How The Tattoo Removal Process Works! Will Blow Your Mind  

Tattoo Removal Process

Mai Delacruz

Mai Delacruz
Personal Fitness Trainer & Health Coach

Updated on 11/29/2022

Does the tattoo removal Process work? Considering getting some ink removed? Getting rid of a tattoo may be done in some different ways:

  1. Laser removal
  2. Surgical excision
  3. Dermabrasion

In most cases, tattoo removal is successful, although certain tattoos are far more difficult to erase than others. For instance, it is far simpler to remove older and stick-and-poke tattoos than to release more recent ones.

Additionally, the removal of some hues is more straightforward than that of others. These are the following:

  • Black
  • Brown
  • Dark blue
  • Green

To erase a tattoo often takes longer and costs more money if it is more significant, darker, and more colorful than one that is smaller, lighter, and less vivid.

If you have any of the following conditions, removing tattoos may be more difficult because of the potential adverse effects:

  • Darker skin
  • An existing skin problem, such as eczema, for example.
  • A disease that manifests itself outwardly and affects the skin, such as herpes
  • If any preceding circumstances describe your situation, this does not preclude the possibility of having your tattoo removed. It merely indicates that you could want a little deal more time to locate the removal method that is most suitable for your needs.

Various Ways To Remove Tattoos

Tattoo Removal Process

When considering your alternatives for getting rid of a tattoo, there are a few things you'll want to keep in mind, including the following:

  1. Cost
  2. Scarring risk
  3. Effectiveness
  4. Time commitment

Again, the size, intricacy, and condition of your tattoo and the state of your skin will all play a significant role in determining how these aspects play out.

The following is a brief comparison of the many approaches to removing tattoos, followed by an examination of each method in further detail.

MethodAverage costSessionsEffectivenessScarring risk
Laser removal$463 per session, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery7-10tattoo will be significantly lighter, but may not completely disappearlow, with proper aftercare
Surgical removal$200-$1,500, based on anecdotal reports1, though larger tattoos may require moretattoo will be completely removedhigh
Dermabrasionseveral hundred to thousands of dollars, according to the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery1varies from person to personvaries from person to person

Laser Removal

laser removal

Laser removal is the method that the vast majority of tattoo removal specialists agree is both the most effective and the most cost-efficient. Lasers don't permanently entirely erase a tattoo after being used on it. Instead, they lighten or fade it, making it significantly less noticeable.

Q-switched lasers, which release energy in a single, concentrated burst, are used to erase most tattoos today.

This energy pulse warms up the ink embedded in your skin, which ultimately causes it to disintegrate. You will need to undergo a series of laser treatments to erase your tattoo, which might take several weeks or even longer. Older tattoos or those with a lower level of complexity will require fewer sessions, while newer tattoos or those with a higher level will require more.

Traditional Q-switched lasers have a more significant potential to alter the color of dark skin than Q-switched Nd: YAG lasers, so if you have darker skin, you may want to look into getting treated with a Q-switched Nd: YAG laser instead.

Laser therapy may be used to erase tattoos. However, the process typically takes between seven and ten sessions to be complete. To get the most out of each session, you must give yourself a break of between six and eight weeks.

After each session, you should follow any aftercare recommendations your therapist gives you carefully. In most cases, you will need to apply an antibiotic ointment to your skin daily for many days. The use of the lotion will assist in the healing of your skin and lower the likelihood of infection. When you apply the ointment, make sure to change the dressing on the wound.

laser removal

At the very least, for the next two weeks:

  • Maintain a clean and dry environment in the treated area.
  • Try not to wear anything too restrictive.
  • It is crucial to keep the area treated out of direct sunshine.
  • It is crucial to refrain from picking at any scabs or blisters that may develop.
  • Be cautious not to pick at the area while it heals since this might raise your chance of scarring after laser tattoo removal, which generally has a lower risk of scarring than other removal choices. Laser tattoo removal typically carries a lower risk of scarring than other methods.

Surgical Removal

laser removal

Tattoos may be removed surgically, also known as excision tattoo removal. This removal method includes cutting the inked skin and sewing the remaining skin back together. The type of tattoo removal causes the most significant discomfort, but it is also the only procedure guaranteed to remove a tattoo entirely.

