Laser Tattoo Removal Overview

Laser tattoo removal is an effective, safe, and cost-effective way to remove your tattoo.

But how does it work? How does a laser effectively get rid of tattoo ink?
This article will explain all the details of how laser tattoo removal works.

Does Tattoo Removal Work?

Yes, it does work. And we’ll explain exactly how it works.

Laser tattoo removal works by targeting the ink particles deep within your skin.
Your tattoo ink is actually a semi-solid form in your skin.

The laser penetrates through your skin down to the ink particles and breaks those ink particles apart into solid forms.

You can think of it like a boulder being broken down into smaller rocks, and eventually into tiny pebbles.

After the ink is broken up, then the rest of the work is dependent on your immune system. Your body naturally sees tattoo ink as a foreign invader. From the moment you get a tattoo your body is trying to eliminate the ink. But the semi-solid form makes it difficult.

After the ink is broken up, your immune system works hard to flush the ink particles out of the body.

Tattoo Ink – Skin Interaction

Tattoo Application in Austin, Texas

The reason tattoos are permanent is because they are embedded into the deepest layer of skin, the dermis.

As we stated earlier, when a tattoo is applied, your immune system recognizes the ink as a foreign substance and sends macrophages to remove them immediately upon insertion.


Macrophages are a special type of white blood cell that eat up bacteria and other small particles. And these macrophages work hard to get rid of the tattoo ink.

Although the macrophages continuously eat away at the pigment particles over time, the deep insertion and large size of the ink particles makes them difficult to remove. This explains why tattoos remain permanently etched in the skin but gradually fade and lose color over time.

How Does Laser Tattoo Removal Work? The Removal Process:


Laser tattoo removal helps speed up the natural fading process of tattoos by using light energy to break down the large ink particles. During treatment, our state-of-the-art Quanta EVO Nd:YAG laser gently emits ultra-quick pulses of light energy into the skin.

It’s important to note that different colors of ink require different wavelengths.

Black ink cannot be removed using the same wavelength that red ink needs.

So this laser has three different wavelengths used to effectively remove all different pigments of ink.

The 1064nm wavelength works best for darker ink, such as black, green, or blue. The 532nm wavelength works best with brighter colors – think of the reds, yellows, and oranges. The last wavelength isn’t used as often. It’s only used in certain situations where the other two wavelengths would not be effective. That wavelength is 694nm.

Why can’t tattoos be removed immediately? Why do I need multiple treatments?

Most patients need multiple treatments before achieving complete removal. The number of treatments needed is unique to you and your tattoo.

It takes time for your body to effectively get rid of the ink. Remember, tattoos are meant to be permanent, so the fact that laser technology even allows us to remove tattoos is incredible.

Think of the tattoo as an illness – if you were sick and needed to take medication to help you get better, you wouldn’t magically be healed right when you swallowed the pill.

It takes time for your body to use the medication to effectively heal your body.
And you’ll probably need more than one pill to get better. You may need to take a tablet every 12 hours for a couple of days.

It’s the same with tattoo removal: Your body needs time to flush out the ink particles.

There are many factors that determine how many treatments you’ll need, how quickly the process will take, and how effective the lasers will be at removing your tattoo.

There are different factors that determine how quickly your tattoo will be removed

Every person has a different body. Every person has different levels of health. And everyone has, for the most part, different tattoos with different types of ink.

Because of this, each person will experience different results and different time frames for removing their tattoos.

Here are the factors that influence laser tattoo removal:

1. Your health:

If someone is 60 years old, 100 pounds overweight, smokes cigarettes daily, never goes to the gym, and has depression or any other mental illnesses, then their 2-year old tattoo will probably take longer to remove than a 35 year old healthy individual who has a 15-year old tattoo.

2. The type of ink used

The FDA has not regulated tattoo ink. As a result, there are different ingredients in different types of inks. And different types of inks will take different amounts of time and energy to effectively remove.

3. The location of the tattoo

The more blood circulation an area has, the faster and more effective the tattoo removal process will be.

Areas like the neck and chest are near the heart and therefore have lots of good blood flow.

Conversely, areas like the fingers and feet don’t have great blood circulation, and as a result usually take longer.

Are there side effects?

Yes, there are potential side effects with laser tattoo removal.

