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Okay, so you were a wild child teenager. You loved to live on the edge and truly express who you were. Naturally, you got a tattoo to forever seal your cool factor and free spirited personality. Unfortunately, you were incredibly young and didn’t think of how a Smurf riding a rainbow unicorn would look when you were in your 60’s…or hell, even your 30’s. Who’s going to take a 30 something hungry lawyer seriously with that tattoo coming down your arm. Forget wearing anything without sleeves or not constantly wearing a 3 piece suit. Luckily for you, there’s now a little something called laser tattoo removal.

This month, we’ll feature a new series taking a look deeper into tattoos, what they are, how you get rid of them, and the whole process that’s involved. So without further interruption, I give you our next feature.

Part 5

So we’ve arrived at laser tattoo removal. Finally! This is by far the most effective, safest, and simplest way to remove tattoos. As early as the 1960s, lasers had been developed for industrial uses. When researchers developed lasers that emitted wavelengths of light in short flashes called pulses, medical use became viable. These lasers can effectively remove tattoos with a low risk of scarring, according to the American Academy of Dermatology . The type of laser used to remove a tattoo depends on the tattoo’s pigment colors. (Yellow and green are the hardest colors to remove; blue and black are the easiest.)

The three lasers developed specifically for use in tattoo removal use a technique known as Q-switching, which refers to the laser’s short, high-energy pulses:

the Q-switched Ruby,
the Q-switched Alexandrite,
the Q-switched Nd: YAG, the newest system in this class of lasers and particularly advanced in the removal of red, blue and black inks