It is typically less costly than laser removal, although a scar is always left behind after treatment. As a consequence, it is generally only done on less extensive tattoos.

Excision surgery is often performed at a clinic specializing in plastic surgery. You will be administered a local anesthetic before the surgeon removes the tattooed skin from your body using a scalpel, a sharp device resembling a knife. After that, they will use stitches to reattach the remaining pieces of skin. Depending on the tattoo's size, the treatment might take anywhere from a couple of hours to a whole day.

The process of healing will take place over several weeks. To aid in skin recovery at this period and reduce the likelihood of developing an infection, you should continue to apply the ointment that has been prescribed or advised to you for several days. Follow the aftercare recommendations given to you by your surgeon, including keeping the area clean and out of the sun for at least two weeks.



In dermabrasion, a sanding tool is used to exfoliate the skin to remove layers of dead skin and make room for new skin. Because its efficacy depends on the individual using it, it is not a particularly well-liked choice.

You should probably avoid getting dermabrasion if you have susceptible skin or a skin problem such as eczema. If you are using blood thinners, you may have an increased chance of having bleeding, bruising, and changes in the color of your skin after the operation. People with darker skin may also be at a greater risk of altering their skin's pigmentation. A local anesthetic is often used by a doctor at some point during a dermabrasion treatment if the patient experiences discomfort. They will use a spinning abrasive gear that rotates at high speed to sand off the top layers of the skin to make room for the tattoo ink. In most cases, this is accomplished throughout a single treatment at a cosmetic surgeon's office. The duration of the treatment is determined by factors such as the size and color of the tattoo applied, and treatment of larger tattoos or those with a more significant number of colors may take more than an hour. After the operation, the treated region will most likely feel uncomfortable and unpleasant for many days.

It may take between two and three weeks to recover fully. The pinkness or discoloration that first appeared on the treated region often disappears between 8 and 12 weeks after treatment.

As you make progress in your recovery, your doctor could recommend that you:

  1. Apply an apointment to the affected area to ward off infection.
  2. After the operation, you should stay out of the direct sunshine for three to six months.
  3. Make sure to apply sunscreen to the area every time you go outside.
  4. While the wound is still healing, you should avoid wearing too tight clothes.
  5. As the wound heals, you should avoid submerging it in water.


Dermabrasion procedures might leave some individuals with scars in some cases. Scarring can be minimized by the following:

  1. Applying the creams that were recommended.
  2. using sunblock or sunscreen
  3. avoiding exposure to the sun
  4. After the treatment site is completely healed, use anti-scarring oils and lotions on the area.

After treatment, dermabrasion may produce the following side effects:

  1. Alterations in the color of the skin, such as lightening, darkening, or the appearance of blotchiness
  2. infection
  3. Symptoms including a crimson or discolored appearance, edoema, and bleeding
  4. Scarring

Be sure to follow the aftercare guidelines given to you by your physician to avoid these issues. Check the clinician's credentials and see if they have any positive feedback as well (more on this later)

What About Therapies That Can Be Done At Home?

Tattoo Removal Process

Creams and peels that use chemicals to remove tattoos are the most commonly used and the most affordable method because there is little evidence to suggest that they are effective.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that, at best, they might somewhat lighten a tattoo. The potential to cause severe chemical burns in the worst-case scenario. Source You Can Rely On.

To get rid of your tattoo, professionals advise against using tattoo removal lotions you buy at the store or make yourself because of the significant risk of skin irritation and allergic response.

Putting A Veneer Over It

Even if you don't want any more tattoos, you should still think about having a cover-up tattoo just in case you ever change your mind.

A cover-up may be a quick and easy way to disguise the tattoo you already have and save you money. If you don't like the design of your tattoo but wouldn't mind getting another tattoo, this procedure is an excellent alternative for you to consider.

If you ask a tattoo artist to create a cover-up for you, they will collaborate with you to design a new tattoo larger than the one you already have and can cover it up.

It may need to create a pattern with thicker lines, more extraordinary shading, or unusual forms. There are a lot of tattoo artists out there who are pretty adept at coming up with fresh designs to cover undesired tattoos.

When you and your tattoo artist have settled on a design, they will apply the cover-up in the same manner, they performed your original tattoo.

Locating An Expert In The Field

laser removal

Finding a skilled professional to do tattoo removal is essential for your safety and the quality of the removal results, regardless of your method.

