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How Effective Is Tattoo Removal?

Have you, a family member or even a friend got an unwanted tattoo? Then you're probably wondering how effective tattoo removal is; here's what you need to know

By T.ArnoldPublished 2 years ago 4 min read

Shockingly, the tattoo removal market size was valued at $478 million in 2019 worldwide and is expected to grow year on year until 2027. This increase is a clear indication that tattoo removal is becoming more regular. But how effective is tattoo removal? 

Does tattoo removal work? 

Since the establishment of tattoo removal in 1967, it's changed a lot. If you want to undergo this procedure, there are three different options: 

  • Laser removal 
  • Surgical excision 
  • Dermabrasion 

Typically, all of the above tattoo removal techniques are effective, but it's known that some are much harder to remove than others—for instance, older, stick-and-poke are easier to remove than new tattoos. 

Additionally, colours also play a considerable role in the effectiveness of the tattoo removal procedure. Some of the "easier" to remove colours consist of the following: 

  • Brown 
  • Black 
  • Green 
  • Dark blue 

These are the easiest. In most circumstances, tattoos with many colours usually take longer, are challenging to remove, and more expensive. 

However, that isn't all. Some other factors that play a significant role in how well a tattoo removal process works are health conditions such as: 

  • Darker skin 
  • Skin conditions like eczema 
  • Other health conditions that affect the skin, like herpes

Although the above might sound worrying for anyone wanting to remove a tattoo, it doesn't mean the procedure isn't possible. Instead, it'll be challenging and take more time. 

What are the different types of tattoo removal? 

Now you understand how effective tattoo removal is, it's probably becoming a consideration. However, you'll want to become aware of the different processes and determine the best option for you. 

There are three primary options: Dermabrasion and laser or surgical removal. All provide the same outcome, removing a tattoo. But it doesn't mean they don't have their pros and cons. 

Before choosing an option, people usually consider the below factors: 

  • Cost
  • Scarring risk 
  • Effectiveness 
  • Time commitment 

Although these will depend on the size, condition, complexity of the tattoo, and your skin, we thought that mentioning a rough outline of these factors below would benefit our viewers. 

Therefore, let's take a quick look at the different types of tattoo removal and compare them to each other: 

As you can see, there are various advantages and disadvantages to each of these tattoo removal procedures. To learn more about these, we'll be covering each comprehensively below.

Laser removal 

When it comes to the conversation about how effective tattoo removal is, laser removal gets recommended the most because it's effective and affordable. 

It'll probably be from a Q-switch laser when undergoing the procedure, which involves sending out energy in one strong pulse onto the skin. 

It works because the energy heats the ink on your skin and dissolves it. However, it does require several visits to the treatment centre as it'll take around seven to ten sessions. 

After each session, you'll be given after-care instruction from the treatment centre. Although these can vary based on some factors like skin colour, tattoo size, etc., they'll normally be something like the below: 

For at least a minimum of two weeks after the laser removal treatment:

  • Keep the treated area clean and dry
  • Avoid exposing the treated area to direct sunlight.
  • Avoid wearing tight clothing.
  • Don't pick at any scabs or blisters that form.

You can also apply tattoo numbing cream to reduce the pain severity, making it a more desired option. Using a product like Tattoo Numb can minimise the pain felt during the procedure – Trust me, it’s worth it.

Surgical removal 

Surgical removal is for anyone looking to remove a tattoo completely, but it always leaves a scar. Unlike the above, you won't be able to use tattoo numbing cream to reduce the pain felt by the operation. Typically, the treatment centre will provide some pain killers. 

This type of tattoo removal will involve the medical professional physically cutting the tattoo out from the skin and stitching the remaining skin together, which is why it always leaves a scar behind. 

The healing process of surgical removal will be several weeks. You'll be given specific after-treatment instructions from the medical professional that you'll need to abide by during this time. 

In most instances, it'll include applying prescribed creams, staying away from tight clothing, and more to reduce the causes of any infections. 


Next is dermabrasion, and people love or hate the results of this. The reason for this is that its effectiveness varies from person to person. 

Dermabrasion works by using a specialist sanding device to remove layers of the skin, allowing the ink to come out.

If you're considering this option, you'll want to make sure you don't have any problems related to the skin. As you can imagine, sanding sensitive skin can cause severe damage. 

The recovery process can take 2 to 3 weeks, but you'll visually see the sanded area for 8 to 12 weeks. Like the above, you'll be given specific instructions you must follow like: 

  • Applying creams 
  • Avoiding sunlight 
  • Wear loose clothing
  • Don't soak the area in water 

Despite the flaws of dermabrasion, people still consider it. This is because it works in one session, saving a surprising amount of time. 


After reading the above, you should understand how effective tattoo removal is. Without question, it changes based on different people's circumstances. However, there's an option for everyone when wanting to remove a tattoo. 

If you're considering laser removal but are worried about the pain, try using our Tattoo Numbing Cream. It’s been tried and tested by thousands, exceeding expectations for those receiving or removing tattoos. 


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