4 Tips for Speeding Up Your Tattoo Removal

Smoking and Tattoo RemovalWhen people want something, they tend to want it yesterday, and tattoo removal is no different. There is still no safe, non-scarring method for instant tattoo removal. The fact remains that it takes multiple treatments to remove a tattoo, ranging from 5 to 15 sessions, which means anywhere from 6 months to two or more years. We know that seems like a long time, and although it passes quickly, here are some tips for speeding up your tattoo removal results.

1. Exercise: A huge part of tattoo removal is what your body does after you leave our clinic. When you come in for a session, the laser breaks up the pigment in the ink, but your body does the heavy lifting by flushing it through your system. Therefore, for optimal results, it’s important that you have good circulation. Since regular exercise boosts circulation, it is one of the best ways to help your tattoo heal and fade.


2. No Smoking: Another way to improve your circulation is to quit smoking. This unhealthy habit constricts the blood vessels in your body so particles don’t move through your system as easily. So if you’re a smoker and your serious about tattoo removal, look at quitting during the process. If that’s not possible, do your best to cut back significantly or understand that it may take longer to remove your tattoo than it otherwise would.

3. Keep the Area Pale – Avoid tanning the tattoo or the immediate area around or between the ink. The laser operates by differentiating between the tattoo and your skin, sending wavelengths of light to the tattoo and not the surrounding skin. The greater the contrast between the two, the more we can increase the intensity of the laser light without worrying about hyperpigmentation (a darkening of the skin) or hypopigmentation (a lightening of the skin). If your skin color is close to that of the tattoo, we will need to treat you more conservatively which means it will take more treatments to remove your tattoo. So if you’re in a hurry to get rid of your tattoo, stay out of the sun or wear skin protection (sunscreen or clothing).

Ideal Contrast Between Skin and Tattoo

Ideal Contrast Between Skin and Tattoo

4. Take your time between appointments. We insist on waiting a minimum of 6 to 8 weeks between treatments, but waiting longer is actually ideal. There is a misconception that laser treatments performed closer together will speed the tattoo removal process up, but that’s not true. We’ve actually seen patients need fewer treatments when they’ve taken long breaks between appointments. This is common with women who become pregnant during the process or those in the military who get deployed and are forced to postpone their treatments. There is no downside to taking months between treatments, and it can sometimes be an advantage. Remember, most of the work happens when you’re going about daily life, not when you’re sitting in the treatment room.