Why You Need Multiple Sessions To Remove a Tattoo

It’s really unfortunate if you get a tattoo you don’t like or it’s missed due to an allergic reaction or infection. Fortunately, there are many ways to get rid of an unwanted tattoo, one of which is the laser tattoo removal method.

Laser tattoo removal is the best and most popular tattoo removal method that is known for certain things; it’s expensive and takes too long for clients to start seeing the tattoo fade and get satisfying results.

But why is this so? Isn’t modern laser technology so advanced that it should only take you one session to get rid of a tattoo? It would be incredible in fact, but the reality is far from it. Standard laser removal can take up to 10 or even 15 expensive and painful laser treatment sessions.

In the following paragraphs, we will explore why laser removal takes so long to work and show results. So if you’re interested, keep scrolling!

Laser tattoo removal – quick overview

Before discussing the reasons for the prolonged results of laser tattoo removal, we must first look at the laser machines and the process itself.

First of all, laser tattoo removal is done using Q-switched lasers. These lasers use the photomechanical effect to target the ink, send infrared energy to heat the ink, send waves of shock and dissipate the ink in the skin. Here is how the laser works exactly;

  • The laser sends infrared light to the skin where the light hits the tattoo pigment
  • As a result, the ink absorbs infrared light (different ink colors also absorb light differently)
  • Then the laser sends a pulse or shock wave of energy to heat the ink
  • Once the ink is heated, it begins to dissipate into the surrounding skin

As complicated as it may seem, these actions take seconds in real life, but unfortunately one shock wave is not enough. The machine has to send hundreds of these waves through the ink for you to even start to notice it disappearing.

The reason for this is that the heat or energy waves must be short, otherwise the laser could cause severe burns to the skin and surrounding tissue. In addition to the burn, there can also be healing issues if the heat waves last too long.

Laser tattoo removal and multiple sessions – explained

laser tattoo removal and covering with a new tattoo
Credit: Instagram

Why does laser tattoo removal take so long?

Laser tattoo removal can take between 10 and 25 sessions to get a tattoo fully or partially removed. These sessions cannot be done immediately; some time is needed between sessions to ensure that the skin recovers and strengthens the immune defense against the upcoming removal sessions.

For a complete tattoo removal, you can expect it to last up to a year, in some cases even longer. The number of sessions you will need will strongly depend on your tattoo, the color or pigment of the ink and the location of the tattoo.

So why do you need so many sessions over such a long period of time?

Well, as we mentioned earlier, the standardized Q-switch lasers, which are currently the best for this type of procedure, heat the ink to make it dissipate. Heat waves, if they last longer than necessary, can burn and scar the skin causing irreparable damage.

In addition, the laser works with your skin and your body. Sometimes the body is not cooperating in terms of its ability to remove the ink or allow it to dissipate into the surrounding tissues.

The ink is not destroyed during the laser removal process; it is simply eliminated naturally from the body after the laser has broken it down into smaller particles or fragments. Without the cooperation of your skin or your body, the laser will take longer for everything to work. That alone might count for a few more removal sessions.

What factors affect the number of laser removal sessions?

It is important to know that laser tattoo removal will not take the same number of sessions for each type of tattoo. Certain factors affect the number of sessions your particular tattoo needs. So, here are the main factors to consider that could prolong your laser hair removal sessions;

The lymphatic system is a network of tissues, organs, and vessels that work as a team to help your body get rid of all kinds of toxins, metabolic wastes, and unwanted compounds and materials. However, the main function of the lymphatic system is to return the colorless liquid called lymph back into the bloodstream or into your circulatory system.

Through this system, your body is able to transfer infection-fighting blood cells throughout the body. As a result, you are able to fight viruses, bacteria, infections and inflammations, as well as different immune deficiencies.

Now, without this system, laser removal would not be possible. The network of tissues and vessels work together to remove dissipated ink from the body.

However, since the lymphatic system is already busy keeping your body healthy, it can take up to 2 months to process the ink as an additional toxin. During this period, the body begins to recognize excess toxins and begins to eliminate them. As a result, your tattoo also begins to fade.

Now, if your immune system is weakened or you’re sick, your lymphatic system could be overwhelmed with the additional toxins from the ink. The body prioritizes the diseased organs or system over the ink, so it may take longer for the system to get rid of the dissipated ink. This, of course, can also prolong ink fading.

