Many people have second thoughts about their tattoos. Fortunately, you don’t have to live with your decision forever. Highly precise lasers can lighten or remove your tattoo by focusing or pulsing light on the ink particles, converting light to heat energy to break up the pigment into tiny pieces that are absorbed harmlessly by the body. All this can be accomplished without damaging the surrounding tissue. Results can generally be seen within a few weeks, although larger and darker tattoos may require more treatments than smaller, lighter ones. Occasionally treated skin will look whiter (paler) than the skin around it, but this is usually temporary and fades in the months following treatment.