Tattooing has been around practically as long as humans have. However, while we've excelled at putting ink into people nearly forever, it's taken us a couple thousand years to catch up on the technology to take ink out. Tattoo removal procedures have only been around in a broad sense for a couple decades, and up until recently, many of the popular procedures lacked the elegance and artistry of the artist who gave the tattoo in the first place. Fortunately for many errant tattoo recipients, a new generation of laser-based tattoo removal is surfacing to help those with more acute tattoo regret.

The slow burn of tattoo regret
Even those who don't wake up with second thoughts the day after their tattoo appointments are not necessarily immune to latent tattoo regret, which in some cases can surface after years or even decades of living with ink. In fact, Bloomberg reported that 37 percent of tattoo recipients experienced misgivings about their ink after a period of 14 years.

"Tattoo regret seems to take about 10 years to set in and, since tattoos were widely popular in the early 2000s and still are today, my suspicion is that we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg," one doctor told Bloomberg.

The reason for the long wait time can vary, from relationships breaking up to tastes evolving to bodies changing, but regardless, many adults find themselves looking back on their previous decisions with regret.

A burning desire for tattoo removal
Fortunately for those overcome by the worst cases of tattoo regret, the process of removing tattoos is becoming more refined than ever before. In 2013, an aesthetic laser device making use of picosecond technology – the first of its kind – was approved for use in the U.S. The technology comes at a time when tattoo removal is booming as an industry in its own right. This type of laser removal is remarkable in that it allows for the removal of tattoos in as few as half the sittings previously required by similar technologies. What's more, the even shorter pulse duration of the picosecond laser means that the machine, developed by Cynosure, is capable of removing a wider range of colors than previous laser devices.

Certain tattoos are easier to remove via laser than others, depending on factors such as size, location, depth and color of the ink. However, even tattoos that conventional laser or abrasion techniques wouldn't be able to effectively remove can be more effectively zapped by Cynosure's PicoSure laser, oftentimes without the residual scarring formerly characteristic of the procedure.

PicoSure® is the latest technology for laser tattoo removal and offers faster and better removal in fewer treatments. PicoSure shatters ink into smaller, dust-like particles which are more efficiently absorbed by the body's natural processes. It is the first and only aesthetic picosecond laser that is FDA-cleared for the removal of tattoos. Visit to learn more and find a PicoSure Practitioner near you.