How Many Laser Tattoo Removal Sessions Do I Need?

By Dr. William Cohen on October 29, 2016

A woman's lower back undergoing treatmentTattoos are a great means of personal expression, and they can be excellent artistic statements as well. Roughly 40 million Americans have at least one tattoo. However, it's been estimated that roughly one in five people regrets a tattoo they've gotten. This may explain why so many people have come to our Orange County cosmetic dermatology center for safe and effective laser tattoo removal.

One of the most common questions we get about laser tattoo removal is how many sessions are necessary to remove a tattoo. "It depends" is the typical answer, albeit pretty unsatisfying. Let's delve into the question more and look at different factors that affect the number of sessions.

How Laser Tattoo Removal Works

Laser tattoo removal works by using safe laser light technology to penetrate the skin and break up the ink from a tattoo. The ink is then safely absorbed by the body, causing the tattoo to fade. After multiple sessions, a tattoo can generally be removed.

Easiest Ink Colors to Remove

With most laser tattoo removal systems, black ink tends to be easy to remove. Thankfully many tattoos tend to be black, which means an ease of treatment. Other colors that are easier to remove include brown, dark blues, and certain shades of green.

More Difficult Ink Colors for Laser Tattoo Removal

While black ink tend to break up and disperse easily, lighter pigmented inks tend to pose more of a challenge for laser systems. In particular, many laser tattoo removal systems will have problems dealing with orange, yellow, some shades of red, pale blues, and white.

The Average Number of Laser Tattoo Removal Sessions

While the size and inks of a tattoo will generally determine the number of sessions required, most patients who undergo laser tattoo removal can expect up to 10 separate sessions to completely eliminate the ink. Each session is performed roughly four to six weeks apart. For small tattoos that are black and not especially dense, it may only require four treatments or fewer.

Again, it really does depend.

Some types of tattoos with lighter pigments or challenging placement will require more sessions. There is also the matter of skin pigment, health of the skin, and age of the tattoo to consider.

Picosure™ Offers Faster Results Than Other Laser Systems

We use the Picosure™ laser tattoo removal system at our practice, and we have found that it yields some exceptional results. Thanks to Picosure™, a tattoo can typically be removed in half as many sessions as other laser tattoo removal systems.

Keep in mind that overall results can vary depending on the nature of the tattoo, but Picosure™ ultimately results in fewer treatment sessions while yielding safe and reliable results.

Is Laser Tattoo Removal Right for Me?

The best way to find out if laser tattoo removal is right for you is to stop by the practice for a consultation. We will be more than happy to assess your situation and determine if it's an ideal solution. In addition, we can recommend alternatives to laser tattoo removal, such as ways of masking a tattoo with addition tattooing.

Learn More About Laser Tattoo Removal

To learn more about laser tattoo removal and how it can help you renew your overall appearance, be sure to contact our cosmetic dermatology and skin care practice today. The team at our practice will discuss all options for aesthetic enhancement and rejuvenation in greater detail.

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