Laser tattoo removal works best on light-skinned individuals with darker tattoos. This is because lasers work by preferentially targeting certain pigments depending on their color spectra range. Once a laser pulse penetrates color pigment, the pigment absorbs the laser’s energy and fragments. The body’s immune system then eliminates the pigment particles, gradually fading the tattoo. For those with darker skin, the process is more difficult because the skin’s darker pigmentation makes it harder for a laser to effectively detect and differentiate between the tattoo’s borders and the surrounding tissue.
What’s more, darker skinned people may experience greater post-procedural complications, including hyper- or hypopigmentation and keloid scarring.
But if you have dark skin, don’t despair! Some pigment-specific laser technologies, such as the Nd:YAG and Alexandrite lasers, have proven effective in removing tattoos on darker skinned individuals. Longer wavelengths and greater pigment selectivity help these lasers cause less epidermal damage and promote more successful fading of tattoos in dark-skinned people.
Of course, as with any cosmetic procedure, you should discuss possible complications with your physician prior to receiving treatment.