It is highly recommended that you begin with a conversation with a board-certified dermatologist, preferably one who focuses on cosmetic operations. They will be able to point you in the direction of the solution that is ideal for your situation. They can also refer you to a surgeon or another qualified medical practitioner who can perform the surgery, should that become necessary.

You may look for dermatologists in your region by utilizing the finding tool provided by the American Academy of Dermatology if you are located in the United States.

Bottom Line

Tattoos are a form of body art that is increasingly popular yet is permanent. Various methods are available to erase tattoos for those who have changed their minds about getting one.

There is a wide range of cost, effectiveness, and recovery time associated with the various tattoo removal treatments. If you are knowledgeable about your choices, it will better equip you to make a decision regarding tattoo removal that is suitable for both you and your finances.

How Discomfortable Is It To Remove A Tattoo?

laser removal

The Workings Of It

You no longer like that tattoo of a flaming skull with your ex's name across it, and you're thinking if you can put up with the pain of getting the tattoo removed. Relax because even while removing a laser tattoo can hurt, it probably won't hurt as much as getting the tattoo did in the first place.

Pain associated with tattoo removal is similar to severe sunburn, and the laser pulses have the sensation of a rubber band breaking the patient's skin. Cringeworthy, to be sure, but bearable all the same.

How The Removal Of Tattoos Is Carried Out

Laser tattoo removal is accomplished by sending pulses of high-intensity laser light into the epidermis, the topmost layer of skin, to break up the pigment into tiny pieces. After being taken in by your body, these smaller particles are processed by your metabolism.

Laser tattoo removal, while generally effective, is not a quick treatment in any sense of the word.

Multiple treatments are required to achieve the desired results. The answer to this question depends on the dimensions of your tattoo and the hues (lighter colors are more complicated to remove than dark ones). The period needed for recovery between treatments typically ranges from a few days to a few weeks.

The removal of a tattoo does not require the use of a laser in every case. Another option is dermabrasion, which involves lightly sanding away the epidermis (the skin's top layer). (It hurts, doesn't it?)

Another alternative is surgery, a more intrusive procedure than laser removal because it requires cutting away the tattooed skin and putting the remaining skin back together. Some different factors influence your level of discomfort. There are a few reasons why no two people's experiences of pain are precisely the same, the first of which is that everyone has a different personal pain threshold.

Tattoo Removal Process

Because the level of competence and experience possessed by the individual doing the removal can also play a role in determining the degree of discomfort experienced, it is suggested that a dermatologist carry out the procedure with a valid license.

A qualified dermatologist can tailor the therapy to your comfort level and provide you with a numbing lotion or an injection of a local anesthetic to reduce or eliminate the pain.

According to research from Trusted Source, stress and other forms of negative emotion can heighten one's awareness of pain. On the other hand, the more optimistic you feel, the less you will notice the agony you are in. Specific locations are far more delicate than others.

You know that getting a tattoo in some body regions causes more significant discomfort than in others, right? The same may be said about removing tattoos. We sought an explanation from Dr. Stacy Chimento, a board-certified dermatologist who practices at Riverchase Dermatology in Miami, Florida. Because touch receptors are not uniformly distributed throughout the body, certain body parts are more sensitive than others. Touch receptors also differ depending on where they are located in the body. According to Chimento, "certain receptors are more sensitive to pressure, while others respond to low or high-frequency vibrations." [C]ontrary to this, "other receptors do not respond to vibrations." Some areas of your body that may experience more discomfort during the laser tattoo removal process are your fingertips, the region around your ribs, forehead, ankles, and wrists.

Getting Ready For Your Scheduled Appointment

Getting Ready For Your Scheduled Appointment

Utilizing a numbing agent is the first step you can take toward reducing the amount of discomfort you feel during the tattoo removal process.

According to Chimento, one of the most efficient ways to lessen pain sensation is to use a topical anesthetic cream. "Because this topical anesthetic blocks the sodium channels in the neurons, the nerves cannot relay pain signals to the brain. Over-the-counter numbing creams are available in various formulations, including liquids, sprays, and ointments, and can also spray Creams on. Before you use a numbing lotion, I think it would be a good idea to consult with your dermatologist.

