Tattoo removal: What Is It, | Risks, Results, Options and Cost


The removal of a tattoo in its entirety is possible with the laser technology available today, with special mention to the Q-Switch laser, which also cares for the skin. Although some colours cannot be removed entirely, they are usually softened until they are almost invisible to the eye. It is not a painful procedure, although anesthetic cream is often used to make it more comfortable.

It consists of a laser technique that erases tattoos from the skin. According to the Center Without Fingerprint Removal of Tattoos and Laser Treatments, thanks to current technology, they can be eliminated in up to 96% of cases. However, some colours, such as yellow or green, are impossible to eliminate, and in these cases, their visual impact is reduced until they are practically imperceptible. There are several reasons why you may want to remove:

  • The design has been affected: Many causes can degrade your design; the time, weight increases and decreases, the quality of the inks, the exposure to the sun and the creams used in these situations, to give a few examples.
  • For work: It is common in many jobs, particularly customer service, that a tattoo on a visible area of the chest, face, neck or arms and hands can be counterproductive.
  • A sentimental breakup: Many people tattoo the name or initials of someone special. In this case, if it is a relationship that reaches its end, it can be a problem.
  • To touch up a design: This is a very common reason. If the tattoo has not been done by a professional, it is possible that it does not look like what you wanted to obtain when applied to the skin.
  • For aesthetic reasons: Some designs lose their validity and, after a while, become obsolete.

How do I know if I am a candidate for treatment?

There are no significant restrictions to remove a tattoo, except that it cannot be done in pregnant or lactating women.

Yes, it is necessary to prepare the skin for the treatment and avoid exposure to the sun during the two weeks before the session, as indicated by a clinic that recommends waiting a minimum of three or four months to remove the fresh ones.

How do I choose my specialist?

It is essential to assess the type of laser that each center uses, the recommendations for the area, and the design in question since the number of sessions and their duration may vary.

It is not an aggressive treatment, and the discomfort it causes is similar to that of the tattooing process itself. Still, it is important to find specialists who give us confidence and with references that they will eliminate it.

How is the first appointment with the specialist?

In the first visit, the specialist performs the following steps:

  • Explore the tattooed area: Assess the sessions that will be necessary and how difficult it will be to remove, something that depends, among other things, on its age.
  • Offer an estimate of what removal may cost and what that amount includes.

How to prepare for treatment?

It is important not to sunbathe during the two weeks preceding the PLENARY n , since laser treatment on tanned skin can leave stains. Likewise, it is important to keep the area hydrated with specific creams .

Depending on the tattooed area and our pain threshold, it may be necessary to apply anesthetic creams on it. In this case, it will be necessary to do it about two hours before the session and wrap the area with plastic wrap, so that the skin can absorb as much as possible, as indicated by the No Footprint Tattoo Removal and Laser Treatments clinic .

How is tattoo removal done?

To remove a tattoo, laser treatment is applied to the tattooed area. The rays affect the ink particles and cause them to break down into smaller ones that the body can assimilate and eliminate through the lymphatic system. With the necessary sessions, it ends up disappearing.

It is explained that a liver scrubber is added to help the cells expel the ink molecules. They also report that, since it is the body itself that removes the ink, the location has an influence, and that if it is in the extremities, away from the midline, it will take longer to be removed.

Types of laser to remove tattoos

  • Dermabrasion: This method consists of scraping the skin to remove the superficial and middle layers of the tattooed skin. A surgeon should always do it. This method may leave a scar, unlike laser.
  • Surgical excision: This technique is similar to dermabrasion, although in this case, the tattoo is removed with a scalpel and then closed with stitches. The advantage of this technique is that it allows the surgeon to remove them with great precision. With this method, scars are also formed, depending on the area treated and the patient’s propensity.
  • Q-Switch laser: This is a repeated emission of laser that, through a photoacoustic effect, manages to break the pigment molecules without injury. The pigment is eliminated through the lymphatic system. This technique can be used for tattoos of all kinds of colors, even the lightest ones like white or yellow. It may take several sessions over 6 to 8 weeks to allow the lymphatic system to absorb the ink. Also, it is a technique that takes care of the skin and breaks the paint molecules without causing damage.
  • CO2 techniqueThis technique consists of a laser’s continuous or pulsed emission on the skin that vaporizes the tissue until it is eliminated. It is not necessary to apply any anesthesia. A thin scab that appears after treatment disappears in a week. It is also important not to expose the treated area to the sun.
  • PicoSure: Very innovative and infallible technique since it uses an advanced technology called PressureWave that works with a photomechanical effect, instead of photothermal as in the previous cases, and fragments the particles instead of heating them. This technique has several advantages since fewer sessions are required than with the others. It respects the skin around the tattoo, uses less energy, is indicated for all skin types, and the side effects last one or two hours.

