The team thinks their results could eventually lead to more effective tattoo removal, though the exact mechanisms are still a little vague. Laser removal works by blasting those macrophages full of ink into smaller chunks, such that the lymphatic system drains them away like it does all the tiny bits of waste in your body. But it takes several sessions to clear everything away, and some tattoos only fade instead of disappearing. The researchers argue that this could be due to new macrophages swooping in to protect you from the larger of the remaining ink chunks, inadvertently protecting those ink chunks from you. If the tattoo removal process involved temporarily killing off or removing macrophages in the area with the use of certain antibodies, they say, the whole thing could theoretically be taken care of more quickly.