As a reputable clinic with highly trained staff, we do our best to ensure that you experience no side effects. But, unfortunately, certain things are out of our control. Some people have very sensitive skin, and the with the laser being as powerful as it is, may experience some temporary adverse effects.

The most common temporary side effects are:

Light blistering.
Light scabbing.

I’m nervous about scarring…

20 years ago, right when laser tattoo removal became a more common procedure, then this worry would be warranted. Today, the technology is so incredibly advanced that you will not experience any scarring.

The lasers are firing so quickly that the skin cells surrounding the tattoo ink are not affected. The only thing that is being targeted by the laser is the tattoo ink.

Is laser tattoo removal painful?

Tattoo removal can be uncomfortable. Some people find the treatment painful. Although that’s the case, we take every precaution to make the experience tolerable for you.

We use strong numbing cream and the Zimmer cooling system to mitigate the pain.

Also, the treatment itself usually takes less than one minute, so you don’t have to endure through long amounts of pain, like you did when you originally got your tattoo.

You can learn more about tattoo removal pain by checking out this article.

Is laser tattoo removal safe?

Unlike other tattoo removal methods, laser technology is completely safe, extremely effective, and noninvasive. Our lasers gently penetrate through the skin into the dermis to specifically target the unwanted ink without causing harm to the surrounding skin tissue.

For more information on this procedure, visit our FAQ’s page.

