Perth Tattoo Removal

Does tattoo removal hurt

If you’re considering tattoo removal, you may be concerned about the pain involved. You might wonder if laser tattoo removal is painful and if it’s worth enduring the pain to get rid of your old tattoo. Is the pain of tattoo removal comparable to the pain of getting the tattoo initially?

Laser tattoo removal is less painful than commonly believed. 

What is the level of pain associated with tattoo removal?

The sensation felt during laser tattoo removal is typically described as mild. Some clients of Removery have compared it to the feeling of being lightly snapped by a rubber band.

Laser tattoo removal is considered the most effective process available for removing tattoos. Methods claiming pain-free may not effectively remove the ink from the skin, while more painful methods can potentially cause long-term damage and permanent scarring.

The Picoway tattoo removal method is known for its lesser pain and faster results than other techniques, reducing the time spent. 

What is the process of tattoo removal?

To remove a tattoo, an ultra-short pulse laser is used. These lasers emit hot blasts quickly to break apart the tattoo ink particles. The speed of the laser is essential for effectiveness. Different ink colours absorb different wavelengths, so the laser needs to be set accordingly.

Tattoos are permanent because the ink is inserted deep into the skin, triggering the body’s immune response. White blood cells attempt to break down the ink, but it happens slowly. The cells carry small parts of the ink to the liver for processing and disposal. However, the ink particles are too large for the cells to remove, so tattoos are permanent.

The white blood cells continue working when the laser breaks the ink into smaller pieces. They carry these pieces to the liver for elimination and other toxins in the body. 

A guide on preparing for tattoo removal

There are essential steps to take before your tattoo removal. Eat and hydrate beforehand to avoid faintness. Prepare your body for discomfort. Cut back or quit smoking during treatment to reduce complications. Protect your skin from sun exposure and wear sunscreen.

Avoid sun exposure for at least four weeks before laser removal. Take Tylenol for pain, not aspirin or ibuprofen. Keep the treated area clean and clear. Wear loose clothing for maximum comfort. After each session, expect sunburn-like sensations. Ask your medical provider any questions you may have. 

Are tattoo removal and getting a tattoo equally painful?

People experience varying levels of pain tolerance and anxiety when it comes to pain. However, laser tattoo removal is often described as less painful than getting a tattoo. Some individuals liken the discomfort of tattoo removal to that of a sunburn.

Yes, tattoo removal can be more painful on specific body parts. The areas where the skin is closer to the bone are more sensitive to the tattoo needle and the laser used for removal. According to a technician at Recovery, getting a tattoo can feel like being licked by a cat’s rough tongue or scratched with hot claws, depending on where it is located.

Tattoo removal with lasers is generally less painful than getting a tattoo. However, certain areas of the body may be more sensitive. Most people describe the sensation as unpleasant but tolerable. It is not something you would want to endure all day, but it is manageable for most individuals for a short period. 

Factors contributing to the pain of tattoo removal

Laser tattoo removal sessions are shorter than tattoo application sessions. They typically last three to five minutes, while tattooing sessions last for hours. This means less time in discomfort compared to getting a tattoo. The level of pain experienced during laser tattoo removal depends on various factors, such as:

  • Size of the tattoo
  • The linework is thick and dark.
  • The ink colours.
  • Age of the tattoo
  • The number of sessions you have had.
  • The location of the tattoo.
  • Please indicate your level of pain tolerance.

Elements like dimensions, intricacy of linework, and chromatic choices influence the duration of the procedure. Compact tattoos can be erased in a few minutes, whereas expansive ones might require as much as 20 minutes. Regardless of the possible discomfort, the awareness that the tattoo elimination process is short-lived offers solace.

The number of sessions required to remove a tattoo varies depending on factors such as the colour of the ink used. Removing black ink is generally easier than removing light blue or yellow ink.

After each laser tattoo removal session, the process becomes more accessible for individuals. This is because there is less ink to remove in subsequent sessions, and people become more familiar with what to expect, which helps alleviate any fears or concerns about the removal process. 

