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Dermatologist Kirby On The Tattoo Removal Process


The army is cracking down on tattoos, and Dr. Will Kirby, dermatologist and medical director of Dr.Tattoff tattoo removal clinics, has noticed an influx of prospective military members seeking tattoo removal. The newly mandated Army Regulation 670-1 bans all service members from having tattoos that are considered racist, sexist or indecent; having tattoos on their head, face, neck, wrists, hands or fingers; or having more than four tattoos below the elbow or the knee, among other rules. 

Interview highlights

Q. The Army is currently cracking down on certain tattoos on their personnel. Are you seeing an influx in service members?

A. Yeah, absolutely. It's funny that you mention that... We are seeing many, not currently enlisted people, but people who are interested in joining the armed forces coming to get their tattoos removed.

Q. Let’s talk about the tattoo removal process. How does it work? 

A. The process is selective photothermolysis. I know that's a long word, but if you break it down, it's actually pretty simple. Selective means laser light enters the skin and it selectively destroys ink. Thermo means heat....And lysis is a medical word meaning to break up or destroy.