The earliest firm evidence of human tattoos dates back to about 5,000 years ago when hikers discovered the mummified body of Ötzi the Iceman. No one knows when a first human regretted a tattoo and tried to do something about it, but one expert thinks it happened early. Tattoo artists have offered “home remedies” for tattoo removal since at least the late 19th century, he says. Read our brief history.
New picosecond lasers allow for faster treatment of several once-difficult tattoo inks such as green, blue, red, orange and yellow. Meanwhile, Q-switched laser regimens continue to evolve, sometimes in combination with fractional ablation.
Laser tattoo removal is booming, experts say, even among patients at extremes of the age spectrum. However, removing trendy lip- and eyeliner tattoos can be tricky because they often contain iron oxide or titanium dioxide.