How Many Sessions Are Needed for Tattoo Removal? | Dr. Ink Eraser

How Many Sessions Are Needed for Laser Tattoo Removal?

One of the most common concerns laser tattoo removal clients have before they start the removal process is the number of sessions it will take for the tattoo to be completely removed.

Though Dr. Ink Eraser cannot guarantee the number of sessions your tattoo will need, we can provide you with a quote that includes an estimation of the number of removal sessions we think your tattoo may need.

Factors we take into account when quoting laser tattoo removal sessions

When we estimate the number of laser tattoo removal sessions, we take several factors into account, such as:

Tattoo size

Bigger tattoos cover more of the skin, which means there is simply more tattoo that needs to be removed. Smaller tattoos take fewer sessions to be removed than larger tattoos require.

Tattoo location

Lasers remove tattoos by breaking up the ink particles deep within the skin. As these ink particles begin to break apart even further, the body’s lymphatic will gradually remove them and flush them out through the circulatory system.

Tattoos located in places where blood flows more easily throughout the body tend to require fewer tattoo removal sessions.

Tattoo age

Most tattoos fade away with age and are easier to remove than tattoos that were done recently. Chances are, older tattoos will take fewer removal sessions than a fresh tattoo.

Tattoo quality

Tattoos done by professional artists are more effective and use higher quality inks than amateur or DIY tattoos. Professional tattoos will probably take longer to remove than a stick-and-poke tattoo a friend did.

Inks used in tattoo

If there’s only one color used in a tattoo, that makes it easier to remove than a tattoo that has several different ink colors. However, even if there’s only one ink color used, the color itself can still make for more laser tattoo removal sessions.

The easiest ink colors to remove are:

  • Black
  • Brown
  • Dark blues
  • Dark greens

It may surprise you that these cool, dark colors are easier to remove than bright colors, but dark colors are able to absorb more light. But when you consider that wearing black-colored clothing in hot, sunny weather can make you feel hotter than you would with other colors, it makes sense. The color black absorbs more light, which generates more heat.

With laser tattoo removal, the inks absorb light from the laser and start to break down. Black ink will absorb more of the laser light and will break down more and faster than other colors. The same goes for these other colors.

The number of inks used in a tattoo can also contribute to the number of tattoo removal sessions. The lasers have to be adjusted to certain wavelengths in order to effectively break down the ink particles. Using the incorrect wavelengths on certain colors may result in scarring. That’s why laser technicians generally focus on a couple of colors at a time before moving on to the others. Because they’re focusing on one or two ink colors at a time, having more than one color can (and will) take more removal sessions.

Touch-ups and cover-ups

If you’ve tried getting your tattoo “removed” with a cover up tattoo or tried to fix it with a touch-up, that will probably add more laser tattoo removal sessions. A greater amount of ink used in a tattoo and cover-ups will create more work for the lasers, so keep that in mind before going down the cover-up or touch-up route to conceal a tattoo you don’t want anymore.

Skin tone

In general, it’s easier to remove ink from lighter skin tones than darker skin tones. Older laser technology has a tendency to create scars on dark skin, but with PicoSure laser technology, scarring is much less likely to occur on darker skin colors. 

Despite the advancements in laser technology, it will likely take more sessions to remove the ink from darker skin tones.


The way you treat your body matters in pretty much all aspects of your life, including laser tattoo removal. The removal process will be a better one for people who don’t smoke, vape, or tan. If you do smoke or vape and regret your tattoo, consider this your sign to stop smoking and recover better and faster from each removal session.

This also may lead to fewer removal sessions in the long run.


Following aftercare instructions may result in one or two fewer sessions than originally quoted, especially because laser tattoo removal sessions are typically scheduled months apart from the most recent session so that the skin can heal properly.

Failing to adhere to aftercare instructions may result in scarring, pain, and other negative results that could contribute to more laser tattoo removal sessions that are scheduled even further apart. This probably isn’t a process you want to have drawn out, so always listen and follow your technician’s aftercare instructions.

Type of laser used

The type of laser used can make a difference in how many tattoo removal sessions you’ll need. Older laser technology may not be as effective as the latest technology.

Dr. Ink Eraser has some of the newest lasers, including PicoSure lasers, that work faster and more effectively than their older counterparts.

Contact us for a laser tattoo removal quote

The best way to determine the number of sessions removing your tattoo could take is to have your tattoo evaluated for a quote.

Dr. Ink Eraser offers free tattoo removal quotes. We’ll look at the above factors and others and give you an estimate of how many sessions we think the removal will take. 

If you’re ready to start removing your tattoo, we can even do it after the quote process.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation so we can get started on your tattoo removal quote.