Because light is absorbed by its opposite color and reflects its own color it is necessary to use a green light to remove red ink as it is necessary to use red light to remove green ink. The color of a tattoo will determine what laser or a light color is necessary to dissolve and remove a tattoo. The depth & density of the ink is probably the biggest determining factor involved in successfully removing a tattoo. After each treatment the laser fragments more ink and penetrates a little deeper into your skin, blistering and scabbing often follow. Some tattoos disappear in one treatment, and others requiring 12 or more treatments for complete removal.
The tattoo pigment injected into the lower layers of skin (the dermis) becomes sealed away by a tough network of collagen fibres. It is very difficult to remove the tattoo pigment without affecting the surrounding tissue. The alternatives to laser treatment are, either to physically remove the pigment and the surrounding skin by surgical excision, or chemically destroy the pigment. In either case the surrounding skin is damaged and will require significant aftercare. Significant scarring would be an expected outcome of non-laser removal methods.
The Ruby laser produces extremely short pulses of high-energy, red light. This light is absorbed strongly by particles of tattoo pigment but not by the surrounding skin. The tattoo pigment particles heat up and break down into smaller particles; these minute particles are targeted by the body’s own immune system and removed. Because the energy is selectively absorbed by the tattoo pigment, surrounding tissues are not usually affected and there is usually no lasting damage to the skin.