How Does Laser Tattoo Removal Work: What Can You Expect From the Process?

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Did you know that when you get a tattoo the skin is pricked up to 3,000 times per minute by the tattoo needle? Or that tattooing is such an art form that the depth of the lines must be carefully regulated in order to create an even, pain-free design? Unfortunately all this work counts for nothing when you no longer want your tattoo. In fact, the intricacy of a tattoo acts against you when you try to get it removed. In the past you would have been stuck with your unwanted reminder of a past love or passion but fortunately today there are hi-tech methods to remove a tattoo. Laser tattoo removal is one option. Here’s what you can expect from the laser tattoo removal process.

Background and Suitability

Most people can benefit from laser tattoo removal. However, as each tattoo is as individual as its owner, the time taken to remove the design and the process will differ in each case. When you decide to have your tattoo removed by lasers, find a reputable dermatologist or tattoo removal expert and have a consultation.


Number of Sessions

The number of treatment sessions needed to remove a tattoo using lasers will depend on the size of the tattoo and the number of colours in the design. At your initial consultation the practitioner will tell you what you can expect in terms of time in the salon. Other factors which affect how long it takes to remove a tattoo include whether the tattoo was applied professionally or by an amateur (professional tattoos take longer), your age, and the depth the ink extends into the skin.

Removal Procedure

Once you have scheduled your first session you can start the removal process. Normally patients will sit in a chair or lie on a couch and wear protective glasses or eye shields. The skin is tested in order to define which wavelength of energy will be most effective. The tattoo is removed by intense pulses of light from a handheld gadget that is moved over the surface of the skin. You will feel a little discomfort when the laser passes over the skin, although the pain is not intense and is more like an elastic band snapping against the skin. After the treatment session is complete the practitioner will apply an ice pack to the skin or some topical antibiotic or antiseptic cream.


Tattoo removal is safe when it is carried out by a trained professional. In order to minimise any scarring and keep the treated area secure, you will wear a bandage or a patch and will need to keep the area out of direct sunlight. Avoid touching the area and keep it clean until your next session, if you need one. If you experience any pain or the area is bleeding then consult your practitioner. In the case of a severe reaction, go to your doctor.

Image attributed to Ambro

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