Saturday, July 13, 2024

Does Tattoo Removal Hurt? | POPSUGAR Beauty

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Grandma was wrong: you don’t actually have to live with your tattoo regret for the rest of your life. Thanks to some pretty nifty advancements in laser technology, tattoos are no longer the lifetime commitment they used to be. If you’re already dealing with ink remorse, this news should come as a relief. Now, let’s get real about laser tattoo removal.

Laser tattoo removal works by targeting ink pigments below your skin and breaking them down into even smaller particles, which are then absorbed by your blood stream. Most people need anywhere between four and 10 treatments to see results — it depends on the size and density of your ink, as well as the tattoo placement. The cost of your treatments will also vary based on the size of your tattoo, ranging from about $150 to $1,500 per session.

Experts Featured in This Article

Anna Avaliani is a dermatologist in New York City who specializing in laser treatments.

Does Tattoo Removal Hurt?

People often want to know: is laser tattoo removal painful? And that answer would depend on who you ask, but for the most part, yes. “You can definitely feel it, but it’s not unbearable,” dermatologist Anna Avaliani, who specializes in laser treatments, tells PS. She describes the feeling of tattoo removal pain as snapping rubber bands really fast against your skin, which admittedly doesn’t sound so great.

While she assured us that it’s a quick treatment (each session is about 10 minutes), your pain level all depends on the type of laser treatment you receive. “The older generation of lasers are called Q switch,” she says. “They typically hurt a lot more and take longer to perform and many more sessions are needed to remove a tattoo.” Thankfully, there’s a new sheriff in town, and it goes by the name PicoSure. “PicoSure causes the ink to break down into smaller particles, which are then absorbed by the body. It is one of the only lasers on the market that can treat all ink colors and is safe on most skin colors.”

Laser Tattoo Removal Results

You can expect to experience some redness and soreness in the days following the treatment, and maybe even some blisters. But not to worry, Dr. Avaliani says it’s not a sign you were burned by the laser. “Blisters are a sign the laser broke down a lot of pigment,” she says. Your body responds with inflammation, and that’s how the blisters come to be.

All in all? The tattoo removal process could be worse, but it’s also no walk in the park. Before committing to a new tattoo, just make sure it’s something you really want.

Catherine Conelly is a former PS contributor.

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