Life’s full of regrets, which is exactly why tattoo removal exists, but how does it work?
Getting a tattoo is easy. You simply think of something funny, let your friends convince you to get it permanently inked onto yout body while on the lash in Ibiza, and then deal with the consequences when you wake up.
Removing one is a different story.
The process of getting a tattoo involves pushing ink down into your ‘second layer’ of skin, or the dermis.
In the same way that your body tries to force out splinters, it will recognise this ink as a foreign object and try to remove it.
The way it does this is to send white blood cells to destroy the ink particles.
The only problem is that the ink particles are larger than the white blood cells, making this process extremely slow (which is why tattoos do start to fade naturally after a few decades).
Lasers can be used to break down these particles, meaning the ink can be absorbed into your blood stream and removed, the same way your body removes all of its other waste.
The NHS says it can sometimes take 10 or more sessions to remove a tattoo.
They also point out that different types of ink and colours can take longer to remove.
Footage of people getting laser tattoo removal makes it look like the ink instantly disappears, but this is just water in the skin being heated up and temporarily obscuring the tattoo.
Private clinics in the UK usually charge around £150 per session for the removal of a small tattoo. If you do end up requiring multiple sessions to remove your tattoo, it could end up costing you dearly.