to there being little to no industry regulation when it comes to what tattoo pigments artists can and can’t use; “Quality and ingredients are completely unknown! Inks are often mixed by the tattoo artists, drops of white ink here, blue ink there… then all of a sudden a tattoo that looks simple to remove can become quite complicated due to all the mixes of pigment that isn’t obvious from simply looking at the tattoo.”

It might sound ironic but according to Driver, the blacker the ink, the easier it is to remove as black pigment tends to be eliminated easier and more quickly than its brighter counterparts. Oranges and purples tend to be a more of a challenge whilst blue, yellow and white are the toughest pigments to remove.

Another factor to keep in mind is where your tattoo was completed – if it was done by a professional or by a ‘friend’ at home. Driver suggests that if your tattoo was not done professionally that you may need to be more patient with the removal process, “Home jobs can be difficult to remove … tattoos not completed by a professional have an increased risk of the ink being in the epidermis at different depths, meaning that we will see great clearance in some areas of the tattoo and not so great clearance in others. Also, the quality of the ink used tends to fluctuate, which can pose some dilemmas when attempting to clear a tattoo.”

Whilst the different pigments that are used in coloured tattoos sit at various points beneath the skin’s surface and require multiple wavelengths to reach successful clearance, PicoSure has the capability to treat these tattoos – no matter your skin type.

The PicoSure difference is our patented PressureWave™ Technology that has the ability to treat the entire spectrum of ink colours on all skin types, including black, blue, green, red, orange, purple, yellow and pinks. FDA cleared and TGA listed, PicoSure is the most trusted and versatile technology for tattoo removal. Delivering ultra-short pulse bursts of energy onto the skin, tattoo ink is shattered into tiny dust like particles so that the body can safely and easily eliminate the ink with most patients seeing results after 5-8 treatments.

You should always bear in mind that you might not experience 100% clearance on a tattoo as the colour and type of ink, as well as the artist’s tattoo style will all impact the number of treatments and the complexity of the removal process.

It’s highly recommended to arrange for a consultation to discuss your individual circumstances and for the professional to inspect your tattoo in detail to be able to offer a realistic estimate for the cost and process involved in achieving clearance.

Find your local PicoSure provider today and start the conversation towards achieving ink-free skin.

Find a provider

Ready to find your beautiful? Get started by locating a Cynosure provider near you.