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How Long Will It Take to Remove My Tattoo?

While tattoos are a great source of expression and art, they can also be painful reminders of old memories and stigmatizing to the wrong audience. In these latter scenarios, tattoo removal is an option to rid yourself of those past decisions. But what does removal entail? How can they remove something like a tattoo that is said to be permanent? Read on below as we explore laser tattoo removal, how this method of removal interacts with various types of tattoos, and ultimately how long it’ll take to remove that tattoo you want gone.

Not All Tattoos Are the Same

The amount of time and sessions for laser tattoo removal will vary depending on several factors. Typically, estimates suggest that tattoos take 6-10 sessions of laser removal, which are spaced 6 to 8 weeks apart to allow for proper healing in between sessions. However, the actual laser appointment itself is faster than getting a tattoo. Exactly how long a tattoo takes to remove depends on a few factors including:

●  Color

●  Age of Tattoo

●  Location of Tattoo

●  Administration of Tattoo 


Fundamentally, laser removal works for tattoos when the ink absorbs the energy from the intense light. Colors are not made equal in this regard; lighter colors like white, yellows, and pinks will be the most difficult to remove as they will be more resistant to absorption compared to darker colors like greens and reds. Black is the easier color to remove completely. Individuals with white ink being removed may notice those parts getting darker after a few sessions. 

Age of Tattoo 

Older tattoos that have begun to fade over time will, naturally, be easier to remove. Over time, ink settles in the skin and naturally more layers of skin will heal over the tattoo allowing for the ink to be broken down by your body faster. The fading means some ink has already been removed, which in turn leaves less to be removed when you walk in for laser treatment. 

Location of Tattoo 

While a laser is used to help break down the ink, the actual removal of ink from your body comes from within. As such, areas of your body where there is higher blood flow, closer to the heart like the chest area, will see quicker removal and healing compared to extremities. Lower leg tattoos will take more time to remove compared to something around the ribs. 

Administration of Tattoo 

Depending on how professional your tattoo artist was with your piece, the ink can sit at different layers within the skin. For those at-home tattoos where the ink isn’t that deep, the removal will be much easier than an artist who accidentally got too deep with the ink. Getting tattoos properly applied is always best, both at the time of receiving and any subsequent removal. 


When it’s time to go, it’s best to just get that tattoo removed or covered up. With laser, the composition of your tattoo will change how long your removal process is. Larger, lighter-colored tattoos will take longer, needing more sessions and rest time in between. Smaller darker tattoos will be the easiest to remove. Take the step, if it's time, and rid yourself of some ink. Create a new image of yourself without that tattoo and reach out today.

Tattoo Removal FAQs

Does Laser Removal Hurt?

Laser tattoo removal is not a pain-free experience. Descriptions of the feeling equate removal to the feeling of a bad sunburn. However, many experts explain that if you can handle the pain of getting a tattoo, you’ll be able to handle the removal process.

Can I speed up the removal process? 

A big part of the removal process is healing in between sessions. In this way, being healthy, and promoting good blood flow and nutrition, will encourage your body to filter out the ink and heal the damages from the laser quicker.

How Expensive is Tattoo Removal?

As with tattoo application, removal costs will vary depending on the size and color of your piece. It is difficult to give an accurate estimate for how many sessions a tattoo that has never been lasered before may take to fully remove. After your first laser session and healing, the specialist will have a better idea of how your body reacts and breaks down the ink. The cost per session can range from $200+.

Can I just get my tattoo covered up instead of removed?

Depending on your piece, including size and color, yes, it’s possible to just cover up a tattoo instead of going through laser removal. However, laser removal can help you broaden your options of style and design for your new tattoo for a successful cover-up by lightening the ink. If you only want to lighten the ink for a cover-up this will take fewer sessions. 

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