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Like marriage, the decision to get a tattoo is meant to be a lifelong commitment. In sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer, a tattoo will be by your side – or lower back, or bicep –  indefinitely. That is, unless you decide to have it removed.

Tattoo Facts

An estimated 45 million Americans have a tattoo.
Women are slightly more likely than men to have a tattoo (23% versus 19%).
Tattoo removal has increased in demand by 32% since 2011, according to The Patient’s Guide.
According to, tattoos are one of the top three things that prevent people from getting hired or promoted.
Forty-seven percent of people without tattoos think tattoos make people less attractive.

Factors that Can Complicate Tattoo Removal

There are a few factors that can make divorcing your tattoo more difficult than you may think:  

Tattoo Color

The more the skin and tattoo color contrast, the easier it will be to remove. Fluorescent colors, particularly green and purple, are almost impossible to completely erase on most skin pigments. In these cases, it may be a better option to either keep the tattoo, or fade it with a few treatments in order to cover it with another tattoo.

Tattoo Size and Age

Smaller and older tattoos are easier to remove because the ink is easier to break down. Those considering the procedure should keep in mind that small tattoos might still require several laser treatments along with about a month of healing time in between each treatment for complete removal.

Tattoo Ink Depth

Professional tattoo artists have the tools and skills necessary to inject the ink precisely between the epidermis and the dermis of the skin, an area where the tough cellular matrix resists breakdown. This is why tattoos do not shed along with the outer skin cells over time.  Amateur tattoos tend to fade because the ink is not always secure between the epidermis and dermis. Because of this, amateur tattoos are also easier to remove with laser treatment.

The Benefits of Laser Tattoo Removal

Fast and Effective 

Over time, the sun can naturally fade a tattoo. Laser tattoo removal works in much the same way, but the process is hundreds of times faster and more effective in completely removing the tattoo.

Minimal Pain

Dr. Wise uses local anesthesia and a customized numbing cream during the laser tattoo removal process. This option is not available at most other tattoo removal locations.

Surrounding Tissue is Not Damaged

The laser can be adjusted to the particular depth and color of the tattoo. As it is applied to the area, light from the laser selectively targets and breaks down the pigment of the tattoo without damaging the surrounding tissue.

Before Getting a Tattoo…

If you are considering getting a tattoo, but you think you may get “cold feet,” follow these tips:

Evaluate Your Doubts

If you are doubtful that you will still be happy with your tattoo when you are well into your seventies, you should not consider getting one. Evaluate the reasons that are holding you back from this decision, and weigh the pros and cons before you say “I do.”

Try a Henna Tattoo

Fourteen to sixteen percent of Americans regret getting a tattoo, yet only one percent of Americans try henna. Henna tattoos are applied using a paste of ground henna that is prepared from a dried powder or from fresh ground henna leaves. Depending on the quality of the henna paste, the individual’s skin type, and the length of time the paste is on the skin, a henna tattoo can last from a few days to a month.

How to Camouflage a Tattoo without Laser Treatment

Like getting a tattoo, removing a tattoo is also a commitment. If you are hesitant to go through with laser tattoo removal, there are a couple of temporary fixes that can remind you what it feels like to have “virgin” skin.

Heavy-Duty Makeup Kits

Companies that specialize in concealing tattoos and even some mainstream cosmetics companies carry products that may be effective in hiding tattoos. This is a harmless method, yet daily application over a large area can be cumbersome.

Tattoo-Fading Creams

Many websites and infomercials sell tattoo-fading creams, which claim complete removal in three to nine months. Although this approach sounds enticing, the Food and Drug Administration does not approve of these types of do-it-yourself products. The risk of causing skin reactions as well as the risk of the product only partially working should be enough for you to avoid this option.

Dr. Wise can help determine if you are a good candidate for laser tattoo removal during a consultation at his New Jersey practice. If you are interested in this procedure, please call 973-658-4019 or fill out our online contact form to schedule an appointment.

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