Which Hurts More: Getting a Tattoo or Tattoo Removal?

Removing tattooWhen contemplating tattoo removal, almost everyone asks the same question, “which one hurts more: getting a tattoo or having a tattoo removed?” We’ve heard different answers from patients who are going through the removal process. Some people claim that getting a tattoo hurts worse, while others say that having it removed is more painful.

What we usually tell patients is that the difference in sensation has more to do with the duration of time involved for each procedure. Getting a tattoo can take anywhere from fifteen minutes to half a day. Some people sit for several hours, over multiple sittings.

Now compare that to laser tattoo removal, and you’ll find that a laser tattoo removal treatment takes a fraction of the time it takes to get a tattoo. A small tattoo takes less than 10 seconds per laser removal session, so even if you’re in excruciating pain the entire time, it’s over before you’ve had a chance to say “ouch!” Even a large tattoo that took a few hours at the tattoo artist’s studio, usually requires less than 5 minutes to treat.

So regardless of which hurts more, laser tattoo removal hurts for a shorter time than getting a tattoo does. And once the session is over, the pain subsides almost immediately. The remaining feeling is similar to that of a mild sunburn.