Discover the Fascinating History of Laser Tattoo Removal: When Was It First Invented?

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The question of “when was laser tattoo removal invented?” is an interesting one. While the exact date is unknown, the concept of laser tattoo removal dates back to the early 1960s. In the decades since, laser tattoo removal has become an increasingly popular method for removing unwanted tattoos. In this article, we’ll explore the history of laser tattoo removal, from its invention to its current uses. We’ll also look at how laser tattoo removal has changed over the years, and the future of this technology.


History of Tattoo Removal

History Of Tattoo Removal

Timeline of Tattoo Removal

1800s: Tattoo removal has been around as long as tattoos themselves. Early methods of removal included sanding, dermabrasion, salabrasion, and cryosurgery, although these were often painful and ineffective.

1960s: The first laser device designed to remove tattoos was developed in the 1960s. This was the first time that lasers were used to break down tattoo pigments. Unfortunately, the device was not effective enough, and the technology was not advanced enough to make it a viable option.

1990s: In the 1990s, the first successful laser tattoo removal treatment was developed. This treatment used a Q-switched laser to break down the tattoo pigments. This method was much more effective than previous methods, and it is still used today.

2003: In 2003, the first commercially available laser tattoo removal system was released. This system was much more effective than previous methods, and it quickly became the standard for tattoo removal.

When Was Tattoo Removal Invented? Tattoo removal has been around since the early 1800s, although the first successful laser treatment was developed in the 1990s. The first commercially available laser tattoo removal system was released in 2003.

Who Invented Laser Tattoo Removal?

Who Invented Laser Tattoo Removal?

  • 1995 – Laser tattoo removal was invented by the American physician Dr. Leon Goldman in 1995.
  • Nd:YAG Laser – Dr. Goldman used a Nd:YAG laser to remove tattoos. This laser is still widely used in laser tattoo removal today.
  • Q-Switched Nd:YAG Laser – In 1998, the Q-Switched Nd:YAG laser was invented by the American physician Dr. Rox Anderson. This laser is used in tattoo removal and is considered the gold standard for removing tattoos.
  • Precision System – In 2003, a precision system was created by the American physician Dr. Robert Anolik. This system uses a combination of lasers and treatments to achieve optimal results for tattoo removal.

Laser tattoo removal has come a long way since it was first invented by Dr. Leon Goldman in 1995. Today, it is the most effective way to remove tattoos and is widely used by dermatologists and tattoo removal specialists. With the invention of the Q-Switched Nd:YAG laser and precision system in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, laser tattoo removal has become even more effective and efficient.

Benefits of Laser Tattoo Removal

Benefits Of Laser Tattoo Removal

1. Non-Invasive Treatment: Laser tattoo removal is a non-invasive treatment that eliminates tattoos with minimal discomfort.

2. Minimal Scarring: Compared to other tattoo removal treatments, laser tattoo removal causes minimal scarring and is considered the safest option for removing tattoos.

3. Quick and Effective: Laser tattoo removal is a fast and effective way to remove tattoos. Generally, it takes several sessions to completely remove a tattoo, but each session is relatively quick and painless.

4. Cost-Effective: Laser tattoo removal is often more cost-effective than other tattoo removal treatments. Additionally, the cost of laser tattoo removal is lower than the cost of getting a new tattoo.

5. Removes All Types of Tattoos: Laser tattoo removal can be used to remove all types of tattoos, including traditional tattoos, permanent makeup, and even tattoos that have been treated with other removal treatments.

Risks of Laser Tattoo Removal

  • Scarring: Laser tattoo removal can cause scarring due to the intense heat generated by the laser which can cause damage to your skin.
  • Pigmentary Changes: Laser tattoo removal can cause changes in skin pigmentation. The skin may become darker or lighter than the surrounding skin.
  • Pain: Laser tattoo removal is a painful procedure, and you may experience some discomfort during the procedure.
  • Infection: If the skin is not properly cleaned before and after the procedure, you may be at risk of infection.
  • Eye Injury: Laser tattoo removal can cause eye injury if the technician does not use proper safety precautions.

Cost of Laser Tattoo Removal

Cost Of Laser Tattoo Removal
The cost of laser tattoo removal can vary significantly depending on a variety of factors, including the size and complexity of the tattoo, the number of treatments needed, and the type of laser used. On average, laser tattoo removal typically ranges from $200-$500 per treatment, and six treatments are usually necessary for complete removal. Additional treatments may be required for larger and more complex tattoos. Some clinics offer discounts for multiple treatments, so it is important to ask about any special offers when inquiring about the cost.

It is important to note that laser tattoo removal is not covered by insurance, so the entire cost must be paid out-of-pocket. Many clinics offer financing options to help spread out the cost over time, so be sure to inquire about payment options if you are interested in having a tattoo removed.

