Tattoo Removal FAQ

Our Tattoo Removal FAQ answers the most common questions about what you should expect when you undertake laser tattoo removal

Number of Treatments

The first thing to realise (if you haven’t already) is that the process is going to take more than one visit.  There are various factors that determine how many treatments you’ll need, such as size of tattoo, colours used, your skin type etc – but as a rough guide you should expect a minimum of 2-4 visits and up to 8 before your treatment programme is completed.

Most clinics will provide a consultation service where they’ll view the tattoo(s) first-hand and give you an estimation of how many treatments will be necessary – but remember, it’s an estimate only and the final number could be more or less

Time between Treatments

Most clinics recommend that treatment sessions are spaced at least 6 – 10 weeks apart.  This allows for the treated area to ‘calm’ and for the body to absorb the targeted ink.  Treating more frequently than this can increase the risk of adverse reactions, without necessarily increasing the rate of ink absorption.  Treatment sessions less than 4 weeks apart can lead to more scarring and dischromia and should be avoided.  So you should expect the journey to becoming tattoo-free lasting 6 months or more.

Will it Hurt?

There will certainly be a level of discomfort (you’re having lasers fired at your skin after all!) but it shouldn’t be painful.  It has been described as being repeatedly flicked by a rubber band, or a series of hot pricks where the laser is touching.  And remember, it’s almost certainly no more painful than getting the tattoo in the first place, and if you’re reading this, then you’ve already made it through that pain threshold!

Many clinic will use ‘cold air chilling’ which helps with the discomfort and/or topical anaesthetics (applied to the skin) and some even offer an injected numbing agent if required.

Will it Work?

That’s kind of the most important question isn’t it?  The good news is that in most instances the answer is yes.  There are many factors that influence the success of the treatment, including:

  • the size of the tattoo
  • the colours that were used
  • is it a professional vs amateur tattoo
  • Skin type and health
  • Removal method used
  • Your goal – complete removal vs fading

We would always recommend a consultation with your preferred clinic first, who will view your tattoo first-hand and should be able to give an honest assessment of your suitability as a successful candidate for tattoo removal.

Will it Scar?

When done by a professional clinician, with the correct laser system, the vast majority of clients will not develop any scarring.  As with any type of treatment it is not however possible to guarantee that scarring will not occur.  Some people may experience minor textural changes at the treated areas, and if you have any concerns about this they should be discussed with your clinician before treatment is commenced.  IPL lasers (as opposed to Q-Switched or Picosure) are more likely to result in scarring and should for this reason be avoided as a treatment option

What should I expect if I use Tattoo Removal Cream?

If you ask the average laser clinician – not too much!  As tattoo ink lies beneath the skin, and fade creams are applied to the surface of the skin it is perhaps not to be expected that they will have much, if any effect.  Unfortunately the more ‘aggressive’ the fade cream is in attacking the tattoo (eg with the use of acids in the cream) the more likely it is to incur collateral damage to the skin while fading the tattoo.

Video on How Laser Tattoo Removal works

This is probably the best video we’ve seen on how tattoo removal works so check it out.  It’s unbiased (not produced by any specific clinic) and it tell’s you a bit of the science behind getting a tattoo removed as well as what to expect


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