If you’re thinking about getting a tattoo removed, you must have asked yourself this question at least once. Does laser tattoo removal hurt? And if it does hurt, just what kind of pain are we talking about?
Make no mistake, laser tattoo removal isn’t an enjoyable experience. The laser is red hot and it’s literally cutting into your skin. The good news however is that it’s not actually as painful as most people think.
Have you ever been snapped on the arm with a rubber band? If, yes, then this is a pretty accurate description of what you can expect. It hurts, but not a lot. You might yelp, but you’re certainly not going to start screaming (hopefully).
Another important thing to understand about laser tattoo removal is that it doesn’t last very long. In fact, a single tattoo removal session typically lasts no more than five seconds.
This means that even if you have a very, very low pain threshold, the whole thing is going to be over before you know it.
Still worried? Here are three ways that tattoo removal companies minimize the pain.
First off, we have numbing cream. To be honest with you, it’s not all that effective. It’s applied to the surface of your skin and only numbs the top layer. It has little effect on your skins second layer and unfortunately, that’s where your tattoo is. Despite this fact, it’s used in almost all tattoo removal clinics and can provide minor pain relief.
Next we have lidocaine. Unlike numbing cream, lidocaine can be injected directly into your skins second layer. And unlike numbing cream, it’s highly effective. Most tattoo removal companies provide lidocaine but they tend to charge extra for it.
If you’re worried about tattoo removal pain, a lidocaine injection is well worth paying for. Keep in mind however that some studies have indicated a correlation between lidocaine injections and increased scarring.
Finally, we have ice packs. Don’t let their simplicity fool you, they are incredibly effective at keeping pain at bay. As the laser breaks up your tattoo, it emits heat. And the colder your skin is, the less pain you can expect to experience. Another advantage of ice packs is that after about ten minutes, your skins nerve endings begin to go numb.
Most tattoo removal companies provide ice packs, or icing. Most provide it free of charge.