Request an Online Quote
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Rose Aguilar N
Rose Aguilar N
00:58 05 Aug 18
This place was phenomenal. It was clean and the staff was courteous. I was super late driving in from an hour north and when I called to let them know, they told me not to worry and to just get there safely. They had sodas, water, any refreshments you might need. They were very knowledgeable and answered all of my questions. They also made me feel very comfortable about how the laser might feel, and honestly, the method they used really minimized the pain. I would even say I felt very little pain. The pricing is also very reasonable and well worth the hour drive for the service. I just had one session done, so hopefully after I’ve completed all of them, the results will match their excellent more
Brittany Burnette
Brittany Burnette
14:01 25 Jul 18
I found Fresh Start on a Google search and decided to go for a consultation because of the great reviews. When I called they set up an appointment that worked for me and was within a few days which was great. As soon as I walked through the door they were very friendly and helpful. My consultation also became my first treatment. For me, getting the tattoo hurt worse then the treatment itself. I love that I was able to purchase multiple treatments at once so that I don't have to worry about payments everytime I go for a visit. From what I've seen so far I highly recommend Fresh Start!read more
Cassidy Wallin
Cassidy Wallin
19:06 29 Jun 18
The staff is awesome and very professional. My first appointment was informative and I left happy with my treatment. It was hard to find a reputable laser clinic in Austin and I am SO happy I discovered Fresh Start. I look forward to seeing them again soon!read more
Cindy Gonzalez
Cindy Gonzalez
07:44 17 Jun 18
Amazing facility! The staff are extremely nice and friendly. Anthony did my first treatment and i couldn't be happier. He's great.
Adina Panaite
Adina Panaite
22:53 28 Apr 18
Nina is amazing, she's very helpful, kind, takes the time to explain the process & answer all questions. Highly recommend her. The actual process is taking longer than initially estimated, I was told ~5 sessions would do it and now we're looking at at least another 3-5, so not sure if that's me or the system used. Would have liked quicker results but the service deserves 5 more
Blue Iris Productions
Blue Iris Productions
14:08 28 Apr 18
Clean and quiet facility, easy paperwork fill out. Very kind and professional staff, Joseph is my tech and he’s absolutely fantastic. I was a little nervous going in but he was so sweet and able to make me feel better, and he was right; it wasn’t so bad. Also I’m a few days from my second appointment and my tattoo is already fading dramatically!! I’m impressed, highly recommend these more
bailey kemple
bailey kemple
19:36 29 Mar 18
I had my consultation about 2weeks ago with Joseph. He was very informative about the process and made me feel very comfortable about going into everything. Today I had my first session with Nina. I’m choosing to remove a medium 6y/o black ink tattoo on the back of my right shoulder. Nina was super nice and very comforting throughout the entire session. Definitely felt that I was in good hands and felt very well taken care of through it all...Which is very important to me personally being that I don’t have the highest pain tolerance and am a fainter. They have sodas/water and lollipops in the lobby so I grabbed some of those going into it. I felt fine during the session (it kind of felt like a bunch of rubber bands snapping you).After the session my hearing started to go and I started shaking and feeling faint, but Nina laid me down and used the cool air to cool me. So I was able to come out of that feeling pretty quick... like within a minute.Pain wise, it wasn’t the worst. I’d give it a 6.5 maybe 7 out of 10 (on my scale).read more
Victoria Glomb
Victoria Glomb
18:37 26 Mar 18
Just had my first session completed with Joesph and he was great! I was really nervous going into the procedure but he made sure I was comfortable the whole time and worked at my pace. Their prices are a steal for the treatment provided. Also, they have the best waiting room. I highly recommend Fresh Start Laser Tattoo more
Jeff and Brittni Brockman
Jeff and Brittni Brockman
19:42 12 Mar 18
Great place! Had my consultation with Nina and she answered all my questions. Was very informative and professional. Very clean and well run place. Had my first session with Joseph. Very professional and knowledgeable as well. Quick procedure with truly very little pain with their cooling techniques. Highly recommend!read more
Jamielyn Schweigert
Jamielyn Schweigert
00:20 12 Mar 18
Nina is AMAZING!!!!! Fresh Start is normally closed on Sunday's but she was nice enough to schedule me for today because of my work schedule. When I got there she was very professional. She explained everything to me in detail and stopped several times to ask me if I had any questions. Even though what I was having done was very small she didn't treat it that way. On top of Nina's excellent customer service, their office was extremely clean which was a big plus for me. I definitely look forward to my next more
Austin Uber
Austin Uber
18:23 06 Mar 18
Today was my very first session. Believe me after watching YouTube videos and reading the internet articles, I’m not going to lie I was scared. I walked in and felt at ease. It’s very clean and welcoming. Nina definitely helped to make it a comfortable experience. She answered all my questions and made me feel more relaxed about my decision to have this done. I actually feel excited about my future and I am definitely happy I took the first step. It was very fast and I was able to more done than even thought I would. Thank you so much for everything and being so professional. I will definitely be recommending you to everyone I more
Nicholas Alexander Johnson
Nicholas Alexander Johnson
00:41 01 Mar 18
Fresh start laser was really nice inside. The right atmosphere/vibe you want for a tattoo removal shop. Nina was great to work with! Explained everything extremely well. Not mention she was a cutie!read more
Brandi Cox
Brandi Cox
21:29 22 Feb 18
Nina is so nice and professional. She gave me all the information I needed and had me in and out out so fast it was great! I will be able to do my second appointment on my lunch break. No long waiting room nonsense just sign in have the procedure and you're done didn't hurt one bit either! Bcread more
Callie Combest
Callie Combest
01:32 15 Feb 18
