Tattoo Removal Gets Real


You’re finally considering removing that flaming skull tattoo you got “ironically” with your ex-best friend from high school. The “burning” question: how painful is laser removal? 

While cooking, have you ever experienced a fleck of hot bacon grease hitting your skin? For many clients, this minor occupational hazard of breakfast is comparable to the sensation of laser tattoo removal. Uncomfortable, certainly—but tolerable. 

Keep in mind that our removal sessions take less time than ordering takeout. St. Louis Studio Manager Gina Carapella described her initial treatment as “20 seconds of getting poked really quickly with a needle.” 

We also asked clients about their laser removal experience and here is what they had to say: 

  • “It was less painful than the breakup!” – Anthony M., Minneapolis, MN
  • “It is super quick, and before you can even think about it, your session is complete.” – Sandra, Atlanta, GA
  • “On a scale of 1-10 it’s a 6 but it’s over quickly and worth it!” – Tom A., Salt Lake City, UT
  • “It’s painful, but it goes so fast that it’s tolerable.” – Shenan P., Denver, CO

Remember how your first tattoo felt—painful, but mostly exciting? Other clients compare the feeling of removal to the feeling of receiving the tattoo in the first place.  

Pain levels depend on factors like the location, quality, and size of your tattoo. If it’s located in an area where you have less body fat, the pain tends to increase. Tattoos close to a bone can be more uncomfortable, as well as tattoos with darker pigmentation. If you have received a tattoo with non-standard tools or ink, your removal pain may be lessened because of the low-quality pigmentation and skin impression. 

To reduce your removal pain, our experts recommend numbing cream, the Zimmer Cryo Cold Air Machine and squeezing stress balls. And most importantly: breathe!

After your treatment, the pain should lessen within 24 hours. It is common for patients to experience flaking, minimal bleeding and swelling until the area is completely healed. Your skin will feel tender on occasion but the consistent pain will subside. 

Visit Invisible Ink Tattoo Removers at a location near you to schedule a complimentary consultation and learn more about the procedure from our expert staff. 


4 thoughts on “Tattoo Removal Gets Real

  1. Don’t forget to mention the near debilitating itch over the entire treated area and surrounding skin after each treatment. It is absolutely the worst!!!

    1. Hi Dawn, great point! One common side effect post removal session is that the skin where your tattoo was will begin to itch. After a removal session, it is normal for your skin to itch for three to five days. Although it can be annoying, it is definitely part of the healing process and it is best to avoid the scratch! Some fixes for your itchy skin while you wait for the treated skin to heal include applying Aquaphor to help alleviate the dryness. Also avoid taking long, hot showers during the healing process as it can dry out the skin even more. Be sure to mention this side effect to Holly at your next session as she can provide you with a little more Aquaphor in your take home bag, plus she might have some more tips and tricks! She’s a pro!

  2. When I had my tattoos they actually tickled! But, the actual tattoo removal is very painful. For me it feels like a red hot nail being dragged slowly dragged across my skin. Even with the lidocaine salve it’s extremely painful. And so far the tattoos are still there

    1. Hi Thomas! Thanks for your feedback and for being such a loyal client. Keeping pain to a minimum is very important to us at Invisible Ink. Sit down with Jen at your next removal session and discuss your discomfort, as I am sure she can offer alternative recommendations personalized to you.

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