Treatment advantages

Eliminating a tattooed design that we no longer want, for whatever reason, has several advantages is given below:

  • It is a procedure that does not leave marks or scars on the skin.
  • It is not a very invasive procedure.
  • Sessions last a maximum of 25 minutes and are not annoying.
  • Hospital admission is not necessary.
  • The effects can be seen from the first session.

How is the recovery from the treatment?

There is no recovery as such. The experts claim that l will effects noticeable from the first session but begin to appreciate more in between 20 and 45 days, leading to the body removing ink particles through the lymphatic system.

Yes, it is important to take good care of the treated area for an absolute elimination:

  • It is necessary to wash the affected area with soap and water and hydrate it three times a day.
  • During the first month, it is necessary to hydrate the affected area with a specific cream once a day.
  • Please do not pick the scabs or burst the blisters that may come out, and both must fall on their own.
  • Prevent hot water from touching the treated area for the first few days.
  • Avoid sun exposure until the skin regenerates, which usually takes a minimum of 15 days.
  • Please do not go to places like beaches, swimming pools, and saunas until it is completely healed to avoid infections.
  • Avoid all animal contact for the first few days, as it can cause infections.
  • Rosehip oil and aloe vera can be combined with the specific cream to hydrate the skin after the first three weeks, help to improve the results.

Tattoo removal results

In the case of laser treatment, it may take several sessions for total elimination. Still, in most cases and with almost all the ink colors, it will be eliminated without leaving any mark if we take good care of the skin in the days after each session.

The results are very natural, and the skin does not suffer from current laser treatments.

Risks of tattoo removal

With current laser treatments, there are minimal risks. It is possible to suffer minor skin burns if the treatment is not carried out correctly and the appearance of edema and erythema. If we follow all the skincare indications after each session, no spots or marks will appear, a risk if we expose the treated area to the sun’s rays.

Frequent questions

  • Can colored tattoos be removed? Virtually all colors can be removed. Although the green and turquoise colors are challenging to remove, we recommend the picosecond technology. It does it in fewer sessions.
  • Can tattoos be removed with skin transplantation? Yes, it was the only option before the laser. The cost is based on the size and anesthesia required.
  • If the tattoo gives an allergy, when can it be removed? First, the allergy outbreak will have to be treated, and once everything is calm and healed (usually after a month and a half), it can be eliminated. The duration of the removal process will depend on the colors and the amount of ink used.
  • Can I get a tattoo again once the old tattoo has been erased? Yes, you can make another one after removing the previous one. You have to let some time go by, and once you have your skin ready, you can get another one. You also have the possibility of eliminating it whole or not. It depends on what you are going to do next.
  • But what I would advise you would be that you could be in the hands of a good specialist who can make an assessment and help you make the most appropriate decision.
  • What do I do without the tattoo being infected? Yes, this can happen. The important thing is that you follow your specialist’s instructions for post-treatment and recovery before the 2nd session.
  • How to remove large tattoos? The large ones are removed with combined laser and stirring techniques. It is the most effective method, with a 98% erasure guarantee in most cases. As for drawbacks, it is a medium-term process, and we do it in very few centers, but it is indisputably the most effective without a doubt. If you want more information, we are at your disposal.
  • Can surgery remove a tattoo? There is a last-generation treatment, the Rejuvi Scar Formula, that will reduce keloids but will not eliminate tattoo ink. Later and in the hands of good professionals, the ink can be removed with various technologies parallel to the laser.
  • How to remove eyebrow tattoo? The laser protocol for tattoo removal is chosen depending on the color and size.
  • How long should I wait to remove a tattoo? In principle, there is no contraindication to perform a treatment to remove the tattoo even if it has been a short time since it was done. The appropriate lasers for this are the so-called Q-switched equipment. Depending on the amount of ink or its color, it may require more or fewer sessions. The black color is one of the easiest to remove altogether. We recommend that you find a laser center specialized in these treatments in your city.

What do you think?

Written by Leena Wadia

Linguist-translator by education. I have been working in the field of advertising journalism for over 9 years.


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