Before reading this article, please note that the structure of tattoo ink (Tattoo for Body) is very different with cosmetic tattoo pigment (Known as permanent makeup/ micropigmentation/ microblading).

Tattoo removal process is way more complicated than tattooing. It involves physics like thermodynamics, optics and even biology and chemistry. You want to know how to remove a tattoo ink with a laser? If you get a little drop of tattoo ink and slide it and place it under a microscope you will see some metals. When we zoom in, you can see little bitty ink particles moving around. And also there’s these much bigger chunks.

What happens during tattoo process?

During tattoo process multiple needles are puncturing your skin and dragging both big and little ink particles down through the epidermis into the dermis.

From the moment the tattoo is placed however your body’s trying to get rid of it. Your body recognizes that it’s foreign material as if you got a sliver under your skin. So your immune system is coming over looking at this stuff going “hey this doesn’t belong here”. White blood cells come in to remove the pigment.

Now the white blood cell is a very small little cell whereas the pigment granule is a relatively large structure if you look at it under the microscope. That white blood cell actually comes over and tries to engulf the pigment granule, and because the white cell is so small and the pigment granule is so big, that munching away is a very difficult thing. It’s like trying to take a bite out of an elephant. That’s why tattoos are permanent, but that’s also why they fade right, because part of the ink is drug away but part of the ink stays.

If you look at a freshly placed tattoo, it looks very sharp. It has very clean edges, very clear colors, very crisp. If you look at a tattoo from years ago, that tattoo’s starting to look faded. Because what’s happening is that pigment is being eaten by those white blood cells and carried through the lymphatics of the skin. Because it’s headed for your liver, if you have the right type of laser removal, when you hit it with a pulse of light, that pigment granule will shatter.

What happens when you laser the tattoo for removing it?

As you shatter the pigment granules you’re making them smaller and more edible. So you’re accelerating the speed with which the white blood cells can remove the pigment. The white blood cells are trying to take it to the liver. That’s the way out. The laser is gonna zap the ink and then the white blood cells are gonna go grab the broken up ink particles and take it to the liver. And from the liver through the lymphatic channels of the skin, into the larger lymph channels deeper down. And and ultimately through the liver for cleaning up and excretion. It might take a few removal treatments before the body can fully process the ink.