Why Does It Take Multiple Sessions to Remove a Tattoo?

  • Written By Dan Hunter on February 01, 2022
    Last Updated: February 1, 2022

So you’re finally at the point where you’re ready to part ways with the notorious tattoo that has been troubling your mind. But the problem is everyone seems to say that the removal process might not be as simple as you imagine. Others say it’s expensive and painful and would rather not try it. What’s true, what’s not?

In this article, we’ll answer the question ‘Why does tattoo removal take multiple sessions.’ This way, you can know how to prepare or what to anticipate moving forward. We’ll also help you discern the truth from myths.

How Long Does it Take to Remove a Tattoo?

Before we can address why you’ll need to visit the specialist often, it’s crucial also to understand how long the removal process actually takes.

Tattoo removal can take as long as two years or as short as several months. Everyone’s healing process varies hence the disparity in how long it may take for the tattoo to fade.

Why Tattoo Removal Takes So Long

Most people complain that they didn’t know that the tattoo removal sessions would take so long. Some argue they even had no idea what to expect. Here are several factors to consider that may make your sessions take forever.

Absence of a Skilled Tattoo Removal Specialist

Tattoo artists are not the best candidates for tattoo removal. Going to an unskilled aesthetician may also result in scarring or skin burns.

When you’re ready to get started, it’s best to visit a dermatologist or a tattoo removal specialist. These individuals work under medical supervision to give your body the best treatment and healing opportunities.

It’s best to consult friends, social media influencers, and even strangers undergoing the tattoo removal process. Reviews will likely give you better results than venturing without assistance.

Tattoos Take Long to Fade

As mentioned, tattoos take a long time to fade away during the removal process. But most people don’t know this fact from the onset, which explains the initial disappointment.

Additionally, the sessions are typically spread three months apart to allow the body to heal. And most clients need about six to eight sessions, depending on the tattoo size and healing process.


Tattoo removal procedures will cost you a pretty hefty sum. Each removal session can cost you hundreds of dollars, which is even way costlier than getting a tattoo in the first place.

The American Society for Plastic Surgery gives an estimate of about $463 per session. This price caters to the expertise and close medical supervision you need to prevent any scarring. However, it’s crucial to note that the tattoo’s size, color, and age affect the final cost.

Crucial Things to Help You Prepare

Other than health factors and the differing immune systems, several things can tamper with the removal process or even help accelerate it.

Block Out Your Sessions on Your Schedule

Just as you clear your schedule to visit the dentist, so should you when booking a tattoo removal appointment. Yes, that’s right. Although your friend’s session may have been brief and straightforward, say ten minutes, some may take as long as one hour.

Remember to account for freezing, icing, photography, and bandaging of the tattoo. Additionally, some clients get a weird side effect or sensation whenever the laser beams hit the skin.


The level of pain experienced varies from one person to another, based on the individual’s experience and tolerance level. However, this isn’t meant to scare you off.

The expert should give you a topical numbing cream to help take the edge off during the procedure. But this doesn’t make the process entirely painless. A chiller may also come in handy to help you out. It cools the skin before the treatment, making the pain bearable for clients.

Use Sunscreen

Experts advise that you should start applying zinc oxide sunscreen when you’re ready to remove your tattoo. Doing this will help the tattoo removal process since your skin won’t have been exposed to the sun for long. At the same time, it will allow you to book your sessions any time you want, i.e., summer or winter.


Most people forget about the aftercare, while some have absolutely no idea it’s necessary in the first place. 

Before getting the process started, it’s essential to have bandages and comfortable clothing ready. This is because your clothes may scratch the target area, causing you to feel itchy or painful. For instance, if the notorious tattoo is at the back of your neck, you may want to avoid shirts with tags or pull neck tops altogether.

You’ll also need to apply a healing moisturizer thrice a day to help your skin heal faster.

Consider Getting a Tattoo Cover Up

After reading through these requirements, you may want to reconsider your plans. And this is where a cover-up tattoo comes in handy to add on or hide what is currently existing, aka semi-removals.

In this case, you can either lighten up some areas or cover the original one with new lines or drawings. Doing a semi-removal instead of a full procedure will save you time and resources while giving you an improved or totally new tattoo.

Zap the Ink at Your Own Pace

Just as you shouldn’t let anyone rush you into getting a tattoo, neither should you be pushed into removing one. Whether you have a big or small tattoo, you’ll still need to prepare yourself to avoid stopping midway or not fully healing.

Remember to consult before starting your sessions, which will save you so much time, money, and agony. And most importantly, ask the expert all the questions you may have so everything is clear from the onset!

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