Laser Tattoo Removal 101: What Patients Need to Know

By Warren B. Seiler III MD

Tattoos are a form of art and self-expression, and have become more culturally accepted in recent years. Some tattoos are a memento from an earlier phase in one’s life, while others may be a reminder of a loved one. But, what happens when a decision made in a different life stage turns into regret later down the road?

As one of the most experienced practices in Birmingham that offers laser tattoo removal treatment, we see many patients who, for one reason or another, are no longer in love with their ink. Each conversation is different, but some of the most common motivators we hear for wanting to get rid of a “regret tattoo” include:


  • It represents a period in life they no longer wish to carry with them.
  • It is preventing them from getting the job or entering the career field they want.
  • It symbolizes a former significant other.
  • It no longer looks how it once did when they were younger.
  • It needs to be removed to get a new tattoo over it or in the same area.

Regardless of what motivates someone to have a tattoo removed, it is important they meet with a physician expert who can deliver the best results. Every tattoo is unique, which means each one requires a tailored approach to effectively remove as much of it as possible. Factors to consider include how old the tattoo is, what colors were used, how deep the ink is set within the skin and the experience level of the tattoo artist. A thorough preliminary consultation is necessary to evaluate the best course of treatment to meet each patient’s needs.

The laser technology a practitioner uses to treat tattoos is another important aspect to consider. Like other treatments offered at Seiler Skin, laser tattoo removal can result in scarring if administered by the wrong hands or performed with anything less than the most up-to-date technology. There also exists a stigma that tattoo removal is a very painful treatment, when in reality it should be no more painful than getting the tattoo itself (and even less pain in most cases with proper numbing). A treatment that leaves a patient in severe pain is a treatment being performed improperly.

We set ourselves apart from other practices that offer laser tattoo removal treatment by combining my experience and expertise in laser theory and physics with the latest technology and catered consultations for every patient. During a consultation, I, along with one of our medical aestheticians, work to ensure we have all the necessary information – which includes a deep understanding of each patient’s tattoo history – to recommend the best course of action. We also communicate that most laser removal treatments may not remove 100 percent of the tattooed area, and there may be some pigment left behind. For this reason, laser tattoo removal requires more than just a few cycles, and can take many sessions to prove effective.

Our practice does not look down upon tattoos or their artistry, but instead offers those who are no longer happy with their ink the ability to turn back time and change something that many see as permanent. You may regret a tattoo, but we guarantee you won’t regret visiting Seiler Skin to have it removed.

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