Is Tattoo Removal Painful?

Does Tattoo Removal Hurt? Is It Painful? We answer all below.

So, How Much Does Laser Tattoo Removal Actually Hurt?

If you have an upcoming tattoo removal appointment, there’s no doubt that you’re feeling anxious about the procedure, not to mention, the pain that comes with it. However, it’s a common worry that you shouldn’t fret too much about. Although Q-switched lasers can cause some mild discomfort, everyone experiences pain differently. Some might not necessarily find it painful at all, where others may find themselves to be very sensitive to the treatment. Plus, some areas of the body are more sensitive than other parts, where you have more nerve endings. Nevertheless, below is a guide on how you can deal with laser tattoo removal pain at your upcoming appointment.

Tattoo Removal Pain Management & Control Options

How painful is laser tattoo removal?

Depending on which clinic you go to, they may have a few different options to help control the pain you feel during your laser tattoo procedure. Although, there’s isn’t necessarily a pain-free option, there are ways to help reduce your discomfort during the tattoo removal process.

The first option is Zimmer Cryo, which blows cold area on the area that’s going to be treated to relieve a certain extent of discomfort. This is a huge advantage for clients that have a low pain threshold since it can significantly lower the amount of pain you may feel during the procedure. Plus, the cool air is completely harmless to your skin.

The second option is ice packs, which are generally used in conjunction with the Zimmer Cryo. Together, the two can help lower the amount of pain and discomfort you feel during your laser tattoo removal procedure.

The third and final option is numbing cream. This topical cream is rubbed into your skin to numb it before the procedure takes place. It usually only takes 15 to 30 minutes to take into effect and is great for clients with sensitive skin. However, if you have allergies you should let it be known to your laser technician before treatment takes place.


According to all the patients that we’ve treated, tattoo removal pain feels like getting flicked by a burning hot rubberband (yeah, we know, it doesn’t sound too fun).

But it’s important to note that the extent of this pain can be diminished based on a couple of different things:

The experience of the technician.

    1. If the technician is new, has been incorrectly trained, or is not using the equipment properly, then the pain of tattoo removal can be much worse.

The technology.

    1. Using the best technology, which our clinic uses the highest quality lasers, will result in less pain.

How much pain you can handle.

    Unfortunately pain tolerance comes into play with laser tattoo removal. Some patients are able to withstand a lot… Others feel that the treatment is incredibly painful.


Laser tattoo removal works. That’s why thousands of people get tattoos removed each year.

And while it is painful, the majority of patients are able to go back to work the same day and resume their everyday activities.

Do you want to know the best thing about tattoo removal pain?

Most likely, unless you have a very large tattoo that you’re getting removed, the process will take less than a couple of minutes. Oftentimes it’s less than 60 seconds.

So, while there is pain involved with getting your tattoo removed, we take every precaution to make sure the experience is tolerable.

In addition, there are things that you can do, both before and after your treatment, to limit the pain.

You can learn about those things below.

How to Manage & Minimize Pain from Getting Your Tattoo Removed

Below, are a few steps you can do to minimize your pain and discomfort during your treatments:

1. Avoid Caffeine

Avoid consuming tea, coffee, chocolate, or other things that have a high content of caffeine, which may make you feel hyperactive during your laser tattoo removal procedure. According to researchers, eating or drinking caffeine has shown to make people more subjectable to pain as well. So, if you normally drink coffee a few times a day, we suggest you avoid the drink altogether until your procedure is completed, or at least limit your consumption.

2. Stay Hydrated

Make sure that you drink plenty of water and stay properly hydrated before your procedure. Believe it or not, there are some people that drink up to a gallon of water prior to their treatment.

3. Don’t Be Afraid to Speak Up

The discomfort and laser tattoo removal pain you feel during your appointment can be affected by the pace your technician is using and the length of your appointment. If you feel like you need a break in the middle of the session, do not be afraid to say something. The same goes for any other changes that will make you feel more comfortable. The technician cannot help you solve the issue if they do not know there is an issue. By speaking up, you can ensure that you have a speedy and comfortable session.

4. Strategically Schedule Your Appointment

If you are a woman, you should avoid scheduling any removal sessions during the time of the month when you are menstruating. During this time of the month, your body is more sensitive to discomfort and your pain tolerance decreases. This can make sitting through a tattoo removal appointment almost unbearable. For this reason, you should schedule your appointments during a different time of the month. If your scheduled appointment does happen to occur on the same day as your menstruation, consider rescheduling your appointment to a day when your pain tolerance is higher.


Laser Tattoo Removal Does Not Need to be Painful

Overall, the goal of the clinic you choose should be to make laser tattoo removal pain free.

Q-switched lasers for laser tattoo removal can cause discomfort. However, knowing what to expect prior to your appointment can help decrease any anxiety you might have about the pain associated with laser tattoo removal.

Every client is different. Some people can tolerate pain, while others are very sensitive. The pain is also relative to the area being treated. Some parts of the body are more sensitive than others. For most people, removing a tattoo on your hand is less painful than removing a tattoo from your inner thigh.  No matter your sensitivity to pain, there are ways to make the laser tattoo removal process less daunting.

While fully eliminating pain may not be realistic for every client, the clinic should be able to answer all your questions and offer options for pain management that work for you. Understanding your options prior to your appointment will increase the likelihood you will be comfortable during the procedure. Discomfort can be managed much more easily than actual pain.

While it is not realistic to say there won’t be any discomfort, any clinic that cares about its clients will work to reduce discomfort and make the procedure as easy as possible. Discuss your concerns with the clinic before you before you arrive. Make sure you are comfortable with the pain management plan they have for removing your tattoo. While changes can be made after a procedure starts, it is better to have a solid plan from the beginning.

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