“The big misconception with tattoo removal is that it’s an eraser,” Sherrif F. Ibrahim, M.D.,, an associate professor in the department of dermatology at the University of Rochester, tells SELF. But it’s not that simple. “It’s a process,” he says. Sometimes, complete removal of a tattoo can take one or two years, with treatments occurring every 6, 8, or 12 weeks. Plus, it’s not like getting your eyebrows waxed—it’s an invasive procedure that costs hundreds of dollars a session. Lasers remove tattoos by blowing up pigment molecules into tiny pieces, which are then cleared away by an immune system response. Healing from laser treatment isn’t always a walk in the park, either. “The laser breaks the skin’s surface, so you have bleeding, you have swelling, and you have pain after the treatment,” says Dr. Ibrahim.

Q-switched Nd:YAG: 1064 nm. This laser creates a near-infrared light (invisible to humans) which is poorly absorbed by melanin, making this the only laser suitable for darker skin. This laser wavelength is also absorbed by all dark tattoo pigments and is the safest wavelength to use on the tissue due to the low melanin absorption and low hemoglobin absorption. This is the wavelength of choice for tattoo removal in darker skin types and for black ink.


1. Consider a doctor. I'd previously had one tattoo zapped at a spa (I was living in small-town Canada where there weren't plastic surgery offices or dermatologists), where an aesthetician used an outdated heat laser that ended up burning and scarring my skin. This time around, I'm having treatments done by Dr. John F. Adams at the New York Dermatology Group, where everything is done under medical supervision. I suggest you find your own doctor by asking friends, editors (shameless plug), and even by stopping people that you see with removal in process—which, yes, I have done.
The finger second in from the pinkie finger on the left hand is commonly known as the ‘ring finger’ and is often reserved for a wedding ring as a sign that you’re married. It is quite common place for modern couples to get a tattoo there in place of a ring as rings are very expensive especially to lose! A small, simple tattoo such as the love heart above looks beautiful and is also easy to cover up should you need to.
We’ll start with this ghost design. In recent years there has been more of a movement towards smaller, minimalist style tattoos, rather than the traditional ink heavy ones. It also shows that girls are not limited to only getting ‘girly tattoos’. The cartoon ghost is a fun, whilst not been too spooky. Smaller tattoos are also becoming more popular nowadays as they are more affordable and often people can get a few smaller tattoos for the same cost as a bigger one. Not to mention they are also a lot easier to hide/conceal should you need to for work.
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