According to Chimento, applying ice to an area that is hurting might also assist in alleviating the discomfort. The use of an ice pack or ice directly to the skin around the tattoo will numb the region, which will, in turn, make the treatment less painful. Protecting your skin by placing a washcloth or towel between your skin and the ice is vital, and it will prevent the skin from being irritated or reddened." It is essential to consider what you will do following each session.

laser removal

"Removing tattoos with a laser is often not a one-and-done procedure. To get rid of it, you will need to undergo many treatments. Before, during, and after your laser tattoo removal procedure, you should minimize your exposure to the sun as possible. If you expose yourself to the sun for an extended period before your sessions, your skin will become more fragile, and there will be an increased risk of skin injury, according to Chimento. "Additionally, it is possible that your skin will not be as receptive to the lasers, making it more difficult for the lasers to erase the tattoo. Because of this, there will be an increased number of sessions, resulting in increased discomfort. Chimento suggests using sunscreen both before and after having a tattoo removed to prevent any harm to the skin and means waiting at least four weeks after having a laser tattoo removed before exposing the area to excessive sun.

Getting a good night's sleep and relaxing as much as possible before visiting might help you feel more at ease. Help can find in the form of activities designed to relax and distract oneself, such as practicing deep breathing or listening to music.

The Bare Essentials

Removing a tattoo might not be as relaxing as spending the day at the beach, but there's a good chance it won't hurt as much as getting the tattoo did in the first place. Talk to your dermatologist about the many numbing methods available if you are concerned about experiencing discomfort, which is quite reasonable.

Can You Explain What Tattoo Removal Cream Is?

Can You Explain What Tattoo Removal Cream Is?

Tattoo removal creams are given to the skin with a tattoo on it in the hope that they can remove the ink. There is a wide variety of tattoo removal creams on the market, including those that can be purchased online or in department shops; however, there is no evidence to suggest that these creams are effective.

The majority of these solutions don't even make the promise that they can completely erase tattoos. Instead, they assert that they can help make your tattoos less evident to others.

Burning and scarring are two of the potentially significant adverse effects associated with the use of tattoo removal lotions.

Continue reading to find out why tattoo removal creams don't work and how you may use them to completely erase tattoos without causing harm to your body or skin.

Do Tattoo Removal Products Indeed Remove The Ink From Your Skin?

The quick response is. No.

The top layer of your skin is peeled away or bleached using these lotions, which erase tattoos (epidermis). Some even claim to be able to replace the white blood cells (macrophages) on your skin that are filled with tattoo ink.

Because tattoo ink is injected into the layer of skin that lies directly beneath the epidermis (the dermis), many treatments that are only performed on the epidermis by tattoo removal creams are ineffective at removing the tattoo ink. A cream will, at most, help the tattoo fade away, but it will leave behind a twisted and discolored facsimile of the tattoo that may become a permanent scar.

Creams for removing tattoos typically contain many chemicals, including the peeling agent trichloroacetic acid, which are also employed in the medical management of various skin diseases. Although medical experts frequently use trichloroacetic acid to treat skin conditions in their practices, it is not recommended for usage at home without the guidance of a trained professional.

Are Side Effects Possible?

Tattoo Removal Process

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates chemicals such as trichloroacetic acid, but the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not control the use of these chemicals in creams. The Food and Drug Administration has not given its blessing to any tattoo removal lotion currently available on the market.

These products contain chemicals that have the potential to cause painful side effects, including but not limited to:

  • Inflammation, redness, blistering, peeling, burning, irreversible scarring, and persistent coloring of the skin
  • If you suffer from allergies, utilizing a product that has been called into question might result in symptoms that could be life-threatening.

These Are The Following:

  • Rashes \shives.
  • Nausea and vomiting due to edoema, difficulties breathing.
  • Vomiting \sanaphylaxis.

How Is It Possible To Get Rid Of Tattoos Without Causing Harm?

Many tattoo removal procedures are thought to be risk-free when performed by a qualified medical expert, such as a dermatologist, physician, or another registered medical professional.

These Are The Following:

  1. Laser surgery 
  2. Surgical excision 
  3. Dermabrasion

Laser Surgery

Laser Surgery

Can remove Tattoos through a specialized kind of laser known as a Q-switched laser during laser surgery. These lasers deliver a burst of intense heat to the skin, which vaporizes the ink that is embedded there.