The impact of age on pain during laser tattoo removal

Yes, the age of a tattoo affects the pain level during laser removal. Why? Because some of the ink has already disappeared, sessions for older tattoos are less intense and shorter than for newer ones.

Areas of the body with the most minor pain during removal

Laser excision tends to be less discomforting in regions with greater muscle density and adipose tissue, such as the thighs, calves, and biceps. These areas act as cushions against discomfort. Conversely, zones with a higher concentration of nerve fibres, like the shins, are more susceptible and will experience heightened pain during laser tattoo excision than the calves.

Here are additional regions typically associated with reduced pain sensations:

  • The shoulders
  • The upper arms
  • The front side of the thighs

For women, most of the back area is generally less painful for tattoo removal, except the region near the spine. Moreover, areas with taut skin, like the upper thigh, are usually less sensitive than those with more pliable skin. 

Sensitive body areas during removal

The regions most susceptible to pain during tattoo removal are those where the epidermis is near the bone. Instances of such areas are the ankle and fingers, which might exhibit increased sensitivity throughout the removal phase. While resting some body parts post-laser removal is feasible, maintaining stillness in others, like the ankle, is challenging or unachievable.

Outlined below are some of the areas susceptible to laser tattoo removal:

  • The articulations at the knees, elbows, and ankles are more sensitive to laser tattoo removal because the skin is near the bone. Also, frequent movement after the procedure can amplify the pain.
  • The ribs and sternum pose difficulties in tattoo removal because of the skin’s closeness to the bone and the potential discomfort from breathing during the removal.
  • With their high density of nerve fibres, the fingers and feet can heighten discomfort during tattooing and removal.
  • The vicinity of the armpit, characterised by its thin skin, is known as one of the most sensitive spots for laser removal.
  • The head typically presents sensitivity during the tattoo removal process.

The areas where tattoos are most painful to get generally align with those where laser removal is more uncomfortable.

A tattoo pain level chart showcases the diverse intensities of pain encountered when receiving tattoos on different body parts. These pain intensities also indicate laser tattoo removal, though the discomfort is usually less than that experienced during the tattooing procedure. 

Is numbing cream used for tattoo removal?

Most clinics use numbing cream to ease discomfort. The cream is applied 30 minutes before the session. It numbs the skin a little but doesn’t eliminate sensation. Some creams are over-the-counter, while others require a prescription. The creams contain prilocaine, benzocaine, lidocaine, and tetracaine, which effectively numb the skin. Clinics may ask patients to apply the cream at home before the appointment due to the time it takes to work. Consult with the medical practitioner to determine the type of numbing cream and its effectiveness. 

Pros and cons of pain relief in laser tattoo removal

Numbing Cream

Tattoo removal specialists often recommend using topical numbing cream. This is particularly helpful for larger tattoos and longer sessions, as it can help patients endure the pain for the duration of the session. The numbing cream doesn’t directly affect the area where the tattoo ink is located, but it does reduce the sensation of the laser passing through the top layer of skin. While you may still feel some discomfort, it will be less intense.

Cold Compress

A cold compress is advised after a laser tattoo removal procedure to minimise inflammation and pain. However, it is essential to use it correctly to avoid complications. Never directly apply a cold compress to the treated skin. Wrap the affected area with sterile gauze before applying the ice pack to prevent infection.


It is not recommended to use drugs such as sedatives, alcohol, or painkillers for laser tattoo removal treatments. Certain substances can intensify the pain during or after the treatment.

What can be anticipated following tattoo removal?

The doctor will put ointment and a bandage on the area after treatment. You should keep the area clean and apply ointment as your doctor directs. The skin may feel sunburned for a day or two, and the treated area may stay red for a few weeks. A scab may also form. Once healed, the site will gradually fade. The skin typically takes a month to recover after a session. Once healed, you can proceed with another session to continue removing your unwanted tattoo.

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