Does Laser Tattoo Removal Hurt More Than A Tattoo
A very common question that our team is asked by people who are considering undergoing tattoo removal is whether it hurts more than getting the actual tattoo itself!
The answer to this question is highly dependent on a number of varying factors including:
- where the tattoo is located on your body
- how large the tattoo is
- what colour/type of ink has been used
- The surface area that the tattoo covers.
In 2019, laser tattoo removal has come a long way, and is a lot less painful than methods used in years gone by. However, there is still an element of pain associated with the treatment, and responses from individual clients has varied greatly in our experience.
What Does The Procedure Feel Like
The feeling you experience with laser tattoo removal is different from person to person. Some people compare it to getting the tattoo in the first place. Others find it even more painful. This is an ongoing popular debate.
It has been compared to having a rubber band snapped against your skin at one location several times. Others say its like a bad sunburn that is being scratched repeatedly. Sounds uncomfortable? How about getting repeatedly stabbed with a needle at high speeds?
What To Expect After The Process Is Complete
The tattoo removal process is quick and only slightly uncomfortable. However, it is normal to experience some side effects.
Some people may see redness, swelling, and slight blistering in the treated area. On some occasions, you may see temporary lightening or darkening of the skin.
These side effects are common, especially in the first few hours after treatment, but they will subside.
Most people find that their skin returns to normal in about two weeks.
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Also To Know Is Can Laser Remove Tattoo Completely
Laser Tattoo Removal treatment can effectively diminish or completely remove even the darkest and largest tattoos through multiple sittings. The laser tattoo removal process involves using pulses of laser light to break down the tattoo pigments, lightening the tattoo in the process.
While we cannot assure 100% clearing of tattoos, we do see this in many people. Variability is density and depth of ink used and how your body is able to absorb and remove the ink. The lasers job is to break up the ink particles small enough for your body to do this effectively.
S Of The Body Where Removal Hurts The Most
Where does tattoo removal hurt the most? Certain places have more sensitivity during tattoo removal treatments because the skin is closer to the bone. For instance, laser tattoo removal on the ankle or fingers could hurt more for that reason. Additionally, while you can easily let some parts of the body rest after laser removal, its hard or impossible not to move other parts .
The following are some of the more painful areas for laser tattoo removal:
- The joints. At the knees, elbows, and ankles, the skin is close to the bone, making them more sensitive to laser tattoo removal. Youll also be moving them frequently after your session, which can increase the pain experienced after your sessions.
- The ribs and sternum. The rib cage is one of the trickiest places for tattoo removal . Not only is the skin close to the bone, but the act of breathing may also prolong the discomfort caused by removal.
- The fingers and feet. These extremities have a lot of nerve endings, making both tattooing and tattoo removal more uncomfortable.
- The area around the armpit. Because this spot has very thin skin, it tends to be one of the most sensitive places to undergo laser removal treatment.
- The head. Anywhere on the head tends to experience a high level of sensitivity during tattoo removal.
Again, the areas where tattoos hurt most are the same places where laser removal causes more discomfort.
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Once The Tattoo Is Gone It’s Gone Forever If You Don’t Like Your Tattoo It’s A Worthwhile Expense
For many practices, the minimum treatment session price for an extra-small tattoo is somewhere in the $75 – $125 range. Any price in this range is considered a normal minimum price for a single treatment. By having the minimum price stated, it allows patients to have a rough idea of the expected cost before they come into your clinic for their consultation.
Before starting any treatments, it’s important to set clear expectations and inform patients that tattoos do take multiple sessions to remove. Doing so eliminates any illusions or confusion they may have about per session pricing being the same as the total cost for complete removal. One way to communicate this effectively and to give patients an opportunity to save money is to sell treatment packages. Selling packages allows your practice to receive revenue upfront and also locks the patient into repeat visits to your practice.
If you’re still looking to determine the right pricing structure for your practice, check out our blog post: Pricing for Laser Tattoo Removal Treatments.
How Tattoo Removal Works
Laser tattoo removal uses pulses of high-intensity laser to penetrate the upper layer of skin or epidermis to break the pigment into smaller particles. Those smaller particles are then absorbed into your body and metabolized.
While mostly effective, laser tattoo removal isnt exactly a quick fix.
It takes multiple treatments to do the trick. How many depends on the size of your tattoo and the colors . Then theres the healing time between treatments usually a few weeks each.
Laser isnt your only option for removing a tattoo. Theres also dermabrasion, which involves sanding off the top layer of skin.
Surgery is another option, though this is obviously more invasive it involves cutting away the tattooed skin and stitching the remaining skin back together.
