Tattoo removal is one such phenomenon that lands as a savior to our committed mistakes that would otherwise remain permanently on our body. It has both of its perks and downsides, but regardless it’s a solution that we seek refuge to when there’s no alternative.
In such cases, you’ll realize that you have tons of questions on your mind about this procedure, among which how many sessions to remove tattoos is one of the most common ones. The answer to this question depends on a lot of variable factors, and our entire article is built up to offer you a comprehensive understanding by explaining those factors briefly to you.
So, dig deep into the following sections to see the clearer picture of tattoo removal and understand how much time your particular tattoo would take if you decide to go for such sessions. By the end, you’ll have generated a clear concept and know how to precisely approach the removal process.
What Is Tattoo Removal?
Tattoo removal is exactly what it sounds like, a systematic & medical procedure that’s designed to remove your permanent tattoo from your body. It is a more common aspect of life that you can think of, as according to a survey conducted by Statista suggests that around 32% of Americans have already been through this process or are considering going through it, to some extent.
No matter how straightforward the concept suggests, the actual process is anything but. Because it involves medical expertise, some pain and a handsome amount of money for the entire procedure. So it’s safe to say – think before you ink otherwise it’ll be way costlier than getting one!
Tattoo Removal Methods
If you’ve already decided that you want your tattoo gone from your skin, you might wonder how many methods are available and which are optimum for you based on all the factors. For those of you who don’t know, your tattoo can be removed via three different methods, those are – laser removal, surgery and dermabrasion.
Surgery method takes your skin surface and covers the tattoo lines by drawing over adjacent skin to cover the design. This is best-fitting for small tattoos because larger ones would require an extensive skin piercing with surgical blades which isn’t ideal at all.
The general idea of dermabrasion process includes skin-piercing as well, but it works on the outer layers of skin rendering it less invasive than surgery. It is similar to peeling off your skin’s tattoo area to have it removed.
And finally, the laser tattoo removal treatment is the most prominent choice since you won’t require any blade touching your skin. Integrity and safety is maintained during the process as the high intensity laser beam disintegrates the tattoo colors and eventually removes all of it after successive sessions.
How Many Sessions Does It Take To Remove A Tattoo?
We are focusing all our attention to the laser removal process as this is the most effective and efficient one. In this regard, it is a commonly asked question among ones who are enthusiastic to have their tattoo removed, and for obvious reasons. However, no matter how easy it is to ask this question, the answer isn’t simple because there are a lot of things that need to be considered before diving into the removal process.
However, we are offering a general idea so that you can make an assessment of your unique situation and plan ahead accordingly. Generally, a regular tattoo requires around 6-8 removal sessions to completely disappear from your skin. Specialists often claim that larger tattoos can require even or more sessions since there’s a larger area that needs to be covered.
Now comes the span of the entire procedure. Since the laser damages your skin during the removal process, you need to give it adequate time to heal before moving on to the next session. Thus, wherever you may get your tattoo removed, the clinic administration officer is supposed to keep a 6-8 week gap between each session to allow your skin to heal.
In short, it might take around eight months to remove a regular sized tattoo completely, and around a whole year for tattoos that may be larger than normal. So it is highly essential that you keep these into consideration before signing up for a removal process because moving between cities can hamper the overall procedure. Also, patience is a great virtue that would be demanding in situations as such.
Things To Consider For Tattoo Removal
As we’ve mentioned earlier, there are multiple factors that determine how many sessions to remove a tattoo. We’ve briefly covered some of the most common factors in this section of the article.
- Health Condition
The client’s health condition is of utmost importance for laser tattoo removal. Because using concentrated high beam lasers on the skin requires a certain level of physical strength and metabolism to withstand it. If someone has a skin condition, or has a slower healing process biologically, laser removal can be a challenging aspect for them.
It is wiser to get yourself thoroughly checked before opting for a removal program. In most cases, good clinics suggest you run some tests beforehand so that it doesn’t create any complications in the latter stages. But we’d still recommend paying a visit to your doctor if you feel there are some underlying conditions that require consultation.
The age of the client is also important due to a number of reasons. For one, laser removal requires a high degree of patience which is often absent in elderly clients. Also, the early sessions are very painful and it requires a great amount of tolerance level to go through with it, and with age people lose their tolerance.
Lastly, the higher the age, the more there is a risk of any kind of health condition, so the clinics often go through extensive tests and procedures to ensure that the client’s age won’t get in their way. But know this, laser tattoo removal is not for the feeble hearted and you’ll need to be strong & brave to follow it through to the end.
- Type Of Ink
Another thing that deserves major consideration is the type of ink that your artist used on your skin. First off, there’s no standard brand or regulation on inks so the artists use whatever they deem is best suited for them. This leaves it to the tattoo clinic experts to determine what degree of laser treatment is required to get it vanished from your skin.
Also, different colors as well as darkness of ink leave behind deeper marks on your skin. Such variable ink level needs proper assessment and it can only be measured by professionals. After understanding the extent and type of ink used on your skin, they’ll tell you how many sessions you’ll have to sustain to get your tattoo fully removed.
- How Old The Tattoo Is
If you didn’t know already, a tattoo loses its intensity over time. You’ll notice that older tattoos are faded since your skin goes through a continuous cleansing process and your tattoo’s colors decrease gradually due to that.
To keep them shining like new, many people tend to replenish the designs with artists by drawing over in the same manner with new ink. In old tattoo cases, faded tattoos require less sessions since they’re already low on ink and are significantly easier to remove.
- Size Of Tattoo
It doesn’t take much thought to realize that the size of your tattoo matters a lot when it comes to finding out how many sessions to remove a tattoo from your skin. The bigger the size, the more time it’s going to take for your specialist to get their work done.
