How Long Does a Laser Tattoo Removal Session Take?


‘How long will my tattoo removal session take?’ If you’re considering laser tattoo removal, this may be one of the questions that you are wanting to know. The good news is it’s quicker than you think!  

Unfortunately, there isn’t a one size fits all answer to this question as there are a few factors that can affect the time it takes to laser a tattoo, but thankfully it is a hell of a lot quicker to laser your tattoo off than it was to tattoo it on!  A laser tattoo removal session can be as quick as a few seconds but also can take up to an hour for very large tattoos.

Let’s have a look at some of the main factors that play a role in determining the length of your laser tattoo removal treatment.

Your Pain Tolerance  

At NuBare Laser Tattoo Removal, your comfort during your laser tattoo removal session is our number one priority, so this will be the number one factor that will influence the length of your tattoo removal session. Generally, if you have a good tolerance to pain, we will be able to do your removal a little quicker but if you are not so good with the pain we will go as slow as you feel comfortable. In the end, it comes down to you and how well you tolerate the removal so will go as quick or as slow as you request. We will never rush you through a removal if you don’t want us to.

Location of Tattoo

Where your tattoo is located on the body will also predict the pain level and therefore predict the laser session length. Generally, the areas that are more painful to have tattooed will be more painful to have laser tattoo removal too. On a smaller tattoo, we can ‘stop/start’ the treatment according to your tolerance, but on large tattoos, due to time restraints, it may be necessary to have multiple appointments to treat the whole area. At all times before, during and after the laser treatment cold air (down to -40oC) from our Koolio machine will be blown onto your tattoo to assist with pain control.

Size of the tattoo

As you can imagine, the larger the tattoo, the more ink there is to remove so therefore more time to laser the tattoo.

Below are some approximate times purely for tattoo removal. In addition to this time, we have to allow extra time before and after to cool the area down and to apply a topical cream and dressing at the end of the treatment.

  • Extra small: 1 sec – 2 minutes
  • Small: 2- 5 minutes
  • Medium: 10 – 15 minutes
  • Large: 20 – 40 minutes
  • Extra large: 40 – 60 minutes

When treating large and extra-large tattoos, it is often necessary to divide the tattoo into ‘manageable sizes’ and treat it over several sessions. This is not only because of the pain tolerance, but it also minimises the amount of trauma for your body to handle and also allows your body to metabolise the ink as a result of the treatment without overwhelming it. 

A half-sleeve may be divided into 2 or 3 treatments, a full sleeve divided into 3 or 4 treatments, and a full back divided into 6 treatments.

Type of tattoo

The style of the tattoo is also a deciding factor in the length of time it takes to treat your tattoo. Very dark or thick tattoos such as tribal designs contain a lot more ink and will take longer than small delicate line work. These may take longer to recover so a smaller area is recommended. Light tattoos for this reason tend to fade a lot quicker than thick, dark tattoos with a lot of ink.

Colours of the tattoo

A tattoo that has multiple colours compared to plain black tattoos can also mean that the treatment takes longer. If your tattoo contains blacks as well as reds and blues/greens this will mean the laser settings will have to be changed from one setting to another as certain wavelengths treat specific colours several times during the treatment. This changing from one wavelength to another all takes time.

So, as you can see, the duration of a laser tattoo removal session varies largely depending on the size, location, colour and type of tattoo. If you would like a more accurate time approximation for your tattoo on how long your laser tattoo removal session would be then don’t hesitate to book online for a FREE no-obligation consultation.



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