Tattoos that are older, especially more than 13 years old have already begun to be broken down somewhat.

  • New ink consists of large molecules within the upper layer of the skin and too large to be attacked and ingested by the immune cells (macrophages).
  • As the years go by there is some breakdown of the ink molecules and so some of them can be taken away by these cells and into the lymphatic vessels.
  •  It also becomes easier for the laser to break down the ink molecules into much smaller fragments that are more easily cleared by the immune system.
  • Check out this Realself Thread to get more information.