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Say Goodbye To Your Ink
Now that weve answered the age-old question does tattoo removal hurt, you should know that in most cases, its not as bad as they say. If you talk to your doctor ahead of time, theyll be able to give you more personalized information on what to expect on a case-by-case basis. What are you waiting for? Contact us and schedule an appointment today!
The Speed Of Removal Depends On The Patient And Their Tattoo
The Kirby-Desai scale is a popular and well-regarded tool for analyzing the number of treatments a tattoo will need for removal. The scale accounts for the following factors that affect the rate of removal:
- Fitzpatrick skin type
- Amount of ink
- Pre-existing scarring
The Kirby-Desai scale was published in 2009, and technology has improved since then to remove tattoos, but it continues to be an excellent tool for assessing where a patient stands on the bell curve. There are also other factors, such as patient health, that affect the speed of removal. If a patient is young, physically fit, and has a strong immune system, they will tend to see results faster than an older, obese patient with health problems. Encouraging patients to exercise, drink ample water, and massage thetreated area are good aftercare tips to share with patients looking to get the best results.
Technology plays an important factor in the rate of removal. The Astanza Trinity is the most powerful multi wavelength laser system on the market no other system can match its high peak power across three wavelengths. Interested in learning about laser wavelengths for achieving results? Check out our blog post: Why Wavelengths Matter for Removing Tattoos.
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Caring For Your Skin After The Treatment
Just as tattoos can be applied to any part of the body, they can also be removed. Regardless of where it is located, though, you need to follow the post-treatment instructions to a tee.
The skin should be covered in a layer of antibiotic healing ointment and bandaged with sterile gauze for at least a few days, but preferably the first week. Do not apply any other creams or cover the area with makeup for no less than a week.
Following this, you can remove the bandage, but be sure to keep the area dry and clean. In the event of the skin experiencing itching, swelling, or irritation, you may wish to apply hydrocortisone cream. This also helps moisturize the area while it heals. In the event of unwanted side effects, stop use immediately.
Vitamin E ointment is also worth getting and applying to the affected area, regardless of whether you are suffering from irritation, as it aids in the restoration of damaged skin cells.
If you experience severe itchiness or notice that the skin is secreting discharge, this indicates that there is likely an infection, and you should consult a doctor. You should also book an appointment if overall discomfort persists for more than 2 weeks, as this is potentially a cause for concern.
Factors That Affect Tattoo Pain
Getting tattooed is bound to involve some pain, no matter where you get the tattoo. Thats just par for the course! However, a number of factors affect the specific tattoo pain level youll experience.
With any tattoo, the area can feel tender afterward as well, since the skin is healing. Following proper tattoo aftercare guidelines will help avoid any complications like infection, allowing any lingering pain or irritation to subside as quickly as possible.
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How Long Does It Take To See Results Though
This will depend on a few factors. Such as: how well your body responds to the laser treatment, the type and colors of ink used, the pigmentation of your skin, and your overall health. One thing is for sure, though: the process will span over multiple sessions.
These sessions are usually scheduled for every 6 to 8 weeks, but the period may be extended if your skin requires more time to heal from the treatment. After about the third appointment, you should start to observe a noticeable difference, which will be after roughly 5 to 6 months.
The overall timeline for the complete removal of your tattoo will vary depending on the factors mentioned. However, typically people require between 6 and 10 sessions until the tattoo can no longer be seen. There are outlying cases, though, where some people have only needed 4 and others up to 14 or 15.
Accounting for the time between appointments, you can expect the entire process to take 1 to 2 years. It is important to have clear expectations upfront, so you do not become disillusioned by the potentially long wait. Take heart, though, in that each session will present gradual progression until the body art is gone for good.
Follow A Strict Aftercare Routine
To see the best results, make sure you follow a strict aftercare routine. For three days following treatment, cover the area with antibiotic ointment. Cover it with sterilized gauze. Avoid applying makeup to that area.
You should also avoid using creams unless instructed by your technician. If you use any skincare products regularly, ask the technician if its okay to continue using them.
You can shower and wash the area, but avoid high-pressure water. Hydrate by drinking lots of water and limit your alcohol intake. The stronger your immune system is, the faster youll see results.Its also important to avoid sun exposure as much as possible. Cover the area with sunscreen any time you plan to go out in the sun.
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Avoiding And Protecting Yourself From The Sun
Following laser treatment, you do not need to stay out of the sun entirely however, it is paramount to keep the treated area covered. If you get sunburnt, not only will it mean that you might have to postpone your next appointment, it could cause significant damage to skin that is highly sensitive.
Just to be safe, it is advisable that if you go out in the sun, you should put on sunblock with at least an SPF of 25 . This is because sunburn is the worst thing for your skin following laser removal.
Getting sunburn and damaging the skin on other parts of your body will lead to dehydration and resources, that your body should be using to heal the treated area, will have to be allocated to the burnt skin as well.
