It would be great if we could definitively tell you the exact date and time when your sessions will all be complete and your tattoo will be just a distant memory, but that simply isn’t possible. There are just too many variables at play. In fact, we’ll go so far as to say don’t trust any tattoo removal practice that makes exact promises about the length of your treatment or the number of sessions you will need. That having been said, we can certainly give you informed estimates based on the information we find out at your initial consultation.
Let’s look at the variables:
1. Time between sessions:
We leave at least 6 weeks between treatments to give your body time to heal, but in some cases, we recommend longer wait times. You may also decide to take a longer break, and we totally respect that. Maybe you are going on vacation or a business trip; maybe you are dealing with an unrelated illness or life event in your family. Just know that you will not hurt the process at all by spacing your treatments further apart.
Why would we space sessions further apart?
Areas that are closer to your heart have better circulation and better opportunities for white blood cells to flush out the ink from your system. This means that tattoos in these places are easier to remove and may take less total time.
They take less time overall because:
- There will be fewer sessions needed in total
- Less time will be needed in between sessions
Conversely, bony areas, like ankles, need more sessions and may take longer to heal in between sessions.
2. The age of your tattoo:
Tattoos tend to fade over time for two reasons: exposure to the sun and your body’s natural inclination to break down the ink particles. This means that newer and fresher tattoos may take more sessions to be removed by the laser removal process than tattoos you have had for several years.
3. The color of your tattoo:
- Not all colors are created alike. Certain colors are more difficult to remove than others and will therefore need more time.
- For example, dark colors such as black and dark gray are the easiest to remove, and lighter colors such as light blue or light green take a little longer.
4. The amount of ink in your tattoo:
- No, this doesn’t have anything to do with size. Two people may have the same sized tattoo – and yet one of them may need more sessions. Size isn’t necessarily relevant, and we have even had the experience of removing an entire back tattoo in fewer sessions than it took to remove a tattoo on a ring finger.
- If someone has tried to cover up one tattoo with another tattoo, there will be more ink to remove.
- Keith Urban covered up the Latin phrase meaning “Love conquers all” (Omnia Vincit Amor) with a much larger Celtic symbol incorporating Nicole Kidman’s initials.
- Kaley Cuoco covered the Roman numerals commemorating the wedding day with her first husband with a moth.
- Over the years, tattoos tend to fade as the immune system’s macrophage cells gradually absorb and disperse the ink. Many people go back to have their tattoo’s colors refreshed. In cases like these, there will be more ink to remove.
- Amateur tattoos generally use less ink than professional tattoos.
5. Your skin type:
- It is easier to remove tattoos from lighter-colored skin, which means that darker-colored skin may need either more total sessions or more time in between sessions.
- Skin with scarring may add another complication, and sometimes both professional and amateur tattoos can leave scar tissue as a result of the application process. Not all scars are alike, but generally, scars on your tattoo will mean that we need to take more time with our treatments. Luckily, we can break down scar tissue with our PICOway laser which allows us to get to all layers of ink for full light penetration.
6. You and your immune system
- How well you follow your aftercare instructions can impact your healing time.
- Strong immune systems take less time to flush ink molecules out of the body. Immune systems can be weakened by illness, smoking, insufficient sleep, unhealthy eating habits, and lack of hydration, just to name a few factors.
- An example: We have a husband and wife who are removing identical tattoos, applied by the same artist at the same time with the same ink on the same body part. After eight sessions, the wife’s tattoo is completely cleared and the husband’s tattoo appears to be half as dark as when we started. For whatever reason, the husband’s body is not clearing ink as efficiently as the wife’s. Yes…he is frustrated, but he understands that tattoo removal is a very unique process; every BODY is unique.
Can you at least give me a rough idea about the length of the tattoo removal process?
- Yes, of course! On average, tattoos can be removed in 5-10 treatments. This can take anywhere from 8-24 months. You will have a better idea after your free initial consultation. In this 30-minute appointment, we will be able to give you an estimate of how many sessions your tattoo will require and also give you a pricing schedule.
- In addition, within 2 or 3 sessions we will have a much clearer idea of how well your tattoo is fading and responding to treatment.
Every person and every tattoo is different, so ask our experts!
When you’re ready to look into laser tattoo removal, it’s important to find a professional and expert technician you trust. Before you commit to anything, you can come in for a free consultation here at Ink-B-Gone, the leading laser tattoo removers in Colorado.
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