The current process of removing a tattoo is painful and time-consuming, typically requiring 10 sessions or more of laser treatment.
Size, color, and location matter when it comes to wishing to remove a tattoo quickly and, most importantly, successfully. About 22 percent of U.S. college students have at least one tattoo. With the traditional laser treatment, it could take years to entirely remove tattoos, according to recent research from Italy and the U.S.
Specifically, yellow and blue pigments are immensely difficult to remove, and smoking actually makes complete removal almost impossible. The latter is due to it affecting certain cells of which ink in the body is dependent upon for removal.
However, a new laser device is being tested by U.S. Researchers, and offers shorter pulses lasting about a picosecond rather than a nanosecond, the traditional amount of time—meaning it can cut down the amount of sessions required to remove a tattoo. Students involved in a Massachusetts research study using the laser were immensely satisfied by the results. The researchers are anxiously awaiting the Food and Drug Administration to approve the new device.
Alyssa Syme, a Junior majoring in literature and binary education at the University of Central Florida, said she doesn’t care about the frequent, continuous treatments removing a tattoo would require. She is in the process of removing one, and it is fading but she said she may have to have four more sessions of laser treatment.
“It’s painful but [each session] just takes 10 minutes,” Syme said. “Where skin peels, it’s harder to remove.”
Rossi Kostova, a Junior majoring in forensic science at UCF, doesn’t intend to remove her tattoos and feels that no one should. Her view is that, in one point in time, one liked the tattoo enough to get it and should therefore keep it.
“I think if you want it, you won’t regret it, and I don’t think you should remove it,” Kostova said. “If you were to hate a tattoo, get a cover up—it’s not as ugly as scars. Removing tattoos is expensive.”
Tod Foster, a Junior majoring in political science, doesn’t intend on getting his tattoos removed either, so the long, painful process it takes to do so doesn’t change his opinion in the slightest way.
“I wouldn’t get a tattoo if I didn’t want one,” Foster said.