How Many Sessions to Remove a Tattoo?

How Many Sessions to Remove a Tattoo?

Tattoos are a popular form of body art that can often be seen in people from all walks of life. However, not all tattoos are permanent and many individuals wish to have their tattoos removed due to personal reasons or preferences. So how many sessions does it take to remove a tattoo?

In this article, we will discuss the factors that influence the number of sessions needed to remove a tattoo. We will also provide useful tips and answer frequently asked questions about the tattoo removal process.

What Are My Tattoo Removal Options?

When it comes to tattoo removal, there are a few options available.  Laser tattoo removal is the most popular choice, owing to its high success rate and relatively low side effects. It works by breaking down the ink in the skin into tiny particles that can be absorbed by the body’s lymphatic system. The number of laser treatments needed will depend on the size of the tattoo, its age, and its color. Other options include dermabrasion, an excision (cutting), and salabrasion (salt scrubbing). [2]

What Are My Tattoo Removal Options?

How Many Sessions Are Needed for Laser Tattoo Removal?

The number of laser tattoo removal sessions required is dependent on several factors, including the size, age, and color of your tattoo. Generally speaking, an average-sized black tattoo can take anywhere between 6 and 10 treatments to fully remove. More complex tattoos with multiple colors may require up to 15 or more treatments. The older a tattoo is, the easier it will be to remove and fewer treatments may be required. [1]

How Long Will Each Session Take?

The length of each laser tattoo removal session will vary depending on the size and complexity of your tattoo. Generally speaking, small tattoos can be completed in less than 10 minutes while larger tattoos may take up to an hour or more. [1]

Is Treatment Painful?

The level of discomfort experienced during a laser tattoo removal session can vary from person to person. Most people report feeling some mild discomfort, but it is usually described as bearable and not overly painful. Your doctor may recommend an over-the-counter pain reliever or topical numbing cream before the procedure to help reduce any discomfort you may feel. [1] 

How Should I Prepare for This Treatment?

Eat Before Your Appointment

It’s important to eat a light meal before your appointment, as laser tattoo removal can sometimes cause dizziness or nausea. Avoid eating large meals or drinking alcohol right before the treatment to prevent any issues. [1]

Take Tylenol If You Feel Discomfort

If you experience any discomfort during the procedure, your doctor may recommend taking Tylenol (acetaminophen). This will help alleviate any pain or discomfort you may feel. [1]

Avoid Cosmetics in the Treatment Area

It’s important to avoid applying any cosmetics, lotions, or creams directly to the treatment area before or after the procedure. These products may interfere with the laser and can cause infection or scarring if not properly removed beforehand. [1]

How Should I Prepare for This Treatment?

The Health of the Client

The health of the client is one of the most important factors in determining how many sessions will be necessary to remove a tattoo. For example, if the client has an underlying medical condition or takes medications that can make their skin more sensitive, it may take longer for them to heal between sessions. In addition, clients with dark skin tones can be more prone to scarring, so it is important for them to consult a licensed and experienced tattoo removal professional about the number of sessions that may be required for their particular situation. Additionally, different tattoos require different techniques and laser frequencies which can also impact the number of sessions needed. [2]

The Ink Used

It’s important to note that the type of ink used in the tattoo will have a significant impact on how many sessions are necessary for effective removal. Professional tattoos utilize high-quality inks, which tend to be more difficult to remove than those used in at-home kits. Color tattoos generally require more laser treatments than black ink tattoos as well. [2]

The Age of the Tattoo

One factor that affects how many sessions it takes to remove a tattoo is the age of the tattoo. Generally, tattoos done more recently are easier to remove than those which have been around for years. The older the tattoo, the more treatments will be required fully and effectively remove it.

The depth of the ink in your skin will also play a role in how many sessions it takes to remove your tattoo. Tattoos that have been done with heavier, darker ink and deeper penetration require more treatments than tattoos done with lighter, thinner ink. [2]

Am I a Good Candidate for Treatment?

When it comes to tattoo removal, the success of the treatment depends on several factors. The age and location of your tattoo, as well as the color and type of ink used, can all affect how many sessions may be needed for full removal. Generally speaking, people with smaller tattoos that consist of black or dark blue ink are easier to treat.

Your age can also be a factor when it comes to tattoo removal. It is thought that the younger you are, the more likely your skin will respond favorably to treatments. People who have recently gotten tattoos may require fewer sessions than those with aging tattoos, as the older ink tends to fade less easily. Additionally, multiple treatments may be necessary to fade tattoos on areas with thinner skin, such as the wrists or feet. [1]

Am I a Good Candidate for Treatment?

What Types of Lasers are Used?

Cynosure RevLite

The Cynosure RevLite is a laser that uses a Q-Switched Nd: YAG technology to target the ink particles embedded in your skin and break them down. It has been designed for maximum safety and effectiveness, with very short pulses of energy delivered quickly and precisely to minimize damage to the surrounding area. The RevLite laser is used primarily on tattoos with black, blue, green, and even red inks. [2]

Jeisys Tri-Beam

The Jeisys Tri-Beam is a laser that uses a patented three-color system to break down ink particles. It is designed specifically for those with multi-colored tattoos and can be used on black, blue, green, and even yellow inks. The Tri-Beam also offers superior targeting capabilities, allowing your practitioner to precisely target the ink and break it down quickly with minimal damage to the surrounding area. [2]

Syneron Candela PicoWay

The Syneron Candela PicoWay Resolve is an advanced laser that uses ultra-short pulse technology to effectively and safely remove tattoos. This laser can be used to target a wide variety of ink colors, including black, blue, green, and even yellow ink. It also offers superior targeting capabilities as well as minimal damage to the surrounding area.

