If you’ve been putting off removing your tattoo for years, you may be glad that you waited. Laser tattoo removal technology has been perfected over the last 20 years, and removal techniques that were revolutionary just 25 years ago are now common place.

Laser tattoo removal may be a fairly new technology, but people have been devising ways to remove tattoos since they’ve been tattooing themselves. Historians uncovered references to tattoo removal as far back as the 1600s, when European settlers in the Americas who tried to remove Native American tattoos actually scraped off their skin.

These barbaric methods continued for centuries: To remove tattoos, people would actually strip away layers of the skin, resulting in serious scars and risk of infections.


In more modern times, tattoo removal attempts were made with at-home ingredients that wouldn’t really be effective, such as lemons and garlic, and chemicals such as tannic acid, silver nitrate, and phenol solutions. All were ineffective and some carried serious side effects.

Short-pulsed lasers — the precursors to the lasers used now for tattoo removal — were first experimented with in the late 1960s. In the late 1970s, experiments with argon lasers and carbon dioxide lasers were tested, but were ineffective and included a higher risk for scarring.

In the early 1980s, a test in Scotland with Q-switched ruby lasers were first run, resulting in unprecedented successful results. Those lasers were first used in the United States in 1990.



Within a few years, laser technology had developed enough to effectively remove some tattoos relatively easily. These early tattoo removal techniques primarily were done by physicians, but as the technology became more tested, the availability of technicians to preform the removal in clinics such as New Look Houston emerged. Although these early lasers use similar methods to remove the tattoo, the technology in the last 25 years has dramatically increased the effectiveness of laser tattoo removal.

The lasers intensity has increased dramatically, switching from measuring procedures in billionths of a second to a trillionth of a second. This makes the whole process 100 times faster and also more efficient.

Lasers manufactured after 2006 also have a technology that enables them to  treat a much broader range of tattoo pigments than previous individual lasers, although lasers targeting specific colors are sometimes still used.

Modern lasers are more effective and less invasive than ever. If you had started to remove a tattoo 10 years ago, it would have been a longer, more involved process.

Ready to take the plunge? Call New Look Houston today at 713-783-2000.

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