Burning or even tanning will slow the healing process down and ultimately delay matters. This means more time until the ink is completely removed. So stay covered and spend as little time as possible in the sun.
Getting A Tattoo Vs Tattoo Removal: Which One Hurts The Most
Just like everything in life, when it comes to tattoos, everybody has a different opinion about the topic. If youre doing research about how much getting a tattoo hurts, youll notice that every experience is different. This is because we all have a different tolerance for pain.
But what if after getting the tattoo done you want to get rid of it? When that time comes, youll need to investigate laser tattoo removal to accomplish the job. Much like getting a tattoo, the pain levels each person experiences during laser tattoo removal is very different.
Getting a Tattoo Done vs Laser Tattoo Removal
Do you know the phrase that says, no pain, no gain? This also holds true when getting new ink. Individuals that have gone through the process of getting a tattoo to describe the pain like a sharp, stinging pain or a burning sensation. The level of pain and discomfort will vary largely depending on the area. Areas like the arms, shoulders, and other body areas with more fat tend to be less sensitive to pain. On the other hand, areas like the ribs, feet, elbow ditch, and armpits are more sensitive, meaning youre likely to feel the burn.
What Does Laser Tattoo Removal Look Like?
Speed and energy are essential to crack the ink particles and prevent damage to the skin during the procedure. When the ink particles are broken into smaller chunks, white blood cells absorb them and transports them to the liver.
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Some Areas Are More Sensitive Than Others
You know how some parts of the body are more painful to tattoo than others? The same goes for tattoo removal.
We asked Dr. Stacy Chimento, board certified Miami dermatologist of Riverchase Dermatology, to explain why.
Touch receptors are distributed unevenly throughout the body, therefore making some areas of the body more sensitive. Different parts of the body also differ in types of touch receptors. Some receptors are more sensitive to pressure, while others respond to low- or high-frequency vibrations, says Chimento. Your fingertips, ribcage area, forehead, ankles, wrists, and around your armpit are some of the places where it may be more painful for laser tattoo removal.
Informed Patients Are Happy Patients
We’ve seen that if a patient is informed, they’re more likely to continue with treatment until completion, handle side effects properly, and be satisfied with their tattoo removal experience.
When patients understand the basics of laser-skin interaction, they know that you are a knowledgeable practitioner with a powerful tool but not a magician. Expectations are realistic so patients are encouraged by the fading along the way and pleased with the end result.
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Scarring From Tattoo Removal Is Highly Unusual
Reassure your patients that you use proper protocols and a professional-grade system that is safe for their skin. Ultimately, as a practitioner, you’ll still want the patient to sign a consent form addressing the risks of the procedure and promote a strong emphasis on personal aftercare outside your practice.
Does Laser Eyebrow Tattoo Removal Hurt
Its not a pain-free process, but most people only experience minor discomfort. Many people say it feels like a tiny amount of bacon grease splashing on your skin.
One thing to keep in mind with eyebrow tattoo removal is that youll need to wear eye protection.For safety reasons, you should only have your tattoo removed by licensed expert. Certified tattoo removal clinics will always have the proper eye protection for you to wear during treatment.
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The Pros And Cons Of Using Pain Relief During Laser Tattoo Removal
The choice to use pain relief is yours, but there are some pros and cons you should consider for each of the following methods:
Numbing cream comes to mind when most people start crafting ways to reduce the discomfort of laser tattoo removal. Many tattoo removal specialists will encourage the use of topical numbing cream. It is especially popular for larger tattoos and longer sessions because it can significantly help patients who have larger tattoos stand the pain long enough to complete a session.
Although the numbing cream doesnt affect the area where the tattoo ink rests, it can greatly reduce the sensation of the laser passing through the top layer of skin to take the edge off. You will still feel some discomfort, but it will come as less of a shock.
Prescription painkillers or numbing injections arent recommended because they pose an unnecessary risk and can lead to complications, especially for patients who take certain medications or have pre-existing health problems.
Although using a cold compress is recommended to reduce inflammation and reduce pain following a laser tattoo removal procedure, if not used properly it can lead to serious complications.
Never apply a cold compress directly to the skin affected by the tattoo removal laser. Wrap the affected area in sterile gauze before applying the ice pack to protect yourself from getting an infection.
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How Long Does It Hurt
Some patients leave each session with mild discomfort, while some walk away without any issues at all. Again, it depends on a wide variety of factors. Although, if you walked out of your tattoo session without any problems, you shouldnt expect the aftermath of a laser session to be unbearable.
However, some people are sensitive to laser lights and you may experience a mild burning sensation, redness, swelling, or other complications after a season. If this happens to you, you shouldnt panic, as this is totally normal. Contact your dermatologist if this is the case and ask what to do.
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