Lasers Eradicating Stigmas: The Societal Impact of Modern-Day Tattoo Removal

Since 5,200 B.C. the art of tattooing has been a form of self-expression and identity in which the human body is used as the canvas. Tattooing, as an ancient art form, has often been criticized for its permanent nature, and often associated with painful, imperfect removal procedures. This, however, may no longer be the case thanks to incredible technological advances in laser tattoo removal over the last thirty years.

The word “laser” is actually an acronym for “light amplification stimulated emission radiation.” All that jargon aside, lasers are just little devices which emit electromagnetic radiation (light), usually with the intention to heat something up. The most cutting edge tattoo removal procedures utilize lasers in a manner referred to as “selective photothermolysis.” Through such a procedure a laser would potentially produce a wavelength which would be especially absorbed by the targeted (tattooed) cells. This means: maximum targeted cell removal, minimal proximal cell damage, and minimal epithelial scarring.

Tattoo removal techniques are becoming increasingly more effective and tolerable, which is great for those who have already indulged in this art form. But what could this mean for other members of society whom choose to remain “uninked?” It’s conceivable that the marked improvement in removal techniques might mitigate the stigmas associated with getting a life-long tattoo, encouraging more people to express themselves, using tattoos as their outlet. Those that have begrudgingly added one of their tattoos onto their list of “poor life decisions” might finally feel comfortable going under the laser, and perhaps rekindling social and career-oriented aspirations they would not have otherwise considered.

While it is not clear whether the advancement of laser tattoo removal will herald a time of more tattoos or a time of more tattoo removals, it is probable that the rest of the tattoo industry will become just as progressive as its removal techniques.

If you’re interested in learning more about the newest tattoo-removal processes, follow the link below:


-Alexander Santos


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