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What to expect during laser tattoo removal

Updated on October 19, 2010

Tattoo Removal Before and After Picture

Tattoo Removal Before and After Picture
Tattoo Removal Before and After Picture | Source

Laser Tattoo Removal

 Step 1: FREE Consultation

During your complimentary consultation our certified laser specialist will review the following information:

Cost per session-

The cost per session is determined by the size of the tattoo. During your Free consultation our certified laser specialist will give you a personalized quote. Oregon Tattoo Removal has the most competitive prices around and offers discounts for additional tattoos.

If you bring in a written quote from a competitor we will match the price as well as take an additional 5 % off per treatment!

Number of sessions needed-

Laser tattoo removal is not a onetime thing. It does take multiple treatments to remove most tattoos. On average it takes 5-10 for a professionally done tattoo and about 3-5 for a homemade tattoo. Color, density of the ink, depth of the ink and age are all major factors in how many sessions will be needed.

Side Effects-

Redness/Swelling/Bruising : Patients can experience mild redness, bruising and swelling of the treatment area and is a normal part of the removal process. Swelling, bruising and redness should cease after about 7-14 days.

Blistering: When lasers heat up the ink particles in your skin they can also break tiny blood vessels surrounding the ink. This can cause blistering in the area. These blisters are superficial and are filled with water and ink. The ink in the blisters can cause them to look purple, red, orange or a mixture of colors from your tattoo. You may drain these blisters with a sterile needle if they become uncomfortable, be sure to apply triple antibiotic ointment on the drain blister after draining (do not be alarmed if the blister reforms). You do not have to drain your blisters if you do not feel comfortable they will drain on their own. If you choose to drain them please keep the thin layer of skin surrounding the blister intact because it will turn into your scab. It can take anywhere from 3-14 days for blisters to heal completely. Keep in mind if the blister is on an extremity it can take a little longer to heal. Blisters can look intimidating but are actually great for the removal process because they remove a lot of ink and heal up beautifully.

Scabbing: Scabbing is an important part of the removal process. Scabs collect broken up ink particles in the skin, and when the scab falls off so does the top layer of ink. That is why it is extremely important not to pick at scabs. We want them intact as long as possible so they will continue collecting ink. Also, picking your scabs off early can cause scarring so be careful to not soak, shave or exfoliate the area.

Hyperpigmentation/Hypopigmentation:Hyperpigmentation (darkening of skin color) and hypopigmentation (loss of skin color) in few cases can occur however, it is only temporary. The shock of the laser can cause your body to over produce or under produce melanin. Once you have completed all of your treatments your skin will return to normal. Also, rubbing Vitamin E on the area is a great way to help with skin tone irregularities.


Oregon Tattoo Removal uses the most advanced equipment on the market the HOYA ConBio Medlite C6. The C6 is designed specifically for laser tattoo removal procedures. It's a powerful Nd:Yag Q-Switched laser that emits 1064nm and 532nm wavelengths that are necessary for effective tattoo removal. Oregon Tattoo Removal also uses the Zimmer Cryo 6 a popular cooling machine that helps numb the skin during the treatment.


Keep your tattoo bandaged for three days following your laser tattoo removal treatment. Change your bandage twice a day (breakfast and dinner) and reapply Triple Antibiotic ointment (Neosporin) each time you change your bandage. Keep the treated area clean by gently washing the area with a mild soap and water (do NOT scrub, shave or exfoliate the area). Remove your bandage after three days. This will allow the treated area to dry out and scab (Please do NOT pick at your scabs this may cause scarring). If you experience itching or dryness you may apply Aquaphor, Vitamin E ointment or hydrocortisone cream. Please make sure all of your scabs are gone before applying any ointments.

Blisters may form within 8 hours after your treatment. Blisters are an essential part of the tattoo removal process. If you do have blisters you may drain them with a sterile needle (please leave the thin layer of skin surrounding your blister intact this will become your scab). If you do chose to drain your blister apply Neosporin and a bandage directly after you drain it. You do NOT have to drain your blisters they will drain on their own and heal up nicely.

Do not soak the treated area until all of the blisters and scabs are healed completely. You may shower like normal but remember to change your bandage afterwards.

Step 2: Start your 1st Treatment

On average treatments last about 10-15 minutes. Treatments are generally pretty quick at the beginning of the process and get a little bit longer as the process comes to a close.

What to expect from a treatment-

* Treated area is prepped and cleaned
* A picture is taken to track patients progress
* Cold air is applied to numb the skin
* A test spot is given to prepare you for your treatment
* The laser specialist goes over the entire tattoo once with the 1064nm and depending on many factors might go over a second time with the 532nm
* A thin layer of Neosporin is applied and the skin is bandaged


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    • profile image

      Jesse 3 years ago

      is swelling normal after laser removal?

    • ortattooremoval profile image

      ortattooremoval 7 years ago from Oregon City, Oregon


      Thank you!

    • thooghun profile image

      James D. Preston 7 years ago from Rome, Italy

      Despite not possessing any tattoos that was an interesting and informative read, thank you for sharing it!

      Oh, and welcome to Hubpages!