How Long Does It Take to Remove a Tattoo?

No ragrets.

If you don’t instantly recognize that phrase, it’s an Internet meme of a highly regrettable tattoo that many people have actually mistakenly had.

In the United Kingdom, a staggering 67% of people have regretted getting a tattoo. And in the United States alone, 46% of people have some ink on their body, making these tattoo regrets pretty likely.

Some people opt to have their regrettable tattoo covered up with another design, but others opt to have it removed completely.

If you’re interested in the latter, you may be wondering, “How long does it take to remove a tattoo?”

In this article, we’ll discuss the very question, and answer a couple more along the way.

Read on if your “no ragrets” tattoo has turned into a few regrets.

How Long Does It Take to Remove a Tattoo?

Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Instead, the answer depends on a variety of factors. These can include your skin tone, where the tattoo is, how big it is and the pigment used to create your tattoo.

Additionally, some tattoos cannot be removed at all, and we’ll go over why that is in this article.

Let’s take a look at some of the factors that can have a role in how long it may take to remove your ink.

How a Tattoo Removal Works

Before we can go into the different factors that play into how long a tattoo removal takes, let’s quickly discuss what tattoo removal actually is.

When you get a tattoo, the ink penetrates the design deep into your skin. And in the ink is a bit of metal, which makes the tattoo permanent. The tattoo removal laser sends a very hot and quick shot into the tattoo itself to break it up. The laser is so fast, that half of the ink particle is still cool, which is how it comes apart.

Once the particles are broken apart, white blood cells can then whisk them off to the liver to be absorbed.

This process is often relatively painful, and cannot completely remove a tattoo in one sitting. Each sitting can take just a few minutes.

Size of the Tattoo

This might be something you’ve already thought about, but the size of the tattoo does play a role in how long it may take to remove it. A smaller tattoo, especially one that meets other requirements, will be removed in fewer sessions.

Keep in mind, however, that a fresh tattoo with bright ink may take longer to remove than an old tattoo with dark ink.

The Tattoo’s Age

The process of tattoo removal is encouraging the tattoo to fade so much that it’s no longer detected. If your tattoo is already old, it won’t take as many sessions to remove it, as your body will have already had a head start on making it disappear on its own.

However, be aware that even if your tattoo is very old, it is very unlikely we can remove it in one sitting.

Ink Used

There are many different types of ink used in tattoo shops, and believe it or not, tattoo ink is not regulated. Depending on what is in the tattoo ink may take your body longer to absorb the tattoo after laser removal sessions.

The Color

The body absorbs dark ink much faster than it removes colored ink. As such, a tattoo that is done completely in black will be much easier to remove than one that is done in several colors, especially if they happen to be light colors.

Your Skin Tone

Those who have darker skin tones will need to wait an additional couple of weeks in between visits. While the wait isn’t too much longer than those with a lighter skin tone, if you’re counting down the days until a tattoo is gone from your body, waiting in between each session can add a few extra months.

Where on Your Body It Is Located

Parts of the body that have more blood flow are often much easier spots for removal of tattoos. This means that the “trunk” of your body where your vital organs are and there is a high amount of blood flow makes it easier for the white blood cells to gather up the zapped tattoo and move it toward the liver for “disposal.”

Your arms, legs, and especially toes and fingers, are the most difficult places for tattoo removal due to the fact that there isn’t much blood flow in these locations.

Tattoos That Cannot Be Removed

Fresh tattoos cannot be removed, so you’ll have to wait a little bit of time for things to settle down before you can think about having it removed.

If you’ve already had a tattoo regret previously and covered up a tattoo, and are now regretting that cover-up, that cannot be removed, unfortunately.

Ready to Begin Your Journey of Tattoo-Free Skin?

We hope this article has shed some light on the question of, “How long does it take to remove a tattoo?” However, it is important to discuss your questions and concerns with the person who will be doing your tattoo removal, as only they can give you a rough idea of how long it will take for you.

Are you ready to let go of an ex, a painful memory or just a bad tattoo? If so, contact us to begin the next steps toward a better, tattoo-free, life today.