No matter which laser is used for your tattoo removal, it is important to note that each person’s results may vary and the number of sessions needed to remove a tattoo will depend on many factors, such as ink color, size, and age of the tattoo. [2]

What Are These Treatments Like?

Before the Treatment

Before you go in for a session to remove your tattoo, there are some steps that you should take. First and foremost, make sure that the facility is clean, secure, and certified by the local health authority. It’s also important to have realistic expectations about the outcome of the treatment. Depending on factors such as the size of the tattoo, the type of ink, and the number of sessions, you may only be able to lighten the tattoo.

You should also talk to your doctor about any possible side effects of the treatment. Different laser treatments use different types of energy, and some are more powerful than others, so it’s important to know what you can expect in terms of pain, burning, and scarring. [2]

After the Treatment

After your tattoo removal session, you may experience some swelling and redness in the area. Your doctor may prescribe a topical cream to help manage any pain or discomfort that you feel. You should also keep the area clean and apply aloe vera gel to help with healing.

It’s important to note that it can take several weeks for the skin to heal after a session. You may also need to refrain from physical activity for a few days, including swimming and sun exposure. [2]

What Are These Treatments Like?

What Results Will I Get?

Tattoo removal has become increasingly popular, and many people are curious about how quickly they can remove a tattoo. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question as the number of sessions needed will vary depending on the size, location, type of tattoo, and other factors. On average, it can take anywhere from 5-20 sessions to completely remove a tattoo, with smaller tattoos typically requiring fewer sessions to remove. [2]


How long does it take to fully remove a tattoo?

The time frame for removing a tattoo entirely depends on the size, location of the tattoo, and type of ink used. Generally, larger tattoos may take up to 15-20 laser sessions while smaller ones can be removed with 5-6 sessions. Each session typically lasts between 10 to 45 minutes depending on the area being treated. 

How many removal sessions does it take to remove a tattoo?

It typically takes between 5 to 15 sessions, depending on the size, location of the tattoo, and type of ink used. Generally speaking the larger the tattoo, the more laser sessions are required for complete removal.

Can tattoos be removed in one session?

Tattoos can indeed be removed in a single session; however, this often requires multiple laser treatments and may not result in complete removal. For most tattoos, it is recommended to undergo several sessions rather than trying to remove the tattoo all at once.

Can a tattoo be removed completely?

In most cases, yes. Depending on the size and type of ink used, it is possible to completely remove a tattoo with laser treatments. It is important to note that some tattoos may require additional treatments for complete removal.

Does tattoo removal leave scars?

Most laser treatments for tattoo removal do not result in scarring, however, it is important to follow the aftercare instructions provided by the doctor. It is also recommended to use a gentle moisturizer and sunscreen on the treated area to minimize the risk of scarring.

How painful is tattoo removal?

The level of pain associated with tattoo removal will vary depending on the person and their individual pain tolerance. Generally speaking, laser tattoo removal treatments can be uncomfortable but most people do not find it overly painful. To minimize discomfort, a numbing cream may be applied prior to treatment.

How many removal sessions does it take to remove a tattoo?

Is it expensive to remove a tattoo?

The cost of tattoo removal will depend on the size and location of the tattoo, as well as the type of laser used. Generally speaking, prices range from $ 200 to $ 500 per session. It is important to note that multiple sessions may be required for complete removal.  

What are the disadvantages of tattoo removal?

The main disadvantage of tattoo removal is that it can be expensive and time-consuming. It is important to note that the process may take several sessions and some tattoos may not be entirely removed after the treatment is complete. Additionally, laser treatments can cause skin irritation, such as redness or swelling, which usually subsides within a few days but may last longer in some cases.

How can I speed up tattoo removal?

To speed up the tattoo removal process, it is important to follow the post-treatment instructions provided by your doctor. Additionally, staying hydrated and avoiding sun exposure can help reduce irritation in the treated area and allow for faster healing. It is also recommended to limit activities that increase blood flow, such as drinking alcohol or exercising strenuously, as these can slow the healing process.

Useful Video: Tattoo Removal: How Many Sessions Does it take?


As we have seen, the number of sessions required to remove a tattoo depends on several factors, including its size and color. Generally speaking, most tattoos will require 6-12 sessions spaced 4-8 weeks apart for complete removal. Professional treatment is always recommended as it offers the highest chance of success and minimal side effects. Additionally, people should avoid DIY tattoo removal methods as they often result in skin damage and other complications. No matter which method you choose, always make sure to follow the instructions of a qualified professional for the best results.

With patience and proper care, it is possible to completely remove unwanted tattoos with minimal discomfort or risk. If you have any doubts or questions, your doctor or tattoo removal specialist can provide more detailed information.

Good luck in your journey to permanently remove your tattoo!