How The Size Of A Tattoo Affects Tattoo Removal – It’s Not How You Think!

Black Flower tattooYou may be surprised to hear that the size of a tattoo has almost nothing to do with how long it takes to remove it. People often assume that because their tattoo is larger, it’s going to take more time to remove, and those with small tattoos figure their tattoo will come off more in a shorter timeframe.

How long a tattoo takes to remove has nothing to do with the size of the tattoo. There are a myriad of other factors that inform how long it will take to remove your tattoo, and size is not one of them.

However, the size of your tattoo does affect the time you will spend at each laser tattoo removal session. The laser has to hit every inch of your tattoo in order to break up the ink, so the larger your tattoo, the longer each session takes.

Because there is some discomfort involved with having a tattoo removed (especially a sizable one), we recommend patients who have large areas of ink to pause as needed during each session, and let the nurse know when you’re ready to continue. Once patients get used to the feeling, they’re able to go longer without needing a break. We have plenty of patients with face tattoos and sleeve tattoos who sit through their sessions relaxed like they’re at home taking a bubble bath. For those who are more sensitive, there are topical numbing creams available that help ease the sensation as well.

To give you an idea of the difference in the time it takes per session, here are some points of reference:

A ring tattoo takes 5 seconds to treat.

A tattoo the size of a quarter takes less than 10 seconds to treat.

A tattoo the size of the flower like the one shown here or Max, the Maurice Sendak character above, would take about one to two minutes to treat with no pauses in between.

A sleeve tattoo can take around twenty minutes to treat because the patient would likely want to take breaks along the way.

In any case, the size of your tattoo has nothing to do with the number of sessions required to remove it, only the length of each laser tattoo removal session.