Tattoo Removal: FSA Eligibility
What is tattoo removal?
Tattoo removal is the process of using medical or other tools to neutralize or remove the permanent ink that causes tattoo art to remain in the skin. Tattoo removal is a cosmetic expense and is not eligible for reimbursement with a consumer-directed healthcare account. Tattoo removal has been used in various forms for as long as tattooing has been a practice in human decoration and art (Mayo Clinic).
What are common forms of tattoo removal?
Removal by replacement is a common form of tattoo removal. Replacing a tattoo is also called a cover-up, and it involves covering over the original design, and transforming aspects of the tattoo's design so that they are effectively impossible to discern within a (usually larger) new tattoo. Removal by replacement may also fill in areas of the original tattoo by darkening, so as to "black out" harder to obscure areas such as letters.
Laser tattoo removal is one of the most common forms of tattoo removal. Laser tattoo removal works by breaking down the tattoo's ink particles through the use of laser light. Every type of ink in a tattoo has a specific light wavelength that will break it down. Modern lasers provide light in multiple wavelengths, and Q-switched lasers are the most effective form of tattoo removal used by the medical community today.
Factors contributing to the success of tattoo removal, and the possibility of scarring, include the tattoo's location, type of inks used, depth of ink, type and thickness of skin on which the tattoo has been placed, means of tattoo removal, color of ink used, and more (U.S. Food and Drug Administration).