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Your Questions About Large Tattoo Removal Answered

Have you been thinking about getting a tattoo removed? If it covers a fairly large piece of “real estate” on your skin, you may be wondering how to go about it, and if it even can be done. 

Below, we’ve answered some of the most common questions we get about large tattoo removal. Read on to find out more about your options. 

Can my large tattoo be removed?

Absolutely. Laser tattoo removal is effective on tattoos of all sizes. It also doesn’t matter where on your body your tattoo is located—any type of tattoo can be removed from anywhere. 

Lasers that treat large tattoos:

To put some parameters around what is considered a large tattoo, anything more than 35 square inches qualifies. This is roughly the size of the cover of a mass market paperback novel. 

How long will it take?

In general, you can expect the removal process to take one to two years, from start to finish. 

Tattoo removal requires several sessions. Just how many sessions depends on a few factors, such as the age of the tattoo (older tattoos are quicker to remove because of the natural fading that has already occurred), the color of the tattoo (some vibrant colors require more sessions to remove), and where the tattoo is on your body (areas with greater blood flow help quicken the removal process).  

Keep in mind that in order to allow for proper healing, sessions must be scheduled at least six weeks apart. Many patients prefer to leave eight weeks between each session to ensure the best possible results. 

Will it hurt?

The process is uncomfortable but usually not painful. Some liken the sensation to the sting of a rubber band being snapped against your skin. 

You can also expect to feel some lingering discomfort after your session, with your skin feeling like it’s been sunburned. Wearing loose, breathable clothing helps minimize this discomfort. 

Will there be scarring?

Typically, no. The latest tools and methods for removing tattoos do not leave scars. If you follow your doctor’s aftercare instructions, you can expect optimal, scar-free results. You can also help encourage your body’s healing process by drinking enough water, eating well, and avoiding alcohol and tobacco.