Article from The Wall Street Journal and tattoo removal – the facts that we are probably all aware of, but still interesting to revisit

Dermatologists have long known certain colors are easier to remove than others, but the findings on the impact of smoking on tattoo removal are new.

The research was conducted at a laser-surgery center in Milan, Italy, from 1995 through 2010. There were 352 people in the study, of which 201 were men, with a median age of 30 years old.

As many as 22% of U.S. college students have at least one tattoo, according to background information in the study, and about half of people who get tattoos later try to have them removed.


In order to remove tattoos, patients must undergo about 10 laser treatments several weeks apart. The light from the laser targets pigments in the ink of the tattoo and helps the ink break down. Over time the ink is removed through the body’s lymphatic system. Each treatment costs about $200 and isn’t covered by insurance.

Overall, the study found about 47% of people had their tattoos successfully removed after 10 laser treatments and it took 15 treatments to remove tattoos from 75% of patients.

View the article here