The duration of the tattoo removal process is a concern for virtually all patients.
Some patients may wish to remove a visible tattoo before an event – such as their wedding or enlisting in the military. It's important to establish upfront that tattoo removal is a process that relies on the body's ability to eliminate ink from the skin.
It's not unusual for the body to take over a year to completely eliminate ink. Setting expectations clearly upfront allows for patients to be satisfied throughout the experience – rather than feeling as if they were misled.
To allow the skin enough time to heal between treatments and the body's immune system to flush away ink, we recommend a minimum of six weeks between laser sessions – and eight weeks for darker complexions. Stacking the treatments too close together can cause damage and permanent side effects to the skin and doesn't allow the body enough time to remove the ink that was shattered at the most recent session. For ideal results, we recommend waiting three months between treatments.
Ultimately, as a tattoo removal practitioner, you cannot know precisely how many treatments a tattoo will need to be fully removed. However, you should assess the patient's tattoo for how easily it should remove.
We generally suggest speaking in terms of treatment ranges with patients. Tattoo removal treatments fit along a bell curve – most patients will need between 5 and 8 treatments, some will see complete removal in 3 or 4, and others may need 10 or more treatments if there is significant scarring or layered tattoos. We suggest telling patients where they are likely to fit along the bell curve based on the unique factors of their tattoo.
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