Getting a tattoo? Read this first!

Written by Kelly Wala, RN BSN, Advanced Nurse Injector on August 21, 2014 One Comment

tattoo removal tips

According to a poll conducted by Harris Interactive in 2012, 1-in-5 American adults have at least one tattoo. Of these individuals an estimated 15% have some form of regret concerning their tattoo and routinely consider undergoing some form of tattoo removal procedure.

The same poll went on to list the top 5 reasons people consider removal:

  • Career concerns: According to, noticeable tattoos may be a big barrier when it comes to getting hired or receiving a promotion. In fact, all new armed forces entrants are now required to remove all visible tattoos.
  • Termination of a relationship: One of the most common types of tattoos removed is the names of exes.
  • Overall embarrassment: Typically a change of perspective concerning the tattoo leads to anxiety and body image issues
  • Wedding: More and more brides are removing noticeable tattoos before their big day.
  • Parenthood: There is a trend of new parents removing tattoos in order to deter their children from getting tattoos.

Even with the increased growth and visibility of tattoo removal services the overall demand for tattoos still remains strong, particularly in the 18-25 year old age range. If you are thinking about getting a tattoo there are a number of things you can do to make the removal process easier (just in case):

Time: The older the tattoo the easier removal becomes as tattoo ink tends to fade overtime. If you are considering getting your tattoo removed at a future date you should refrain from getting any sort of touch up work done if you want to minimize the number of treatments.

Ink Color: If possible avoid color, straight black ink has been shown to be fully removed within 2-4 treatment sessions. If you really have to get coloring shoot for green, blue, or black and avoid red, yellow, and orange as they make removal difficult. Also if you can avoid layering.

Size: Getting your full sleeve done? The larger the tattoo the more treatments required for removal. A 2010 study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association noted that tattoos over 12 inches in diameter were least successfully removed after 10 treatments. Maybe you can get a smaller tribal cuff instead.

Location: To lessen the amount of treatments required for removal get your tattoo in a place that is closer to your body’s vascular supply, like the back or chest. Tattoos on the lower extremities of the body (hands, feet, lower legs) typically require the most treatments for complete removal.

Amount of Ink: The amount of ink used is another parameter that affects laser tattoo removal. Professional tattoos have a greater density/volume of pigment that resides deeper in the skin. On the other hand, amateur tattooing is usually uneven, superficial, and done with dramatically less ink.

Kelly Wala, RN BSN

Kelly Wala is a Registered Nurse with a Baccalaureate Degree of Science in Nursing from Eastern Kentucky University. As an Aesthetic Nurse Specialist for the past 10 years Kelly specialized in a full complement of non-surgical aesthetic services such as facial injectables, laser and light therapy, body contouring, and skin care. Kelly was the first in Texas to perform the Injectable Threadlift. Kelly is a Faculty trainer for Allergan Facial Aesthetics and Coolsculpting as well as a Faculty trainer for Galderma Facial Aesthetics and Sculptra. Aesthetics

One Response to “Getting a tattoo? Read this first!”

  1. Avatar Derek says:

    I have been wanting to get a tattoo for awhile now, so thanks for sharing this helpful guide! I like that you suggest avoiding too many colors because they can be hard to remove later. I will definitely find a design that can be removed down the road easily if I decide to. Thanks for sharing.

Leave a Reply