What happens if you no longer want your tattoos? Maybe you’ve grown out of a phase, maybe it has bad memories attached to it, or maybe you got a matching one with an ex-lover who ended up cheating on you and left you heartbroken. Or maybe you just want space for a new one - there could be any reason!
Laser tattoo removal shows up as the lifesaver in these circumstances. It’s a fairly popular method of getting rid of all those pesky memories printed on your body, and the best part is that it works.
But a common question that pops up is: how many sessions will you need to remove your tattoo? Can you finish it in one go, or will it take more than that? Let’s address that in this article.
Factors Affecting the Number of Sessions
In reality, there’s no one real answer to the question. How many sessions it takes will depend on many things: from the kind of tattoo you have to your skin type and colour, etc. Just like the tattooing itself can take several sessions depending on how complex it is, so can the removal. So what affects the number of sessions you need? Let’s take a look.
The first thing to consider is the type of tattoo you have. The size, colour and ink of your tattoo play a huge role in determining how many sessions you will need.
In general, you’ll need more sessions for larger tattoos because the area to cover is so large. If your tattoo is dense and deep, this can also make a difference.
The colour of the tattoo itself also matters. Darker colours will usually be much easier to remove with laser treatment than lighter ones. Lighter colours don’t respond as well to the wavelengths of light used in laser tattoo removal.
Another thing to consider is where the tattoo is on your body. Tattoos on areas with better blood circulation will be a lot easier to remove than others.
Skin Type & Colour
Did you know that one’s skin type can also make a difference? Laser tattoo removal works by selectively targeting the pigment in the tattoo ink. That means that people with lighter skin tones and darker tattoos will generally require fewer sessions of the removal process.
You could theoretically use higher energy settings to target tattoos on darker skin tones, but this comes with the risk of skin damage, so it’s not a very good idea. Instead, you’d be asked to come in multiple times to work on lower energy settings. This way, you don’t face any side effects.
That said, newer laser technology can work pretty well on a wide range of skin types. The number of sessions would then depend on who you work with and what kind of machinery they have.
The Tattoo Artist
When getting tattooed, you want the tattoo artist to be super professional. But this can backfire if you want the tattoo removed later. Tattoos done by highly professional artists will usually penetrate quite deep and have layers of high-quality ink. This can be tricky to remove.
On the other hand, tattoos done by amateurs will usually be a lot easier to get rid of.
Age of the Tattoo
The tattoo’s age is also a factor that affects tattoo removal. Tattoos tend to fade over time because the body starts breaking down the ink molecules over time. An old tattoo will typically be easier to remove than a new one.
But if the tattoo is very heavily saturated or layered, it could still need multiple sessions, even if it’s old.
Average Number of Sessions
Given that there are so many things to affect the removal process, the number of sessions it can take won’t be the same for everyone. In general, it can take between 5 and 15 sessions to get rid of the tattoo, though again, this will depend on several factors.
You can ask your technician for a better estimate of how long it can take. That said, they will also only be able to give you an estimate, and the actual number of sessions could be greater than that.
Healing and Recovery From Laser Tattoo Removal
After your laser treatment sessions, your skin needs time to heal and recover.
The process works by breaking down the tattoo ink and relying on the body’s immune system to get rid of the fragmented particles.
During this process, the skin around the area can get red, blistered and swollen. Part of this is because of how the body reacts to the ink particles recognises as intruders. A larger part is because of the high heat that the laser produces. It can cause inflammation in the area, and you may even see scabbing.
Because this is a normal process, your sessions won’t be scheduled too close to each other. Your skin needs time to heal before it is subjected to such stressful conditions again.
You’ll likely be called about 6 to 8 weeks after your previous session so your skin can recover properly and the ink particles be eliminated.
During this time, listen to your technician’s post-treatment care advice. If your skin doesn’t heal in time for the next session, it may have to be postponed, and you’d have to live with the choices of your past for even longer.
Advanced Laser Technologies
Advancements in laser technology, such as Q-switched and PicoSure lasers, make laser tattoo removal a lot more efficient and effective. These lasers are very advanced and can target ink of different colours quite easily while also breaking down the particles into much more manageable particles - well-suited for your body to respond to.
If your technician uses advanced lasers, the total number of sessions you need will go down.
Consultat a Professional
You should first consult a tattoo removal specialist, like Counterpunch Tattoo Removal, to get a solid number of sessions you’ll need. We will look at everything - from your tattoo and skin type to lifestyle and health, and give you an estimate.
We will also create a customised treatment plan depending on these factors and help you get rid of your tattoos for you. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or dial 0419 028 854 for more info!