First — no, I’m never getting my tattoos removed, and yes, I plan on getting both sleeves! A friend sent me a link, and boom — there was a dude getting his tattoos removed. Take a moment and check this out, it is actually quite amazing:
This process of laser tattoo removal is called laser ablation, or even better — selective photothermolysis. That’s certainly a five dollar word, isn’t it? If you break it down it’s pretty simple: photo means light, thermo means heat, and lysis means destruction. So destruction using light and heat. Can you dig it? To put this into perspective of, say, the entertainment industry, laser ablation is used to make glass and/or metal gobos, and can be done with ridiculous precision. Ridiculous. Laser Ablation is something that typically uses a pulsed laser because of its high power; when something is laser ablated, the power and temperature is usually at such a magnitude that the material being removed is often plasma-fied or just vaporized altogether.
Wanna get really nerdy with me? I also checked out a paper called Optimizing Outcomes of Laser Tattoo Removal, talking about different wavelengths and laser types. Yes, it’s interesting!
Hey, did I mention that video above has a guy basically getting his tattoos erased?!