Reasons not to get laser tattoo removal

Written by Sinéad Kennard

Why would you want to remove your tattoo?

Obviously if you’ve had a beautiful tattoo created at the Old Stables Tattoo Studio that you completely love, you’re not going to want to get it removed. BUT. You might have made a commitment to a tattoo previously that you now regret, don’t panic, you are not alone. Maybe your taste has changed and you’ve just grown out of the design, or there’s been a change to your circumstances, where this tattoo no longer represents you. Whatever your reason for considering removal, at The Old Stables Tattoo Studio, we don’t judge you (and we really mean it; whether it’s a tattoo from one of our own artist collective or elsewhere).

Here are some reasons why you may want to reconsider getting your tattoo removed.


I really love constantly reminding my partner about my ex…

Yup, it’s a common reason. So you’ve got a reference to a past love in ink and your current partner just loves seeing their name on an intimate part of your body. Why wouldn’t you want to wind them up just a bit and leave it as a constant reminder of how much that person meant to you. On the other hand what a wonderful gesture to your current partner that you want to erase that past because they mean so much more to you.


I can’t afford laser removal

Well you have to weigh things up here don’t you? How much does that tattoo you want to get rid of, get you down? If it’s a constant reminder of a mistake or poor judgement, how much is it costing you in self esteem and happiness? Getting a tattoo, as you know if you’re reading this, is an expensive hobby. So it’s no surprise that getting a tattoo removed is also a financial commitment. The last thing you want is a botch job. Our  technicians, are fully trained and our equipment is top notch and our pricing reflects this.

Laser tattoo removal requires a number of sessions. So you’re not wrong to consider if you can afford it. At The Old Stables Tattoo Studio we are linked with Kandoo to support you in financing your laser removal, which you can learn about here.

I haven’t got the time

You may be right. A misconception of tattoo laser removal is that it only takes one session but it is not an immediate fix. As tattoo ink is inserted into several layers of your skin, it is not as simple to remove. You need to allow at least 2-3 weeks between your sessions, (your technician will advise you individually). Your skin type, the saturation of your tattoo and your ability to sit well, are all factors that impact how many hours it takes to get your tattoo to fully ‘disappear’.

There’s no 100% guarantee…

The reason we have put ‘disappear’ in inverted commas is that the appearance of your tattoo may not completely vanish. Again, this is determined by the tattoo you are looking to remove. Along with your skin type and how well you follow the aftercare instructions. Some clients see their skin return to normal and any remnants of a tattoo in that area are unnoticeable. Others may find there are blemishes remaining that, regardless of the number of sessions attended, do not disappear. Above all, poor aftercare or going to the wrong technician who is not qualified can cause scarring.

Are you up to the pain?

Tattoos and pain are synonymous with each other. Pain unfortunately extends itself to tattoo laser removal. It works by the laser breaking down the ink into tiny fragments which are eventually absorbed in the bloodstream. But as tattoos are designed to be permanent, this of course is not an easy process. The pain from laser removal is different to the cat scratch sensation of a tattoo. Of course each individual has a different pain threshold, pain is subjective and the placement of your tattoo may also affect your body’s sensitivity to the laser.

The most common description of tattoo laser removal is like a burning feeling as the laser is heating the tattoo ink so that it can break down. The pulsing of the laser machine can also feel like a rubber band pinging on the surface of your skin. We really recommend booking in for a consultation with either of our tattoo laser technicians if you are concerned about the pain of the treatment.

What if you regret your decision, again?

Removing a tattoo that has aged badly or one that has a design you no longer resonate with can be a brilliant opportunity to have a clean slate which you may choose to keep clean or refill with something new.

Whilst it is an obvious statement to make it is worth repeating; tattoo laser removal is not a reversible decision. Whether you have no strong convictions for removing a tattoo, do not have an abundance of time or money right now, or keep changing your mind; it is worth waiting until you feel strongly about your choice.

It may not work on your skin…

It is important to set realistic expectations when getting tattoo laser removal. There are several factors that you cannot control or predict. Sometimes your body may just not respond well to laser and blisters can form.

It is also worth discussing any skin related concerns you have with your technician in a consultation. Colour ink especially on darker skin tones can be harder to remove. Your own health and immune system will affect how your body responds to laser removal too.

Aftercare advice…

For 72 hours after laser removal you need to keep the dressings on and you cannot submerge that area of your body in water. In total it can take roughly 2-3 weeks for your skin to fully heal. Whilst side affects are uncommon, it is natural for your skin to feel a bit itchy after treatment. It is important to avoid the temptation to scratch it and let your skin heal naturally.

Similarly to tattoo aftercare, scabbing is rare but can happen and should go away after a few days. Redness is more common, especially if you have sensitive skin, and again should calm down after a few days. It is very unlikely that you will get blisters, but if you do, you should not pop these and should let them subside on their own.

We recommend talking to your technician about the best aftercare treatment. We also suggest getting enough sleep, staying hydrated, eating a balanced diet and moisturising your skin because investing in your health will allow you to see quicker results in your aftercare.

Know that whatever point of the decision making process you are at, you can always contact us and we can hopefully provide you with all the answers you need.

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