Tattoo removal is a decision that is often accompanied by so many questions. One of the frequently asked questions we get from our customers who come in for tattoo erasure is: how long will it take to remove my tattoo using laser treatment?
Usually, laser tattoo removal takes about five to ten sessions with, at least, 6 weeks break between each session. This is to allow the body to flush out particles of the ink pigment and heal properly. In other words, it could take between 30 – 60 weeks for you to see the result you want. However, different factors affect laser tattoo removal. In this article, we will discuss some of those factors.
We will also discuss factors that speed up the tattoo erasure process so you can see results early, how to improve tattoo removal, how long the tatted area takes to heal, and why your tattoo may not fade after laser treatment.
First, let’s answer the question…
How Long Will It Take to Remove My Tattoo Using Laser Treatment?
It will take approximately 7 to 15 months (or more 😩☹️) for your tattoo to fade considerably using laser treatment.
‘Tattoo fading’ is a better way to describe the results you get with laser treatment. This is because what the laser does is break down the tattoo ink into fragments that can be easily flushed by the immune system.
All the tattoo ink can’t be broken down at once. However, the ones broken down and flushed by the system causes the tattoo to lose its shine. In other words, the process causes your tattoo to fade.
It takes time for the body to flush away shattered ink from the tattoo. You’ll need to wait between treatments and let your body’s immune system get to work.
You’ll also need to wait for your skin to regain its health and heal any scab or blisters it may have incurred during the laser treatment because there’s a limit to the amount of laser passes the skin can tolerate in a short time.
Come closer, let’s give you a little intel.
At Ink Doubt, we invest in these technologies so our customers can see great results in good time. Ask us about them when you CONTACT US for a FREE consultation.
What Factors Affect Laser Tattoo Removal?
Different factors affect the rate at which tattoo fades. Some of these factors are:
- Location of the tattoo on your body
- Age of the tattoo
- Ink quality
- Ink colour
- Skin tone
Let’s discuss each.
1. Location of the tattoo on your body:
The laser treatment process is generally effective in areas of your body that have strong blood flow and high lymph node count.
Remember when we discussed how tattoos are removed, we told you that during laser tattoo removal, the laser emits energy which is absorbed by the skin, causing the tattoo ink pigments to shatter into fragments. We also told you that these fragments are swallowed by macrophages, then flushed out of the body.
What you should also know is that macrophages travel through the lymph nodes where filtering occurs.
Places like your chest, face, and neck have strong blood flow and high lymph node count. So, the tattoo ink in those areas fade faster.
The lymph node count on your feet and hands is lower, so the tattoo will fade at a slower rate on those parts of the body.
2. Age of the Tattoo
Tattoos fade naturally, but lasers hasten the process. Without lasers, they may never fade completely. The older the tattoo, the faster the laser treatment will work.
Recent tattoos require more sessions because the ink pigments are still strongly tucked within the dermis.
3. Ink Quality
Tattoo inks differ in quality. Low-quality inks fade faster than high-quality inks for obvious reasons.
4. Ink Colour
Dark colours like black, dark green, dark blue, etc. absorb laser energy fast, making them the easiest to remove.
The opposite is the case with light colours. That’s why they are harder and require more time to erase.
5. Skin tone
People with light skin have a higher success rate and are likely to see quicker results than those with dark skin. This is because the laser can easily distinguish between the dark tattoo pigment from the light skin tone making it easy for the laser pulses to focus on the tattoo and remove it.
Secondly, because of the abundance of melanin in dark-skinned people more care is taken in the treatment of people with dark skin.
During laser tattoo removal, melanin absorbs light and heat rapidly.
In dark people, not only is the laser energy absorbed by the tattoo ink, but it’s also diffused around the skin surrounding the treated area. But that is not the case with light-skinned people. For light-skinned people, the energy is directly absorbed by the tattoo ink.
Because the laser energy is absorbed by both the skin and the tattoo ink in dark-coloured people, the laser setting is usually lowered to avoid burns, scarring, hyperpigmentation, etc.
How to Speed Up Tattoo Removal and Fading
Faster tattoo removal result depends largely on two things:
- The strength of your immune system and
- The laser technology used by the tattoo removal clinic
1. Immune System
Your immune system, through the lymph nodes/ lymph glands, breaks down the ink pigments into fragments and flushes them out of your system. The healthier your immune system is, the faster these will happen.
You can boost your immune system by:
a. Eating healthy
b. Staying hydrated
c. Exercising often for healthier blood circulation
2. Tattoo Removal Laser technology used
Laser tattoo removal technology has improved over the years since its advent in 1967.
At Ink Doubt, we use the Astanza Trinity, which is an advanced laser option that has repeatedly proven its efficiency in fading even hard colours. Investing in this technology, as well as the PDF Describe Patch has put us in a class of our own and made us Denver’s superior tattoo removal provider.
To learn more about the tattoo fading technology we use at Ink Doubt, and how we have ensured you have less to worry about if pain is one of your greatest fears, check this post out.
Another factor is:
You remember the discussion we had earlier about how melanin slows down laser treatment because of all the precautions that must be taken to ensure safe treatment, right?
Great! (If you don’t kindly scroll up to where we discussed how skin tone affects laser tattoo removal.)
Sunlight causes the skin to produce more melanin.
Therefore, protect the tatted area to be treated. Don’t expose it to sunlight and UV radiation at least one month before the treatment. Wear sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more daily to protect the skin.
Why Isn’t My Laser Tattoo Removal Working?
Laser tattoo removal not fading can be caused by several factors. Some of which are the type of laser used, laser wavelength and ink colour, the laser technicians experience, recovery time between each session, and your immune system.
Tattoo removal using laser treatment is not magic. It doesn’t happen by the wave of a wand (or in this case, the wave of a laser machine). Don’t expect results too soon. Be patient.
How Long Does Tattoo Removal Using Laser Take to Heal?
It takes about 4 weeks for the treated area to heal. This is why we recommend 6 weeks break between each session to allow the treated skin to heal properly.
Healing time varies and is greatly dependent on your health/ immune system.