The location of the tattoo can significantly affect the duration of laser removal. Now remember how the lymphatic system works? It removes toxins from the body using blood circulation.

Well, if your tattoo is located somewhere with strong blood flow, the ink will dissipate quickly and the tattoo will fade faster. This means you might need fewer sessions.

The area where the blood flow is strong is the chest or, to be more precise, the area close to your heart, for example. On the other hand, areas with lower blood flow will require more sessions since the tattoo does not fade as quickly. These areas are usually the feet and hands.

Another important factor to consider when it comes to laser removal is the color or pigment of the tattoo. Some ink colors require less sitting because they absorb heat energy better and faster.

For example, darker pigments, such as black, brown, or dark blue inks, require fewer sessions. Black ink is the easiest to remove, while dark blue may be more difficult.

On the other hand, ink colors like yellow, bright red or bright orange require a lot more laser removal sessions. The reason for this is that these inks, due to their luminosity, do not absorb infrared light as much as possible, which prolongs removal sessions.

Now, this one is pretty obvious. The larger the tattoo, the more sessions it will take to get rid of all the ink. If a tattoo is large and contains colors like yellow, red, or orange, removal can be even more difficult. Larger tattoos may require up to 25 removal sessions, while brightly colored tattoos may require even more.

  • Tattoo health (cases of allergies and infections)

Sometimes people who have allergic reactions to ink or tattoo infections end up with damaged and misshapen tattoos. As a result, tattoos do not look good and may require complete removal.

Since the skin as a result of an allergic reaction or infection is damaged and sensitive, several sessions may be required to remove the remaining ink. In such cases, the remaining tattoo must heal completely, which may take months, and then laser removal may take even longer to avoid burning and scarring of the already damaged skin.

New tattoos, which have healed completely, are the most difficult to remove. They require the most removal sessions. After a tattoo has completely healed, one should wait at least a month or two before laser removal, just to ensure that there is little or no skin damage.

On the other hand, the older the skin, the more difficult it is to remove the tattoo. Older skin has less elasticity and is generally drier. It does not rebound and it is generally more sensitive to laser treatments. To mitigate any potential damage to the skin, one may need several but shorter laser removal sessions.

To note: Other things that could slow down the laser removal process include waiting between treatments, old laser technology, and inexperienced clinicians. Additionally, if a person lacks physical activity, smokes, and drinks alcohol regularly, it is likely that they will also need additional withdrawal sessions. A compromised immune system and illness can also contribute to longer laser removal sessions.

Ways to speed up the laser removal process

  • Opt for laser removal clinics that require fewer rest intervals between laser removal sessions – These clinics use modern lasers that do not damage the skin if the intervals between treatments are shorter. This can save you up to 2-4 weeks of waiting. However, such a treatment could cost you more than a regular laser removal.
  • Opt for the best laser removal technology – Of course, it can be expensive, but if you want to speed up the laser removal process, you will need to go to a clinic that uses fast picosecond lasers. These lasers handle all ink colors and are generally safe for even the most sensitive skin types.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle – The best thing you can do to speed up the laser removal process is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Such a lifestyle includes regular exercise, proper water intake, proper diet rich in protein and vitamins, quitting smoking, reducing alcohol intake, using sunscreen , etc.

Final Thoughts

Unfortunately, laser removal technology has not advanced in recent years. The number of sessions needed to remove a tattoo is still quite high. And, side effects of the method, like pain or even skin lesions/scarring, are still quite possible, especially with untrained clinicians.

However, laser tattoo removal is currently the best and most effective option for getting rid of unwanted ink. The price you have to pay for the process though is time and money. But, at least you will be free from the unwanted tattoo.

Also read: How many laser tattoo removal treatments do I need to get rid of my tattoo?

Sharing is caring!

Disclaimer: Curated and re-published here. We do not claim anything as we translated and re-published using Google translator. All images and Tattoo Design ideas and images shared only for information purpose. Ideas and information collected through Google re-written in accordance with guidelines. We strictly follow Google Webmaster guidelines. You can reach us @ chiefadmin@tipsclear.com. We resolve the issues within hour to keep the work on top priority.