One of the top questions we get asked when someone is interested in tattoo removal is, does PicoWay laser hurt? 

When you think about the pain of getting a tattoo, it makes sense that you would assume the removal of the tattoo would be just as painful, if not worse. However, while laser tattoo removal used to cause some pain and discomfort, the technology available today has come a long way. 

At Ink-B-Gone, we pride ourselves on using the proprietary Picoway laser technology to offer the best experience possible for our clients. We understand your fears and want to make your tattoo removal experience as comfortable as possible.

So, does PicoWay laser hurt? Let’s dive in to find out!

What Does Laser Tattoo Removal Feel Like?

First, it’s important to understand that every person’s pain tolerance differs. As such, no doctor or clinic should promise a pain-free procedure. Though PicoWay has been thoroughly tested and approved by the FDA as a safer and more effective laser tattoo removal system, no one can guarantee it won’t cause pain. 

That said, many people compare the pain of laser tattoo removal to that of a bad sunburn. During the procedure, the zapping of the laser pulses is often likened to the feeling of a rubber band snapping against your skin, which can cause some degree of discomfort. Some people say it feels like a mild stinging sensation. 

So, if you consider the pain of getting a tattoo, the sensations described above are much less painful in comparison. It’s also worth noting that the level of pain experienced will also depend on the location of the tattoo being removed. 

Naturally, certain parts of the body are more sensitive and have higher pain reception than others. The areas of the body where the skin is closer to the bone, for example, are more sensitive to a tattoo needle and, thus, are also more sensitive to a laser. 

Does PicoWay Laser Hurt?

The PicoWay laser system uses innovative new technology with dual-wavelength fractional capabilities. Specifically, it uses high-power, ultrashort laser pulses that provide a photoacoustic impact, which breaks up even the smallest pigment particles in the skin. 

This is different from other laser treatments that have a photothermal impact, meaning they have a heating effect that can cause more pain and discomfort. However, the PicoWay laser system has no heating effect, which means less pain.

Furthermore, the PicoWay laser works below the surface of the skin. As such, the outer layer of the skin is left intact, and there is minimal downtime for healing. Still, any patient undergoing tattoo removal, even with the PicoWay laser, is expected to experience some level of discomfort. 

Factors That Can Contribute to Pain During Tattoo Removal

Again, every patient’s experience will be different, as everyone’s pain tolerance is different. As a whole, the factors that contribute to the pain experienced during PicoWay laser tattoo removal can include the following:

  • The individual’s pain tolerance
  • The size of the tattoo
  • The colors of the ink (some colors are harder to remove than others)
  • The age of the tattoo
  • Where the tattoo is located

Additionally, the skill and experience of the technician working on you can also play a role in the level of discomfort you experience. This is why it is important to do your research and find a clinic like Ink-B-Gone with highly-trained technicians that know what they are doing. 

Pain Levels Based on the Location of the Tattoo Being Removed

Where your tattoo is located on your body will likely correlate with the level of pain you experience during tattoo removal. Meatier places on the body where the skin is thicker, and there is more fat will generally hurt less. 

  • Joints: Tattoos directly on the joints (knees, elbows, ankles) are going to be some of the most painful to remove because they are so close to the bone. 
  • Ribs and sternum: Next, any tattoos in this area will also be painful because of the nearness to the ribcage, and the act of breathing, which moves the area, will also prolong the discomfort. 
  • The groin and armpits: These areas are also highly sensitive to sensation, meaning it is likely that you will experience higher levels of pain if you are having a tattoo removed in these areas. 
  • Hands and feet: The extremities have a lot of nerve endings, especially the backs of the hands and the tops of the feet. This makes these areas also more sensitive to tattoo removal. 
  • The head: Many people often report the head as being highly sensitive and more painful during tattoo removal. 

How to Reduce Risk of Discomfort and Promote Optimal Healing

If you are concerned about the level of discomfort you will experience during laser tattoo removal, there are some things you can do to reduce your chances of experiencing higher levels of pain and discomfort. 

Before tattoo removal:

  • Avoid sun exposure
  • Keep the tattoo area clean
  • Remove all makeup, lotions, and creams before treatment

After tattoo removal:

  • Gently cleanse the area with mild soap and water to prevent infection
  • Avoid picking and scratching the treated area
  • Use ice packs and apply a cold compress
  • Follow your treatment provider’s instructions carefully

Is PicoWay Laser Tattoo Removal Right For Me?

Every person and every tattoo is different — so ask our experts if PicoWay tattoo removal is right for you.

If you’re wondering if the PicoWay laser hurts, the best way to be informed is to speak with a skilled technician that specializes in laser tattoo removal. At Ink-B-Gone — your leading Colorado laser tattoo removal expert — we offer FREE consultations so you can make an informed decision before you commit.  

For more information and helpful tips, follow us on Twitter and Instagram