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Does laser tattoo removal hurt?

One of the most asked questions from our prospective clients is does laser tattoo removal hurt or is laser tattoo removal painful?

The short and honest answer is that it’s not a completely painless experience, but it is very tolerable and manageable when done right.

What does laser tattoo removal feel like?

The most commonly used description amongst our clients is that it feels like an elastic band being flicked against your skin multiple times. Many clients have also described it as being very similar to having laser hair removal or to being tattooed. However, bear in mind that laser tattoo removal treatments are much quicker than the time it took to get tattooed. A tattoo that took 30-40 minutes to apply would only take in the order of 1-2 minutes to treat with laser.

Once the laser treatment is complete, the feeling is very similar to having sunburn for 1-3 hours. In the following days, there may be some minor swelling, sensitivity and itchiness, depending on the nature of the tattoo and your adherence to the aftercare instructions provided on the day.

Is laser tattoo removal painful?

Pain is a very personal and subjective experience and everybody has a different pain threshold.  Like getting tattooed, some parts of the body are more uncomfortable to treat than others. Typically the less fleshy parts of the body such as ribs, fingers, feet, faces, scalps, inner biceps and wrists are the more uncomfortable areas to treat.

The density of the ink in your tattoo also impacts on the comfort level. The more dense the ink, the more heat is released, the greater the discomfort. Conversely, sparsely inked tattoos consisting of shading or text are more comfortable.

The speed of your treatment will also influence your comfort level during treatment. In most cases, clients report a more comfortable experience at a lower laser speed. Some clients prefer a faster laser speed, as it feels more like being tattooed.

Your skin colour will also impact on your comfort level during laser tattoo removal treatments. If you are naturally dark skinned or if you are overly tanned, you will find the laser treatments slightly more uncomfortable, as the laser will also react with the melanin in your skin.

Lastly and most importantly, your level of comfort during treatment is very much impacted by the tattoo removal clinic you choose. An experienced operator with a good quality laser, appropriate settings and comfort management techniques will always deliver a much better result and experience on all fronts.

How will Vanishing Ink manage my comfort?

We’ve performed many thousands of treatments since opening in 2011 and we have successfully treated many people with all types of tattoos, skin tones and pain thresholds. We ensure that all clients are as comfortable as possible during treatments by:

  • Applying cold air from our cryogenic chiller to the tattoo before, during and after treatment to ensure that the skin is as numb as safely possible. This process is paramount to not only managing your comfort, but also to commenci