Does Laser Tattoo Removal Hurt?

Yes, Laser Tattoo Removal Hurts, But It’s Not Unbearable!

Getting a tattoo isn’t painless, so patients shouldn’t expect the removal process to be painless.  Yes, laser tattoo removal hurts.  That being said, we’ve never had anyone come in for a tattoo removal session and not return to complete the process.

In fact, our patients who have had laser tattoo removal sessions elsewhere have told us that their treatments are much more comfortable with us.  That’s because our laser, the Revlite SI laser delivers constant power, instead of varying levels of power, so there isn’t a spike in speed that would make it more uncomfortable1.

It’s kind of like hammering a nail in a board. Each time the hammer hits the nail head, there’s a varying amount of power. The more power the hammer hits the nail with, the farther into the board the nail is driven. Similarly, if a laser delivers a pulse at a stronger power it delivers a stronger sting, but because the power we are delivering is constant, each pulse feels the same.

What is the Pain of Laser Tattoo Removal Like?

We have always described the sensation of laser hair removal like a rubber band snapping the skin. Tattoo removal is similar, only the rubber band would be stretched a little longer before snapping the skin and with practically no pause between encounters.

Another way to describe it would be a swift moving sewing machine needle that moves up and down over the fabric. We also have patients say the pain level is about the same as getting a tattoo.

Prior to treatment, we cool the area with zero-degree air to numb it.  We’ve had some patients tell us the numbing process is the worst part.

Regardless of the level of discomfort, all of our patients say they can endure anything as long as we can get rid of the tattoo, and we do.

Each Tattoo Removal Session is Very Fast!

While laser tattoo removal does pack a sting, treatments are very fast. Most treatment sessions typically last no more than 30 seconds. Even a large tattoo takes no more than a few minutes to treat.

Patients looking to get rid of a tattoo can schedule a complimentary consultation at WIFH.

Unsure about the Pain? Watch a Treatment!

Citations
1. Gold, M., (2009). Tattoo removal with an electro-optic Q-switched Nd:YAG laser with a unique pulse dispersion. Cosmetic Dermatology. 2009; 33(4). https://www.mdedge.com/dermatology/article/68736/aesthetic-dermatology/tattoo-removal-electro-optic-q-switched-ndyag-laser
About the Author

Regan Kudlata, RN, MSN, FNP-C

Regan Kudlata is a licensed Family Nurse Practitioner and a Senior Cosmetic Laser Practitioner licensed by the Georgia Composite Medical Board. Regan has more than 15 years of laser experience, performing laser hair removal, tattoo removal, skin rejuvenation, treatment of veins and skin lesions, IPL and SculpSure at WIFH.