More people than you think might expect to spend their daily lives deconstructing the visual world according to spatial relationships and simplified shapes. Architects, engineers, and graphic designers; game designers, photographers, and event coordinators; archaeologists, mathematicians, and scientists — all of these professions and more utilize basic geometry (and often, the golden ratio, despite its aesthetic purity coming under speculation) daily to categorize, design, and contribute to the world around them. Truth is, you visualize the world this way, whether or not you're conscious of it. So, if you're drawn to the way tattoo artists pay homage to nature and mathematics, there's good reason for it. And don't worry, you're not alone.
Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery is known worldwide as being a leader in laser skin surgery. We were one of the first practices in the world to offer PicoWay laser, an FDA-cleared laser treatment for the removal of tattoos and pigmented lesions. PicoWay laser incorporates picosecond (one trillionth of a second) pulse durations to generate ultra-short pulses with very high peak powers of laser energy on the skin. A strong photo-mechanical impact occurs that results in the fracturing of tattoo ink or pigment particles in the skin.
If you've heard anything about laser removal, it's probably that it's insanely painful. I mean, if I had a nickel for every time I've heard, "Doesn't that hurt even more than actually getting the tattoos?" I'd be rich. (OK, I would have enough money to buy a medium iced coffee at Pret.) But while there's plenty of info on what to consider before getting a tattoo (and pages on pages of enticing inspo), there still isn't a whole lot of discussion surrounding the dark side of ink jobs: What happens if you grow to no longer love that little shooting star or random Latin phrase (ahem, see below)? I'm only about halfway through the process, but I've picked up plenty of tips along the way. So to do you all a solid, I put together a list of everything I've learned.
For those peeps who freak out at the commitment or thought of getting so inked, then check out this research: A small study at the University of Alabama found that those with multiple tattoos showed a better immune response to new ink than those who were going under the tattoo gun for the first time. This suggests that tattooing might stimulate the immune system, like how a vaccine does.
2. It will take months—if not a year or more. Tattoos don't just disappear after a once-over with the laser. (I wish!) I've had six sessions, and I'd wager that I need about five more, despite the fact that my initial estimate was six to eight sessions. It takes a long time to complete because each time the tattoo is lasered, particles are broken down and digested by the body's immune system. The regeneration period is up to eight weeks, and the next time you go, the laser breaks down new particles of pigment. And so on and so forth.
Enlighten features extremely short and high-power picosecond laser pulses which break down the ink particles in tattoos. A ‘picosecond’ is one-trillionth of second, and is 1,000 times shorter than the ‘nanosecond’ pulses used in existing lasers for tattoo removal. Picosecond laser pulses have been shown to remove tattoos more completely and in fewer treatment sessions than traditional laser treatments. The Enlighten laser is a safe and effective treatment option for all skin types.
“As a dark skinned African American I was worried about skin discoloration. I called several different places for information. Most where unhelpful and some outright rude. From my first call to Eraser Clinic I received nothing but extremely polite and courteous service. They are very knowledgable and made me feel comfortable. Four sessions in and I have had no skin issues and my tattoo is barely visible with just a session or two until full removal.”
Tattoos have been used by many cultures a right of passage and a way of expression. Tattoos have also been used as a warrior mark that identifies a gang or a tribe. Sleeve tattoos carry deep meaning and symbolism. The portrait is on point and the entire piece is just rad. The feather, the bird, those eyes on the guy…Geeze, this artist is incredible. Then you scroll down and see that gnarly piece that’s so descriptive and awesome. It’s so hard to nail a portrait yet this guy makes it look easy.
Don’t expect to get a huge tattoo, or series of them, in just one sitting. They just take too long. Gualteros has some clients who fly in from overseas, and who then spend a few solid days getting big-scale tattoos completed. But that’s a special case. “Usually it’ll happen over more time,” he says. “It could take months, it could take years. Usually, you leave 3-4 weeks between appointments and a sleeve can require anywhere from 8-10 sessions.”