How many sessions will I need for Laser Tattoo Removal?

This is the most frequent question we get asked…

The number of sessions a client will need to remove their tattoo, is dependent on many factors, some of which are outside of our control.  Namely, these factors are:

  1. Age of client
    Skin renewal is slower for older clients.
  2. Immune system of client
    A stronger immune system will be able to remove the broken down ink particles more efficiently.
  3. Type of ink used
    We don’t know what inks have been used and what ingredients are present.  We do a patch test first to ensure we are not dealing with what is known as “resistant black” ink which doesn’t respond to laser.  This is extremely rare.  However, some inks will respond better to laser than others.
  4. Age of tattoo
    The older the tattoo, the more your body has accepted and engulfed the ink, as well as taken it deeper in to the skin.  So the older the tattoo, the more difficult it is to remove.
  5. Tattoo colours
    Black is the easiest colour to remove (as long as it isn’t resistant).  Red is also fairly easy to remove, although it can cause blistering due to the iron oxide content.  Darker colour (blue / brown etc) respond well.  Laser is not suitable for light colours such as yellow, white, skin tone colours.  Green is notoriously difficult to remove, but any green remaining that won’t budge can be treated with chemical removal.
  6. Client’s lifestyle
    If a client is active, exercising regularly and drinking lots of water, the ink will flush out the system faster.  Also sunbathing will help fade the ink faster (which happens naturally with a tattoo over time anyway).
  7. Client adhering to aftercare
    In order to avoid scarring, clients are required to treat the area with great care.  If this is followed, clients can come back for additional treatment 6-8 weeks later.  Not adhering to guidelines will delay this process and possibly cause irreversible damage.  An example of this would be to avoid knocking the treated area, scratching, or picking any any scabs.  All aftercare is explained verbally and provided in printed format.

It is important not to rush the laser tattoo removal process, as overtreating the area can cause pigmentation issues and / or scarring.  A sufficient amount of time needs to be left between sessions to allow the skin to fully heal first.  This varies between clients, depending on their immune system.

Given the above, it is not possible to predict how many sessions are required to remove a tattoo.  It isn’t possible to say whether the tattoo ink will go completely, as it is up to your body how well the ink is released and dealt with following laser.  It is however, possible to completely remove a tattoo with the skin remaining normal looking.  A tattoo can be removed anywhere from 3-15 sessions.  It is also possible to just fade a tattoo sufficiently if you wanted a cover-up tattoo in the same area.  Your practitioner can give you an estimate on how many sessions you may need, based on similar looking tattoos, age of tattoo, your age etc, but this is only an estimate and they can’t tell how your body will respond once treatment has started.

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