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Tattoo Removal

What to Expect From Your Tattoo Removal: First Session

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Learn what you can expect from your first tattoo removal session. This guide covers helpful tips to prepare you for your first session and proper aftercare.

Although complete tattoo removal can take over 10 sessions, the first session can be nerve-racking if you don’t know what to expect. This guide on your first session will put your mind at ease and prepare you for your first step to getting ride of that tattoo that no longer fits you.

There are many reasons why people choose tattoo removal. The tattoo may have been associated with someone that person no longer cares to be reminded of, or it’s something they feel does not represent who they are anymore. No matter what their reasonings are for choosing removal, everyone must go through the removal process.

Tattoo removal is a commitment as it can take 10-12 sessions, depending on your skin type, ink color, and other factors. We put together this guide to help you understand what can be expected before, during, and after the first tattoo removal session.

What to do Before Your First Tattoo Removal Session

You should first research the most experienced and professional tattoo removal studio in your area. It’s recommended to set up a consultation with a removal studio to get an understanding of tattoo removal expectations. At a consultation, you will learn more about the tattoo removal process, expectations on the cost and timeline of removal, and how the laser actually removes the tattoo. We’re often asked, “is tattoo removal painful?” and we’re proud to say that modern-day equipment has made the tattoo removal progress faster and tolerable.

On average, a single removal session takes less than 5 minutes which is a shorter time to experience discomfort than receiving the tattoo. On average, a tattoo can be completely removed in 10-12 sessions. However, it will depend on the individual tattoo. Factors such as ink density, placement, ink color, and the age of the tattoo will determine how many sessions a person needs for complete removal.

Before your long-awaited tattoo removal first session, it’s recommended to treat the session like getting a tattoo. It’s important to drink plenty of water, get a good night’s rest, eat a full meal, clean the tattoo, and wear loose-fitting clothes to not irritate the treated area.

What to Expect During Your First Laser Tattoo Removal Session

Now that you are prepared for what to expect before your first session, we will dive into what to expect during the tattoo removal first session. Essentially, a laser technician will clean the tattoo and place an icepack on it to numb the area. After a few minutes of letting the ice pack numb, the laser technician uses a Zimmer machine that blasts freezing cold air onto the tattoo for a minute before starting the removal. The laser technician will ask if you are ready, do a test spot to see how that feels for you, then they will start the removal while keeping the cold Zimmer machine cooling your tattoo.

After the treatment, you can expect to see what we call “frosting” on the top layer of the tattoo, which is a short-term reaction that only lasts a few minutes. The frosting occurs from the laser breaking the ink particles apart into tiny pieces for your body’s white blood cells to carry away. After the session, the laser technician will provide hydrocortisone cream and give you a removal aftercare bag with information on how to take care of the tattoo in between your removal sessions to ensure it’s healing properly.

What to Expect After Your First Tattoo Removal Session

After the first tattoo removal session, you can expect the healing process to be similar to receiving the tattoo. It’s important to care for the tattoo while it is healing to ensure that the skin does not scar or affect the removal outcome. Below is a list of aftercare tips to keep the tattoo safe.

Tips for Tattoo Removal Aftercare


  • Don’t exercise for at least 24 hours
  • Keep the treated area clean with a mild soap
  • Don’t swim for at least 48 hours while the tattoo is still an “open womb”
  • Use vitamin E oil to keep the treated area hydrated
  • Keep it covered from the sun to prevent any hypo or hyperpigmentation


Following these steps will help in between tattoo removal sessions. Learn more tips and tricks in our tattoo removal aftercare guide.

Common Questions About Tattoo Removal

How Much will My Tattoo Fade After the First Laser Treatment?

On average it takes around 3-5 sessions to start seeing the tattoo fading. It’s actually common to see the tattoo appear brighter after the first session due to the ink particles being disturbed. Rest assured, that your body will be removing the tattoo and you’ll typically start to see the fading process around 3-5 sessions.

How Long Does Each Seassion Take?

On average a tattoo can be lasered in less than 5 minutes. Therefore, a single session usually only takes 5-15 minutes from start to finish.

How Much Does Laser Tattoo Removal Cost?

The cost of laser tattoo removal depends on the size of your tattoo. We encourage everyone to check out Removery’s tattoo removal cost guide to get a general idea of the price for removal.

How Long Between Tattoo Removal Session?

On average, your body will need 6-8 weeks between each tattoo removal session. This is due to the fact that your body needs the time to process the ink before the laser equipment treats the next layer in your skin. This leads to faster and better tattoo removal results.

Speak to a Removery Specialist Today to Learn More About Tattoo Removal

That’s everything you can expect before, during, and after your initial removal session. So how long does it take to remove a tattoo? Typically in 10-12 sessions, but you can learn more at the link. Interested in the overall removal process? Check out this article on how tattoo removal works. Ready to start your first tattoo removal session? Book a free consultation with Removery today.

Get your free estimate

We’re on a mission to give you the most straightforward, easy and efficient laser tattoo removal experience. Your estimate will be entirely bespoke to your tattoo; the size, the colours, the ink. It won’t take long and afterwards you’ll have a plan to finally get rid of your unwanted tattoo and get back to being you.

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