Nina is awesome! It was actually really fun and the process wasn’t near as painful as I thought it would be. The pricing is more than fair and even after only one treatment, I can see amazing results! I am so glad I found Fresh Start and would highly recommend it to anyone who has a little unwanted ink!read more
Jessica Halsell
Jessica Halsell
14:58 10 Feb 18
I would definitely recommend this place to anyone wanting to remove a tattoo. The staff is super super friendly and very informative. They went over the whole process with me beforehand to make sure I was comfortable before we more
esmeralda penaloza
esmeralda penaloza
06:23 31 Jan 18
I absolutely love how comfortable Nina made us feel. Nina was amazing, everything went smooth, quick, she was funny, informative and if i had any questions i would email her and get a reply. great deals also!! First session was great with Nina, cant wait for the other 5 left and cant wait to see my boyfriend without bad tattoos. Nina would know what im taking about! Couldn't have chosen a better place!read more
Alex Sharp
Alex Sharp
23:13 18 Jan 18
Great place, Nina was really friendly and easy to talk too. Worked with me on a great price for two pieces I wanted removal for. Made sure I was comfortable and well taken care of. Would definitely suggest this to anyone wanting removal more
Xenia Aguirre
Xenia Aguirre
18:39 12 Jan 18
My experience with Fresh Start Laser Tattoo has been very pleasent. The staff made me feel comfortable. The consultation with her was very detailed and informative. I went to two other places and they where way over priced and very uncomfortable therefore i was very happy i could find somewhere that looked very clean, great price, and also very welcoming. Nina looks young but she is very professional, funny, and knowledgeable. I am very happy with my service. I would absolutely recommend this place to anyone!read more
Ms. Zepeda
Ms. Zepeda
11:24 06 Jan 18
The people I have met at Fresh Start have been AMAZING and super personable!!!! Had my first session yesterday and was actually having a not so great day and Nina completely turned my whole day around! She checked me in, did my first treatment and got me out while keeping me engaged in conversation and I actually felt no pain whatsoever. I was in and out in less than 20min!!!!! I would definitely recommend Fresh Start Laser Tattoo Removal to anyone who is scared or has some reservations about the people and place they choose to remove a tattoo!read more
Desiree Calpito
Desiree Calpito
23:49 14 Dec 17
This was the best tattoo removal clinic that I have ever been to. The clinic itself is very clean and it’s a modern atmosphere/vibe which makes it very comfortable. Anthony was easy to talk to, funny, and explained everything well. I would definitely come back to this place AND recommend everyone to go here. I had previously gone to Eraser Clinic for my consultation and I didn’t really like it at all. My consultation here at Fresh Start was informative and I was able to get started that day. Couldn’t have been any happier! Great service!read more
Chris Wyss
Chris Wyss
22:41 19 Nov 17
I had my second appointment today! The people there are very knowledgeable about the tattoo removal process. The business is very clean. The staff makes you feel comfortable and relaxed! I rate it a 5 star. Well maintained business! Thank You very much for the good results!I thought I’d give Nina another good review. I just had my third treatment and things went well. Before I knew it Nina was done. We talked for about 5 minuets and then it was over. My tattoo is probably hand size on my neck and kinda painful the second time but even though she turned it up this time, just her keeping me busy talking it wasn’t painful at at! I have to say Nina your an awesome person with great prices! Absolutely amazing. Can’t wait to get this blob off my neck! I’m glad I make you smile and crack you up! That’s what I do! Thank you very much for being such an awesome person. See you in December! Christopherread more
Tasha Denny
Tasha Denny
16:17 08 Nov 17
Love the staff here, they have made me feel very comfortable and eased my nervousness about tattoo removal. They are very friendly, knowledgeable, and I have to mention funny too! I feel like they really do care about their patients. I am only on my second treatment but so far so good. My tattoo is fading and has healed great both times. For me, the laser feels kind of like rubber bands snapping on my skin but it's more of an uncomfortable feeling rather than a feeling of pain. The ice pack before treatment is the worst part of it all, if I had to choose. The clinic is clean and very welcoming and there are snacks and drinks available as well. Oh and can't forget that the prices are very reasonable! I would definitely recommend this place, they've hit the mark on everything!!read more
Patti Trapani
Patti Trapani
00:18 01 Nov 17
I arrived a bit late but the guy there (Joseph) was very cordial and assisted me quickly through the sign-in process. Once done we went into the treatment room and before I knew it - we were done! I was expecting a painful procedure but it really wasn't bad at all! Very clean facility and the staff was very professional yet made me feel comfortable and at home. I HIGHLY recommend this place! 5 stars!read more
Jennifer Cruz
Jennifer Cruz
04:58 24 Oct 17
I thought Samantha was super nice and professional when treating my tattoo. She clearly knew what she was doing and talking about as far as how the treatment works, what to expect, a fair price, and overall she always makes my visit worthwhile. As far as the tattoo removal process is going, it is definitely something you'll have to be patient with no matter where you go, but here I feel they are doing a good job at making it fade at a decent pace and not damaging my skin. I recommend this place to anyone needing a tattoo more
00:06 22 Oct 17
Where do i start? I'm still overwhelmed by the whole experience... Nina was more than welcoming & accommodating to my needs. i arrived from Houston a little earlier than expected so i called & asked where's a good place to eat nearby.They were more than helpful even with my nervous stomach.Nina happened to be just finishing up another appointment as i arrived, everyone even the front desk clerk was more than helpful with any question i had & they offered snacks. lol me being from Houston traveling all the way to Austin was well worth the drive for the respect & care i received.... my next treatment is 6 weeks from now & i can't wait to make the drive again!10/10 would recommend to anyone needing to get laser tattoo removal the cleanliness & atmosphere of the shop felt like i was @ home. Thanks Again Ninaread more
Next Reviews Write a review
Call For A Free Consultation