With the combination of more sessions with greater gaps between them for your large skin patch to heal properly, the entire procedure is going to become monumentous. And don’t forget about the cost because that’s going to be piled up significantly as well!
What Happens In A Tattoo Removal Session?
Many don’t know how a tattoo removal session proceeds and are often curious which is completely justifiable. You are going to commit to such a long process that isn’t exactly cheap and might even cause little pain in the first few sessions, you have a right to know what goes on behind that closed door. We are going to give you all the details right here, so have no fear!
First and foremost, the removal specialist will have you placed in a comfortable position depending on where you have your ‘tattoo to be removed’ placed. Then they are going to clean the area thoroughly and sterilize it to minimize the risk of infection.
Once these primary steps are done, the specialist will bring on the hand-held device that discharges the laser to the concerned area. Lasers can be disseminated in two ways – one is pulses and the other is constant flow. It’s determined by the expert after assessing your unique situation of your tattoo and after the necessary time, the laser treatment will stop.
Once there, they should patch you up with a bandage which you should keep on according to their instruction. The administration officer will give you the next appointment date when you’ll have to appear for the following session. Know this, as you reach later sessions, the pain and laser time will drastically decrease since there’s less ink to deal with.
Remove Your Tattoo: Pre & Post Care
Since tattoo removal with laser treatment is a lengthy process with multiple sessions, you should know precisely how to take care of the tattoo area before and after you start the procedure. Here we are going to discuss just that!
There aren’t a lot of precautions that need to be followed before a tattoo removal session. Mainly, you’ll have to pick between anesthetic measures offered by the specialist based on your variable factors and size of the tattoo. The most common numbing agent used before getting laser-beamed is ice therapy. Once your specialist ices up your tattoo region, you’ll feel less pain once the laser starts burning through your tattoo!
Other agents are lidocaine injections and BLT creams, which are used based on your tolerance level and intensity of the treatment. For example, if you have a really small tattoo that needs to be removed, probably an ice therapy would do the trick. But if the tattoo is large and colorful, you might need to opt for the latter choices to mitigate the pain during the procedure.
The post tattoo removal routine is quite straightforward. Since the laser treatment demands your skin to be healed, the removal expert covers the area with bandages. As the treatment only affects the tattoo lines and colors, not the subsidiary area, you might feel a little throbbing pain afterwards.
You must ensure that you leave the bandage on for a sufficient amount of time, which is approximately a couple of days for regular conditions, so that your skin doesn’t get any sort of infection. You’ll need to give your skin enough time to heal properly and keep away from direct sunlight for a few weeks.
Since tattoo removal is a step by step process, there is going to be a significant amount of fading after each session. You might feel tempted to take a peek through the bandage to see how much it has faded, but trust me, that’ll do you no good since it leaves your tattoo area vulnerable. It’s always wiser to wait a couple of days and check out the work when there is no risk.
How Does Laser Tattoo Removal Work?
Before we vividly describe how the laser tattoo removal treatment actually works underneath your skin, you must know about the types of lasers that are used to achieve such a feat. There are four major laser types that are prominently used in tattoo removal clinics, they are:
- Alma Sinon Q-Switched Ruby Laser
- Jeisys Tri-Beam
- Cynosure Revlite
- Syneron Candela Picoway
These laser types are used on different scenarios across skin type, tattoo ink type and the speed of the procedure. Experts have in-depth knowledge about them, so we don’t need to go deeper into the scientific specifications, but what we can know is how they treat your ink beneath the skin.
The laser beams interact directly with the tattoo inks under your skin. They initially interact with the surface level inks and break them down into smaller particles. Your natural metabolism and cleansing process gets rid of the broken ink particles over time, thus there’s the latency between one session to another.
As the sessions progress, the laser rays are able to go into deeper ink layers and offer them the same treatment. In time, all the layers of ink will be disintegrated and out of your system with the use of laser removal treatment.
All of it is based on how much ink your tattoo artist has used and how deep the needles were able to place them. We can assure you that this is the least harmful procedure for your skin from the available methods in the current medical science.
In this section, we are going to answer some of the commonly asked questions regarding the ‘how many sessions to remove tattoo’ query so that you can have a better understanding of the overall process.
Q: Is tattoo removal very expensive?
A: Tattoo removal is highly expensive in most of the countries including the US because of the delicate nature of the functions. It can cost between $200-$500 per session across removal clinics in different regions, and on average around $400 per session as standard charge. It means, a regular tattoo removal can cost you up to $3,200 in total!
Q: Does laser tattoo removal hurt?
A: Laser tattoo removal can hurt at times, but if you follow our care guide then the pain should remain at the minimum level and you’ll get away with some of the easiest sessions!
Q: Is it wise to remove my tattoo?
A: It completely depends on a lot of things. All we can say is, it’s safe to have your tattoo removed via laser removal method as it won’t harm your skin in any way. The rest is up to your consideration, so assess everything properly before committing to such a lengthy and expensive venture!
Laser removal sessions often scare people because of all the myths that are lying around and tons of articles on the internet reinforce these as a means to gain some easy visits to their article. Our experts have proper knowledge of tattoo removal sessions and as an extension they have consulted with specialists who perform such operations on a regular basis.
So, forget all your stress and worries because our article elaborately tells you how many sessions to remove a tattoo and what are the variable factors that can add or remove the overall time. By following our article, you’ll be able to spare yourself all the trouble and accidental damage that you might cost yourself.
And since the removal is a lengthy and expensive procedure, we suggest you make a thorough judgment before opting for inking your skin. On one hand getting tattooed is not an easy task as it causes much pain, and on the other the removal sessions aren’t kind either. So we’ll end our article with this simple yet striking motto that you can follow throughout your days – think before you ink!