Removing tattoos may soon be easy, painless and risk free, thanks to researchers at the University of Pittsburgh, USA, who have come up with an ultrasonic tattoo eraser.
Tattoos come into being when water with colour particles is injected into the skin. The water diffuses into the surrounding tissue, leaving the colour particles in the skin.
And, while getting a tattoo is easy, removing it is just as difficult.
The process requires any one of the three methods - abrasion, surgical removal or laser treatment.
However, all carry various risks such as infection and the possibility of severe scarring.
Thanks to Michael Chancellor, professor of urology at the University of Pittsburgh, and his colleague, people who want to get rid of their body art can breathe a sigh of relief.
The process that Prof Chancellor and his colleagie have come up with relies on a process called cavitation. In this process, sound waves are used to reduce the pressure of a liquid to the point where tiny bubbles of gas form.
When the pressure is raised, the bubble collapses violently, generating huge pressures, albeit on a tiny scale.
Prof Chancellor says that ultrasound can be used to destroy pigment particles without damaging tissue under the surface of the skin.
The result is a non-invasive technique that should "safely, economically, and efficiently remove at least significant portions of the tissue markings", reports the New Scientist.