Skin Types and Laser Tattoo Removal: From Light to Dark
If you’re thinking of having a tattoo removed, you’re in good company. Tattoo removal is a pretty common procedure in the U.S. and worldwide. In fact, data shows that by 2025, more than $30 million will be spent on tattoo removal procedures across the globe.
Thanks to advances in technology, having a tattoo removed today is a lot simpler than it was even a decade ago. But just as every tattoo is different, no two tattoo removal procedures are exactly alike. Multiple factors come into play, like the age of the tattoo, the ink color, and even your skin tone. In fact, many people are surprised to learn that the color and tone of their skin can actually play a pretty big role in how easily their tattoo is removed. That’s one reason why it’s so important to visit a tattoo removal specialist to ensure you get the best treatment for your specific skin tone.
What’s my skin type?
Determining your skin type involves more than just looking in a mirror. There’s actually an official measuring system called the Fitzpatrick Scale. The scale divides skin tone into six types, based both on pigmentation and the way your skin reacts to ultraviolet light, like UV rays from the sun.
Type 1 includes people who are highly sensitive to UV rays, sunburn very easily, and never tan (very pale Caucasians)
Type 2 includes people who are very sensitive to UV rays, sunburn easily and tan only a little bit (fair skinned Caucasians)
Type 3 includes people who have sun-sensitive skin, sometimes get a sunburn, and slowly develop a light tan (people of mixed European descent and darker Caucasians)
Type 4 includes those who have minimal sun-sensitivity, rarely burn, and develop a moderate tan (people of Mediterranean, Asian, Hispanic, or Native American descent)
Type 5 people have skin that’s sun-insensitive, that rarely burns and that tans well (Hispanics, Middle Easterners, and African Americans)
Type 6 people include those whose skin is insensitive to the sun, who never burn, and whose skin is deeply pigmented (people from Africa and the Middle East, along with African Americans)
Does tattoo removal work on dark skin?
To understand why skin tone makes a difference, it’s important to know a bit about how laser tattoo removal works. Lasers break apart tattoo pigments into tiny particles so they can be removed naturally by your body’s waste system. To break apart the pigments, the laser energy must be absorbed by your skin. Since darker skin tones don’t absorb laser energy as well as lighter skin tones, it makes sense that tattoo removal on dark skin requires more laser energy in order to break apart those pigments.
Does that mean laser tattoo removal only works on light skin?
Not at all, thanks to today’s state-of-the-art lasers, tattoo removal can be successful for people of all skin tones. The number of treatments you need, and the length of each treatment, will depend in large part on the experience and skill of the person who’s performing the procedure,and on the type of laser that’s used.
How Our Tattoo Removal Lasers Read Your Skin
At Delete Tattoo Removal & Medical Salon, we use the Picoway laser from Candela, the leader in laser tattoo removal technology. The Picoway uses special computer software to read pigment variations in your skin. That includes both the ink colors and the color or tone of your skin itself. The Picoway uses a wide range of customizable settings, enabling it to be adjusted to your specific needs.
During your treatment, we begin giving you the option of injectable numbing from one of our physicians. We want to make sure you are comfortable and relaxed. Throughout your procedure, our team will fine-tune those laser settings to ensure the laser energy is optimized for your skin’s tone, along with the colors of the tattoo.
Picoway Lasers – The Safest Laser Type
The Picoway is designed to be safe and effective in people of all skin tones, including those with dark skin tones. In fact, the Picoway’s patented technology is unique, making it one of only a handful of lasers on the market that are capable of removing tattoos on all skin tones. In addition to our highly-advanced laser system, our experienced team is skilled in laser tattoo removal for people with both lighter and darker skin tones; so you can feel confident you’ll get the best results no matter what.
About Delete – Tattoo Removal & Medical Salon
Voted Best Tattoo Removal of Phoenix and opened in 2010, Delete – Tattoo Removal and Medical Salon incorporates the latest in state-of-the-art laser technology and a trained team of certified medical physicians and qualified laser technicians housed in a sleek comfortable environment. Delete provides both men and women a safe, convenient, and affordable solution for tattoo removal. Offering fixed price packages based on tattoo size and design complexity, payment plans and financing options are available.