The Mirror reports that Mathew Whelan, the aptly named “King of Ink,” has opted for laser tattoo removal—but the reason behind his decision to do so might shock you. Britain’s most tattooed man has spent a whopping 6,000 GBP ($10,000 USD) on laser tattoo removal only so he can have the treated areas re-inked! Since he was 16, Mathew Whelan has been getting tattooed, and now more than 90% of his body is covered in tattoos—including his left eyeball, the sclera of which is tattooed black.
All the hype surrounding Britain’s most tattooed man might have you wondering how laser tattoo removal works exactly. What are its benefits? What are its limitations? We’ve got the scoop for you.
Nothing Short of Magic
The science behind laser tattoo removal is nothing short of magic. Laser tattoo removal works by targeting pigment colors in the skin’s dermis, the layer of skin between the epidermis and subcutaneous tissues. Light beams radiated by the laser are absorbed by tattoo pigments, which then fragment. The body then absorbs and eliminates the pigment fragments.
Laser tattoo removal uses the most cutting-edge technology. The Q-switch is the most common type of laser used in tattoo removal. It produces pulses of light boasting an extremely high peak power. Several types of Q-switch lasers exist, and each one targets a different color spectrum at different wavelengths. Because Q-switch lasers are so precise and intense, tattoo pigments fragment instantly, resulting in minimal damage to the surrounding tissue.
So that’s the amazing part about laser tattoo removal. But what are its limitations?
To start, some ink colors are more difficult to remove than others. Green, yellow and fluorescent inks are notoriously difficult to remove. Their absorption spectra often fall outside most lasers’ targeted color spectrums. What’s more, tattoo inks sometimes contain chemicals like iron oxide or titanium dioxide, which makes it even more difficult for laser beams to “explode” color pigments. However, recent advancements in laser tattoo removal technology have made it easier to remove even the most stubborn inks.
Laser tattoo removal is also more difficult to execute on darker skin because the tattoo ink is harder to differentiate. Yet with the right type of laser, tattoos can be effectively removed on darker skin tones. The Q-Switched Nd:YAG is the safest because the wavelength is 1064nm, which is longer and therefore bypasses the melanin (pigment) in the dermis. When ink colors like red or green are removed, there is a chance that the skin will permanently lighten. Individuals with darker skin tones also run the risk of developing keloid scarring.
And then there are the side effects to consider. Although side effects with laser tattoo removal are rare, they can still happen. Common side effects include infection at the tattoo removal site, incomplete pigment removal, hypopigmentation or hyperpigmentation, and scarring.
The bottom line is: if Mathew Whelan can undergo laser tattoo removal, so can you. Want to remove your own regrettable tattoo? Or would you like to make room for more? Then go with laser tattoo removal–the only safe and effective method to permanently remove unwanted tattoos. And LaserAway is the nation’s top laser tattoo removal service. So what are you waiting for? Schedule a FREE, no obligation laser tattoo removal consultation at LaserAway today.