Six Tattoo Removal Myths

June 21, 2013
Tattoos were once a very permanent decision.  Thanks to modern technology, laser tattoo removal now provides an effective way to erase unwanted tattoos.  Laser tattoo removal is performed by a trained professional who uses a specialized machine to break up ink pigment with pulses of high-intensity energy. While some tattoo parlors offer removal services, most patients opt to have the procedure done by an MD who is specialized in the use of lasers.
Think Before You Ink Tattoo
Laser tattoo removal is relatively new to the scene, and you may have heard some of these common misconceptions about the procedure.
Here are some of the most common myths about laser tattoo removal.

1) Laser Tattoo Removal Is More Painful Than The Original Tattoo

While it is true that there is some discomfort associated with the laser tattoo removal process, it is commonly described as a tingling or burning sensation similar to a sunburn.  A tattoo removal specialist may apply a topical numbing cream to the tattoo site to further reduce pain and discomfort.

2) I’ll Have to Take Long Breaks Between Treatments

Downtime between laser tattoo treatment sessions is typically no more than five days.  The length of time between treatments depends on the individual’s skin type.  Mild skin irritation, swelling or redness during this time is normal and no cause for concern.

3) Laser Tattoo Removal Will Leave Scars

Unlike tattoo removal methods such as skin grafting or dermabrasion, laser tattoo removal does not leave visible scars.  While older model lasers could cause scarring, modern innovations are much more efficient.

4) Laser Tattoo Removal Is Really Expensive

The cost of tattoo removal treatments can depend on a number of factors such as the size of the tattoo, the colors of the ink and the location of the tattoo on the person’s body.  It should be noted that laser tattoo removal is by far the best value in terms of safety and effectiveness.

5) Tattoo Removal Creams Are Just As Effective And Much Cheaper

There is no significant evidence that tattoo removal creams or lotions actually remove tattoo pigment.  These products are typically skin bleaches or other abrasive chemicals which only mask body art instead of erasing it.

6) My Tattoo Will Be Completely Gone After Laser Tattoo Removal

The truth is, you may be left with a “ghost” of your former tattoo when the process is ultimately completed. Depending on your skin and the ink colors being removed, you may or may not experience complete removal. Your doctor will be able to give you a good idea of your potential outcome.


Dr. Jeffrey Gold is an award winning surgeon and the medical director of Laser Body Solutions. Located in Hamden, CT, Laser Body provides tattoo removal services for those with “tattoo regret.”