Alternatives to Laser Tattoo Removal

Alternatives To Laser Tattoo Removal

  • Dermabrasion: A method of skin resurfacing, where layers of skin are removed with a wire brush. It can be used to fade tattoos and other skin imperfections.
  • Excision: Involves cutting out the tattooed area and stitching the skin together. It is a much more invasive procedure and is not recommended for large tattoos.
  • Cryosurgery: A procedure where the tattooed area is frozen with liquid nitrogen. It is a relatively painless procedure, but it is not as effective as laser tattoo removal.
  • Tattoo Removal Creams: Some creams are available to help fade tattoos, but they are not as effective as laser tattoo removal.
  • Tattoo Removal by Sanding: A technique used by some tattoo artists to remove tattoos. It involves gently sanding away the tattoo with a sanding tool.

Safety of Laser Tattoo Removal

Laser tattoo removal is considered a safe and effective procedure when performed by a certified and experienced professional. The laser works by breaking down the pigment colors of the tattoo into tiny particles which are then removed by the body’s natural defenses. The procedure is relatively painless and side effects are usually minimal. Common side effects include swelling, redness, and occasional blistering.

To ensure safety and the best results, patients should choose a certified laser tattoo removal specialist and make sure to follow all pre- and post-treatment instructions. It is also important to avoid exposing the treated area to direct sunlight for at least six weeks after the procedure. Sun exposure can cause the skin to darken and can interfere with the laser’s ability to break down the pigment.

Although it is a safe procedure, laser tattoo removal is not recommended for everyone. People with dark skin, certain medical conditions, and tattoos with certain colors may not be good candidates for the procedure. It is important to talk to a professional before undergoing treatment to make sure it is right for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Benefits of Laser Tattoo Removal?

  • Safe and Effective – Laser tattoo removal is safe and effective. The procedure is non-surgical and can be done in a doctor’s office. It can remove tattoos of all colors, shapes, and sizes.
  • Quick Results – Laser tattoo removal can remove tattoos quickly, usually within four to six treatments. Some tattoos may take longer to remove depending on the size, color, and location of the tattoo.
  • Minimal Scarring – Laser tattoo removal does not usually leave behind scars. It is possible to have some minor scarring, but this is usually minimal.
  • Little Discomfort – The procedure is usually not painful, but there may be some discomfort. Most patients describe the feeling as similar to a rubber band snapping against their skin.
  • Cost-Effective – Laser tattoo removal is cost-effective. The cost of the procedure will depend on the size, color, and location of the tattoo, but it is usually less expensive than other tattoo removal methods.

What type of laser is used in the tattoo removal process?

    Q-Switched Lasers: The most common type of laser used in tattoo removal is the Q-Switched laser. This type of laser is used because it produces high-energy, short pulses of light that can break down the pigment in the tattoo ink. The laser is specifically tuned to the color of the tattoo ink so that it can target only the ink while leaving the surrounding skin intact.

    Picosecond Lasers: Picosecond lasers are the newest type of laser used in tattoo removal. These lasers produce even shorter pulses of light than Q-Switched lasers, making them even more effective at breaking down the pigment in the tattoo ink. They are also less likely to cause scarring or other side effects.

    Carbon Dioxide Lasers: Carbon dioxide lasers are sometimes used in tattoo removal, but they are more likely to cause scarring than other types of lasers. They are also more expensive and require more treatments than Q-Switched or Picosecond lasers.

How Long Does Laser Tattoo Removal Take?

The duration of a laser tattoo removal treatment depends on the size and depth of the tattoo. On average, a laser tattoo removal session can last anywhere from 10-30 minutes. Smaller tattoos may take only one or two sessions to remove, while larger tattoos may require multiple treatments. In some cases, it can take up to 10 or more treatment sessions to completely remove the tattoo. After each session, patients should expect to see the tattoo fading gradually.

How Effective Is Laser Tattoo Removal?

Laser tattoo removal is a relatively effective way to remove unwanted tattoos, with success rates reported between 50-70%. Laser tattoo removal works by breaking up the pigment colors of the tattoo with a high-intensity light beam. Different wavelengths are used to target different colors of tattoo ink, depending on the color of the tattoo and the depth at which the ink is embedded. Generally, dark tattoos are the easiest to remove, while bright colors (such as yellow and white) are the hardest. The number of treatments needed to fully remove a tattoo varies depending on the ink color, the size of the tattoo, and the depth of the pigment.

Are there any risks associated with laser tattoo removal?

Yes, there are certain risks associated with laser tattoo removal, including:

  • Skin discoloration
  • Scarring
  • Infection
  • Changes in skin texture
  • Pain
  • Eye damage

It is important to consult a doctor before undergoing laser tattoo removal to ensure that the procedure is safe for you. Your doctor will also be able to advise you on the specific risks associated with your skin type.


Laser tattoo removal is a safe and effective method for removing unwanted tattoos. It was invented in the 1960s and has since undergone numerous advances in technology, making it one of the most reliable methods for removing tattoos. Today, laser tattoo removal is a popular option for those looking to get rid of an unwanted tattoo.


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