How to Remove a Tattoo: Everything You Need to Know Before Getting Tattoo Removal


Getting a tattoo continues to be a popular thing to do, with men and women  from all walks of life getting inked each year. In fact, almost half of Americans have at least one tattoo these days. 

But with a surge in popularity for getting a new tat comes a boom in business for tattoo removal too. You might be surprised to realize that in recent years, the tattoo industry has brought in upwards of $3 billion dollars annually on the giving, and removing, of tattoos. 

If you’ve recently decided an old tattoo is no longer for you, you’re definitely not alone. But if you’re wondering how to remove a tattoo and what should you expect, this helpful article will guide you through the basics:

How to Remove a Tattoo?

If you’re looking to have a tattoo removed, you’ll need to see a professional to have the job done right. Look for recommendations from those who have recently had their own tattoo removed.

You might even visit your local tattoo studio and ask artists there if they recommend someone in particular. Tattoo artists see many people who regret a former tattoo and are looking to transform it into a new work of art. They also come across many people who wish they’d never gotten a particular tattoo to begin with, so they’re often a great source for removal recommendations. 

Consult With Your Doctor or Dermatologist

Before you go in for tattoo removal, consult with a trusted physician or dermatologist first. Each person’s tattoo removal experience is different, and your doctor or dermatologist has an understanding of your medical history and any skin issues that might impact the removal.

Understanding your own skin and health will help you have realistic expectations moving forward. 

How Does Tattoo Removal Work?

Understanding how to remove a tattoo comes with knowing some basics regarding the science behind the process. In a nutshell, removing tattoos happens with the help of lasers and wavelengths of light that, when pointed on the tattoo, break the ink up into countless particles.

With each tattoo removal session, the ink particles become smaller and smaller until they are no longer visible. The body is able to absorb the small particles of ink until the tattoo is completely gone. 

Be Prepared for a Little Pain

It’s important to know that having a tattoo removed isn’t completely pain-free. It can be an uncomfortable process. 

Be aware that the placement of the tattoo will, in some part, determine the level of pain and discomfort you experience.

Certain parts of the body are just more naturally sensitive than others, but sometimes a local anesthetic is used to treat these areas to make it more tolerable. Numbing cream and ice can also help lessen the discomfort caused by the laser, especially for smaller tattoos. 

Post Removal Expectations

After your first treatment, you should expect the treated area to be swollen, red, and possibly bruised. These after-effects will fade within the next few days following your tattoo removal treatment. Just make sure to use any ointment or bandages that you were given to keep the area protected while it heals. 

You should also expect to undergo more than one tattoo-removal session to see full results. The number of sessions required will depend on the size of the tattoo and the inks used. 

Learn More About Health and Beauty

Now that you know a little bit more about how to remove a tattoo, discover other helpful tips for maintaining a look that you desire. Whether you want to lose weight, protect your skin, grow healthy hair, learn the benefits of weightlifting, or more, we’ve got lots of good resources on our site. 

Be sure to follow along for new material regularly!