Evidence Basedcheckmark3d try-onchevron-right

Laser Tattoo Removal: Understanding The Cosmetic Procedure

Laser tattoo removal is an effective method for erasing unwanted or regrettable ink. A number of different lasers can be used during treatment although Q-switched lasers are most common as they can deliver short bursts of high intensity energy to break up tattoo pigment.

Laser Tattoo Removal

Try on Laser Tattoo Removal Solutions

‘Try on’ aesthetic procedures and instantly visualize possible results with AEDIT and our patented 3D aesthetic simulator.

The Skinny


Average Recovery

1 weeks

Permanence

Permanent

Application

Laser/Light Therapy

Surgical

No

Cost

$50 - $2000

The Specifics


What is laser tattoo removal?

Laser tattoo removal to remove unwanted tattoos can be performed through a variety of laser technologies of different wavelengths, however, Q-switched lasers are most commonly used as their short burst, high intensity laser energy effectively breaks up tattoo ink and tattoo pigment.

Depending on the size of the tattoo, type of tattoo ink, and tattoo colors used (black tattoos are typically easier), a number of treatments (two to 10 sessions) may be needed to achieve complete removal. Popular laser tattoo removal methods include PicoSure® and Enlighten.

What cosmetic concerns does a laser tattoo removal procedure treat?

  1. Tattoo Removal: Laser energy in laser tattoo removal breaks up large pigment molecules for the body to naturally resorb and eliminate through the lymphatic system as part of the immune system and healing process.

Who is the ideal candidate for a laser tattoo removal procedure?

The ideal candidate for a laser tattoo removal is in generally good health with fairer skin. Old tattoos are easier to remove due to natural degradation of tattoo ink, however, most old tattoos and new tattoos can be removed via laser tattoo removal can be used on amateur tattoos and professional tattoos. Laser tattoo removal is not recommended for candidates with hypersensitive skin, skin types prone to keloid scarring, active infection, or those with darker skin tones due to high risk of hypopigmentation.

What is the average recovery associated with a laser tattoo removal procedure?

The average recovery from laser tattoo removal is two weeks. Bruising, swelling, crusting, and scabbing typically develops within a few hours of the procedure and resolve over a few days to weeks. Some patients may experience a temporary loss of skin pigment in the area, which usually corrects.

What are the potential side effects of a laser tattoo removal procedure?

Potential side effects from a laser tattoo removal include blisters, scabbing, scarring, swelling, discomfort, itchiness, skin discoloration, site infection, and muscle soreness.

What can someone expect from the results of a laser tattoo removal procedure?

The results of a laser tattoo removal will not be immediately noticeable. Depending on the candidate and tattoo, numerous sessions will be required to achieve the desired results. Once the tattoo is removed it is permanent.

What is the average cost of a Laser Tattoo Removal procedure?

Laser tattoo removal costs anywhere from $50 to $2,000. The actual cost of a laser tattoo removal is dependent upon location, provider, and length and involvement of the cosmetic procedure.

Pros

highly effectiveminimal side effectsnonsurgical

Cons

multiple treatmentsscarringdiscolorationhyperpigmentation

Invasiveness Score

mildmoderatesevere
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10

Invasiveness is graded based on factors such as anesthesia practices, incisions, and recovery notes common to this procedure.

What to Expect


Laser tattoo removal is an effective method for erasing unwanted or regrettable ink. Here is a quick guide for what to expect before, during, and after a laser tattoo removal treatment.

The Takeaway


Laser tattoo removal is one of numerous tattoo removal methods. To remove tattoos through laser treatment a number of treatments will be required depending on skin type, age of the tattoo (old tattoos are easier to remove than new tattoos), type of tattoo ink, and number of tattoo colors used (black ink is easier to degrade). Laser tattoo removal can effectively remove unwanted tattoos in a non-surgical procedure with minimal side effects.

Is this article helpful?

To learn more about our content creation practices, visit our Editorial Process page.

Source List

+

AEDIT uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Aglaja Valentina Stirn Body modifications and sexual health : Impact of tattoos, body piercing and esthetic genital plastic surgery on the sexual health of women and men PubMed.gov; 2017-09-06
  2. American Academy of Dermatology Association Tattoo Removal: Lasers Outshine Other Methods aad.org
text-me-the-app

‘Try on’ aesthetic procedures and instantly visualize possible results with AEDIT and our patented 3D aesthetic simulator.