Your skin may experience swelling, blistering, or bleeding as a result of therapy due to the heat that is involved. To keep an infection from developing, your physician will apply an antimicrobial ointment to the affected area.

The price of laser surgery to erase tattoos varies greatly depending on the size, colors, and kind of tattoo that has to be removed. On average, a single session might cost anything from $200 to $500.

It may take more than one session of laser surgery to erase the tattoo properly; hence, the total cost of therapy might range anywhere from $1,000 to over $10,000.

Surgical Excision

Surgical Excision

To do this, your doctor will inject a local anesthetic into the skin surrounding the tattoo. After that, will use a scalpel to cut the tattooed skin away, and then sutures will be used to put the skin back together.

Because surgical excision may be completed in a single session and eliminates all traces of the tattooed skin, it is both efficient and effective. However, this method can result in a noticeable scar and may not work well on larger tattoos.

The size and position of the tattoo and whether or not your physician recommends utilizing skin grafts are all factors that might affect the expenses associated with surgical removal. Surgical excision will set you back roughly $850 on average.


A device analogous to a rotary sander is utilized during the dermabrasion process. After numbing your skin, either by freezing it or applying a local anesthetic, your physician will scrape off the tattooed skin with an abrasive brush in the shape of a circle.

After dermabrasion, the skin may feel raw for more than a week after the surgery. Because it is not as effective as laser or surgical techniques, it is not typically the first choice that your doctor will make for tattoo removal.

The price of dermabrasion will increase proportionally with the size of the tattoo. The price for removing a little tattoo can be less than one hundred dollars, while the cost to remove a significant tattoo can range anywhere from one thousand to five thousand dollars.

How Can I Determine Which Approach Will Work Best For Me?

How Can I Determine Which Approach Will Work Best For Me?

Not all methods of tattoo removal may work well for you. The success of each treatment can be impacted in various ways, including but not limited to the tattoo's size, color, and type of ink.

If you have sensitive skin or if your skin does not react well to other treatments, your doctor may advise you against removing the tattoo with a laser. Laser removal may sometimes be more expensive or time-consuming than you would desire, particularly for more extensive tattoos, which may require many sessions to be obliterated.

Excision through surgery may result in a visible scar or may be insufficiently comfortable for removing more prominent tattoos. This method works well on smaller tattoos because of its precision.

If laser or excision techniques don't work for you or are too expensive, dermabrasion may be a good alternative for you to consider. It is also possible to be cheaper and take less time for smaller tattoos. However, dermabrasion is a treatment option that is not nearly as effective as laser or surgical treatment.

Tattoo Removal Process

Questions to ask your doctor or another healthcare provider
Before getting a tattoo removed, you should consult your doctor or another healthcare professional and ask them the following questions:

  • What kinds of procedures pose the least risk to my skin?
  • Which type of treatment would you suggest I get for myself?
  • How much will it cost to remove the furniture?
  • How much time will be required for the treatment? Will I need to undergo more than one therapy for my condition?
  • When I get my tattoo removed, will there be any side effects?
  • Will the treatment be painful for you? Which kind of anesthetic and numbing agents can be used without risk?
  • Will the removal procedures make it uncomfortable for me to continue my regular activities?
  • How can I check whether or not I'm prepared to undergo the treatment?
  • What kind of results may we expect from the treatment?

Tattoo Removal Process

Make it a point to inquire with a qualified medical practitioner about the availability of trustworthy tattoo removal clinics. Your primary care physician or another healthcare professional may be able to make a referral for you to see a specialist such as a dermatologist or a surgeon.

The person doing the removal must be either a qualified physician, surgeon, or dermatologist specializing in tattoo removal and having experience in the field. Additionally, they should have access to your medical records to verify that you are in a healthy enough state to undergo the procedure.

The bottom line is that tattoo removal creams do not work and can cause severe skin reactions that can lead to permanent damage to the skin or tissue under the skin. These creams are not intended to be used in place of FDA-approved therapies.

There is no shortage of trustworthy tattoo removal businesses that can supply you with risk-free and effective procedures. People who want to get rid of gang-related tattoos may be eligible for free tattoo removal services from volunteer doctors through specific organizations, such as Homeboy Industries. Different groups could provide free tattoo removal services for offensive ink, such as racist or sexist tattoos.

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