Tattoo Removal Pain, Cost, Methods and Healing Time

We have all been victims of the tattoo craze. The difference is, there are those who managed to overcome the trend and stay without any ink on their skin. On the other hand, there are those who bowed to the pressure and got it.

Whereas we all have our reasons, if you are reading this article then it means that regret has finally set in. Having an alien doing the Michael Jackson pose on our arm is just not us anymore. Well, before you embark on this journey let us debunk some commonly asked questions.

Tattoo removal methods

Well, before laser tattoo removal became popular, dermabrasion and excision used to be the preferred techniques for getting rid of permanent tattoos. Dermabrasion involves exfoliating or wearing away of the top skin, to pave the way for a newer layer of skin. Sadly, the procedure is not a good removal option. Alternatively, excision can be used if it is small enough. On the downside, the risk of scarring is high.

Before and after tattoo laser removal method
Before and after laser removal method

Advancements in technology have made laser tattoo removal an effective approach. This technique involves the use of light to break-down the pigmentation. This non-invasive procedure costs on average $200-$500 per session. You will have to go for several procedures depending on its size, the location, and the amount of ink used on it. If you have an extra small tattoo, then the cost may range from $75-$125.

Developments such as the PicoSure laser applicator comes with different wavelengths for tackling tattoos with different colors. However, it is important to note that even with PicoSure, you may still have to undergo several sessions. A mixture of laser treatments may be used depending on their size and the numerous colors used.

It is important to consult 2-3 tattoo removal experts before embarking on the procedure. However, laser removal is the most popular, and safest method.

Does laser tattoo removal hurt?

Yes, it does. It is more painful than getting one in the first place. Here’s the thing. We are all different. Each person has their own degree of “pain-bearing.” To some, the procedure is bearable. To others, the procedure is BAD.

Some people have described the procedure as having hot grease splattered over you, or a “hot rubber band popping through the skin.” At the same time, there are people who equate the pain to the same pain they felt the first time they got the tattoo. Others say the pain is bearable.

Innovations in technology have tried to minimize the risk of “excruciating” pain. For instance, according to Dr. Roy G. Geronemus of the Laser and Skin Surgery Center in New York, the use of PicoSure laser technology results in pain that is generally bearable.

Similarly, a professional using a Q-Switch Laser can work on a small tattoo for about 30 seconds. This means that if you have a small one, you can simply go to the clinic, bear the 30-seconds of a laser popping 1000 pulses a minute, and get out.

Some professionals choose to numb the area where the tattoo is located so that you do not feel the pain. The numbing effect can be achieved through the use of medications such as Lidocaine injections, or a cooling machine (the Zimmer Cryo 6). Numbing creams can also make the pain subside by about 40%.

How long does it take to heal after removal

The healing time depends on several factors. They include its location on the body, the dense of the ink, type of laser technology used, and your body’s immunity response. You are likely to notice the tattoo fade as you continue with the laser sessions. Healing time may be as fast as within 72 hours, or 3-14 days depending on the factors mentioned.

Black tattoos are easier to remove and may have a faster healing time compared to colored tattoos. This is because the laser is able to effectively target the black pigmentation more easily compared to other pigmentations. Neon colors will require more laser sessions.

Also, older and amateur tattoos are easier to get rid of compared to professional ones. Older ones are easier to get rid of as the body has already absorbed some of the pigmentations.

Professional tattoos are a challenge as they tend to have more ink compared to amateur ones. Tattoos located on the arm and leg, or away from the heart, take longer to fade away or heal. This is because circulation takes longer so the white blood cells do not have a fast access to the ink to facilitate quick healing.

In conclusion…….

Laser technology is the most effective and safest way to remove a tattoo. However, you may have to undergo several sessions before the ink fades away completely. The laser technique has a shorter healing time and less risk of complications compared to other methods.

Moreover, you finally get to remove that unwanted tattoo. To most people, the joy of waking up having got rid of their x-girlfriend’s name, or a gang-related one makes the pain experienced when removing it worthwhile.

Look for an expert to give you quality work. If the laser removal technique is done effectively, it is uncommon for scarring to occur. Good luck!



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