Obviously, speed is important - but this is your SKIN and the last thing you want to do is sacrifice skin integrity. Especially if you want it to be in the kind of condition you’re going to need it in to get a great tattoo to cover up the crap one you hate.
Point in case: in one episode of the new season of Tattoo Nightmares Miami (well, new for Australia at least - and while we’re on the subject, how come the US is up to season 6 of Ink Master and we’re still watching repeats of Season 3? C’mon Aussie TV!) a guy shows up with a bad tattoo on his forearm that he wants covered up (no surprise there). The kicker is that at some point, he tried to have it removed using some sort of acid like solution that was tattooed into his skin. Yeah, acid. And it's not uncommon - in Australia, lactic acid tattoo removal is a thing - and yes, it can work - but it's so unstable that the QLD government actually issued a warning against it (check it out: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-10-25/warnings-over-new-acid-tattoo-removal-technique/5841430).
He only had the one treatment done, and that’s probably a good thing. His arm was scarred up pretty bad and he said that people thought he had some kind of skin disease. It really wasn’t pretty. And of course, he wanted to get it fixed.
Artist High Noon got the task of covering that bad boy up and was immediately concerned about how the ink would ‘take’ in the area of the skin that had been tattooed with the ink-dissolving acid - and it’s a fairly legit concern. If there are any remnants of the solution that was injected into the skin then the chances of it effectively eating the new tattoo are pretty high. After a lot of concern and worry, the ink went in and seemed to hold. Great news for the guy getting the ink - but here’s the thing: how long will it last? All tattoos fade as they heal, we all know that. But what happens with skin that has been chemically altered? How much of that tattoo will ‘fall out’ as it heals and in the coming months? Only time will tell, and it has very little to do with how great the tattoo artist is - and let's face it, High Noon is a solid artist.
Look there’s no doubt that whatever was put into his skin was effective at removing ink, but the issue is the aftermath: a scarred up mess that may or may not ever be able to get tattooed over properly.
And that’s where laser is different. As long as it’s done properly by a professional using a system designed to remove ink (that is: NOT an IPL or hair removal laser) and the aftercare routine is followed carefully then your skin should be in perfect condition to re-tattoo after the fadeout is complete. And because there’s nothing going into your skin apart from light, there’s nothing there to stay behind to affect the integrity of your skin cells or their ability to hold ink.
And THAT my friends, is why laser is still the best tattoo removal option. And in particular Q-Switched Nd-Yag laser. Because it’s been around for about 20 years now - so the technology has gotten REALLY good. It’s tried and tested. We know it works. We know that the skin will be able to hold a new tattoo once we’re done. And we know because literally thousands of people have had laser treatment - including us. And this guy, who is rocking a new cover up by Wheatley at Platinum Ink ...