Will My Tattoo Completely Disappear with Laser Tattoo Removal?

Distilling the Facts from the Myths


Laser tattoo removal is an industry that is growing with every passing week. But just how effective is the technology?


Depending on which research source you choose to believe, tattoos can be found on anything from 20 to 40 percent of people in the UK. The exact location of the true number on that scale is unimportant, the point is that getting a tattoo is not just for sailors, bikers or punk rockers.

Anyone from politicians to company CEOs, might have a tattoo todaybut just as more people are choosing to be inked, so the number who later regret that decision is also inevitably on the increase. As a result, clinics are popping in increasing numbers to offer laser tattoo removal in London and elsewhere across the country.

Why the regret?

Make no mistake about it, the vast majority of people who choose to have a tattoo remain satisfied with their decision and keep it for life. However, there will always be a minority of those who fall into the “tattoo regret” category. The reasons for this are varied, but include the following:

  • The tattoo has lost its original meaning
  • Dissatisfaction over the artistic quality of the tattoo
  • The tattoo is no longer representative of the wearer’s personality
  • The tattoo has the name of someone who is no longer significant to the wearer

In more general terms, however, there is one overarching reason why people seek the services of tattoo removal clinics. This is the simple fact that they have got older and feel they were immature when they had the tattoo. Rightly or wrongly, some people choose a tattoo in the same way they choose a hairstyle or an outfit. And how many of us at the age of 40, wear our hair or our clothes in the same way as we did at 20?

Tattoo removal

In 2016, the Daily Telegraph ran an article that discussed the burgeoning tattoo removal business. Keep in mind that this was when the global recession was still in full swing, yet despite this, it reported an incredible 440 percent increase in revenue for tattoo removal businesses in the UK over the previous ten years.

Unsurprisingly, this inspired more enterprising souls to join the fray, and in a sector that is largely unregulated, it means that those looking to have their tattoos removed need to tread carefully and choose a clinic that is professionally operated and uses modern techniques.

Success rates

A reputable tattoo removal clinic that operates using picosecond laser technology will usually be able to completely remove a tattoo. This is, however, subject to certain caveats, depends on the type and colours of ink used and your own skin colour. For example, for those with very dark skin, e.g. those of Afro-Caribbean descent, it is not always possible to remove lighter coloured inks.

In the majority of cases, the tattoo will disappear completely, but due to the inherent uncertainties, even the best tattoo removal clinic will only guarantee 95 percent removal. If you encounter anyone promising better, treat their claims with suspicion.