Believe it or not, more than 30 percent of American adults have at least one tattoo somewhere on their bodies. Though most people love their tattoos, some aren’t so lucky.
If you’re one of them and feel tired of looking at a tattoo you never wanted in the first place, the best thing you can do is to get it removed.
The tattoo removal process is complex and it’s normal to have questions. In fact, you’re probably asking yourself, “does tattoo removal hurt?” or “will it even be enough to get rid of my ink?”
Here are a few things you need to know about the process before you schedule your appointment.
1. Yes, Tattoo Removal Does Hurt
When you got your tattoo, you knew that the process would hurt. After all, you’re getting a needle jabbed into your skin hundreds of times to create the design’s outline.
Though the tattoo removal process doesn’t involve needles in the same way, it will still hurt. Even the most experienced and die-hard tattoo enthusiasts feel at least some level of discomfort during the procedure.
This is because the technician or doctor performing the removal is using a concentrated laser on your skin. At best, that laser will sting a little. But for most people, the pain they experience during the removal is still worth getting rid of the tattoo they’re tired of looking at every day.
2. Experience Matters
You wouldn’t choose a tattoo artist without carefully reviewing their portfolio and making sure they’re experienced enough to give you a tattoo you’ll love. And you shouldn’t choose a laser tattoo removal service without making sure they have the right training and experience in place.
The best thing you can do is to schedule several consultations with experts in your area. Find out how long they’ve been working in the field, what tools they use, and how they’ll go about removing your tattoo.
Pay attention to the way each expert treats you. They should walk you through the process in detail and let you know what type of approach they’ll take to your ink. You’ll want to choose a professional that understands your unique situation and can do everything to remove your tattoo.
3. The Process Takes Time
Unfortunately, tattoo removal is a complicated process. It takes time for even the most experienced specialists to fully remove the image etched in your skin.
Be ready for the process to take several sessions before you even see significant results. The larger your tattoo is and the more ink it has, the longer it will take to remove.
Don’t worry. The specialist should be able to give you an estimated treatment duration during your initial consultation. If they don’t, consider working with someone else who can better help you manage your time.
4. There’s No Ink That the Procedure Can’t Remove
One of the most common myths surrounding laser tattoo removal is that some ink just won’t come out. While it’s true that some colors and shades take longer to remove, they will eventually fade. Once the removal is complete, all traces of the dyes will be gone, too.
It’s just a matter of time.
If you have a brightly colored tattoo that you no longer want to look at, you’ll still be able to get rid of the ink. If your tattoo is a simple dark outline, you’ll be able to get the design removed in full.
5. You’ll Be Sore Afterward
Think about how you felt after your initial tattoo session. You likely left the office riding a wave of endorphins, but once those endorphins faded, you probably felt sore.
You can expect the same experience when you start the removal process.
Though your skin will be numb during the procedure, the numbing solution won’t last forever. Once it wears off, you’ll notice some soreness and tenderness around your tattoo.
As long as you follow the removal specialist’s instructions and aftercare suggestions, you’ll be able to recover quickly.
6. You Don’t Have to Remove the Entire Tattoo
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to remove the entire tattoo. You’re able to target just the aspects of the design that you don’t like. Further, you can even lighten the ink enough to make a coverup tattoo easier and more effective.
It all depends on your goals. If you want to get rid of the tattoo once and for all, you can. But if all you want to do is cover up the spot with a newer tattoo, lightening the ink around the area can help.
Make sure to communicate your goals with your removal specialist. This way, they’ll be able to give you a more accurate tattoo removal cost estimate and timeline.
7. Some People Experience Scarring at the Site
Unfortunately, tattoo removal doesn’t come without risks. Some people end up getting their tattoo removed only to discover that the process left behind some scarring or skin discoloration.
The amount of scarring or discoloration will vary from person to person. However, there are things you can do to reduce the severity of those scars. Discuss your concerns with your removal team and let them make the appropriate recommendations based on your skin type and the tattoo you have in place.
So, Does Tattoo Removal Hurt? Yes, But It’s Worth It
One of the first things people considering removal ask is “does tattoo removal hurt?” The answer is, unfortunately, yes. But the pain shouldn’t be so severe that you question your decision to get your tattoo removed in the first place.
If you have a tattoo that you don’t like or one you regret getting, don’t try to cover it up. Schedule consultations with several tattoo removal experts in your area and let them take a look.
The right team will be able to get rid of the old ink so you can enjoy having a clean slate again.
Looking for more tips to help you better care for your skin after getting a tattoo removed? Check out our latest posts!