woman with a tattoo on her hand

5 Important Things You Should Know Before Laser Tattoo Removal

You’ve probably done your research or read our article on Tattoo Removal Options, so you know laser treatment is the best option when it comes to tattoo removal…

And you’re ready to tow that path.

If this is you, we’ll like to prepare you for the journey ahead by educating you on things you need to know before laser tattoo fading or removal. We aim to help you set your expectations right before you begin your laser treatments. This will save you from feeling disappointed or confused.

P.S.: As always, we must be brutally honest with you. So some of the things you’ll read below may not conform with your earlier expectations. However, we encourage you to keep an open mind as you prepare to embrace your new look.

5 Things You Should Know Before Laser Tattoo Removal

There are more than 5 things you should know before laser treatments, but below are 5 things we observed most of our clients wish they knew before laser tattoo removal treatments.

1.      It hurts

Laser tattoo removal

People have different pain thresholds. For one person, the laser treatment may feel like snapping a hot rubber band on the skin. For another, it will feel worse than that. However, whatever pain you’ll feel during the treatment will be bearable.

The pain you’ll feel during (and even after) the laser treatment could depend on several factors such as the sensitivity/ health of your skin and the laser used. The higher the frequency or wavelength, the more painful the treatment will be.

People with dark skin tone may experience more pain than people with light skin tone for reasons already explained in this article (in the section we discuss skin tone).

People with unhealthy skin/ immune system caused by poor health choices or unavoidable health conditions will feel more pain. To help prepare your skin for the laser treatment, we advise you protect to yourself from UV radiation, use sunscreen of at least 30 SPF, quit/ pause smoking, and eat healthy.

Recommended: Before and After Laser Tattoo Removal: Care Tips

There are several ways to reduce the pain you’ll feel during your laser treatment.

At Ink Doubt, we invested in the Zimmer Cryo – a numbing device that works by blowing freezing air
(-30º C) through a hose on the area of the skin being treated. The cool air numbs the skin, making your laser treatment bearable.

We also recommend the use of numbing creams for laser tattoo removal.

2.      One Laser Treatment Session Won’t Do It

We’ve discovered during our free consultations, that a lot of people think they’ll see the results they want after one session.


Sorry to burst your bubble if you think that’s how laser treatment works.

You’ll need more than laser treatment to get the result you want. It could be as many as 12-15 sessions (or more) or as few as 3- 5 sessions. The number of laser treatments required would depend on ink colour, ink quality, age of the tattoo, skin tone, immune system, and expected result.

Recommended: Laser Tattoo Removal: How Long Does it Take to Erase Tattoo?

Talking about your immune system, if you’re a smoker you should expect slower fading results and delayed healing because of the presence of nicotine in your body.

Nicotine prevents small, new blood vessels from forming. Laser relies on blood vessels and the oxygenated blood they carry to rejuvenate your skin after each treatment.  Where this is lacking, your tattoo will fade even slower and would require more laser treatments.

If you want to fade your tattoo for a cover-up, you’ll require fewer laser treatments than someone who wants to erase his/her tattoo completely.

3.      Absolute/ Total Fading is Not Guaranteed


Not what you hoped for, right?

Well 🤷, it’s possible that even after several laser treatments your tattoo won’t erase completely. Again, different factors could contribute to this. These factors range from the quality of the tattoo ink, the depth of the skin it penetrated, laser wavelength, to your health and immune system.

4.      There are Potential Side Effects

This is not talked about enough.

Common side effects of laser tattoo removal include blisters, scars, hyperpigmentation, hypopigmentation, change in skin texture of the treated area, and even infection.

Cheryl Hill, 01/23/1954
Source: https://clinicalgate.com/tattoo-removal-with-lasers/

Hypopigmentation refers to patches of skin that are lighter than your overall skin tone. You may experience this if there’s a scar or infection after treatment. The chances of experiencing this are higher amongst people with dark skin tone.

Hyperpigmentation, on the other hand, refers to patches of darker skin. This can be handled with skin-lightening creams.

In rare cases, a patient may experience anaphylaxis- a condition that makes breathing difficult. This is likely to happen if you experienced an allergic reaction while getting the tattoo.

These potential side effects and others are a major reason you should visit a professional tattoo removal clinic like ours- Ink Doubt Denver, for your laser-assisted tattoo removal treatment. You don’t want to jeopardize your health by patronizing non-professionals.

5.      It Could Be Costly

person holding 100 US Dollar banknote

Laser-assisted body art removal could be costly when you consider the overall expense by multiplying the cost of one session with the number of sessions you’d require to get the result you want.

But hey! There’s usually about 6-8 weeks break between each session. This break will give you ample time to prepare yourself financially and otherwise for the next treatment. So, you shouldn’t let this keep you from getting what you want.