Tattoo Pain vs Laser Tattoo Removal Pain

Tattoos and the possibility of pain is one of the biggest questions people have before getting inked. You found an artist you like, a design you love, and now you’re concerned about the pain factor.

While everyone’s experience with getting a tattoo differs, some generalizations can be made when exploring the least and most painful locations for a tattoo. Factors like size and style (whether there is much shading or not) will also impact the level of pain you may experience.

Thinking about tattoo pain, you might also consider what the experience would be like to get your tattoo removed or even faded for a cover-up. There are some similarities between these experiences, but they also have their differences.

There are many reasons why people get their tattoos removed, but one of the biggest reasons people avoid it is because they believe the laser tattoo removal process is painful.

However, it’s very similar to getting a tattoo — the location of the tattoo will largely affect the potential for pain. The MEDermis Laser Clinic team has combined experience of over 30 years in laser tattoo removal, and a big part of our training is about pain management.

So, Does Laser Tattoo Removal Hurt?

The answer to that question is relative. Like hot sauce, the level of pain depends on your personal pain tolerance. Many clients compare tattoo removal pain to a rubber band snapping on their skin. Given that you have already had the experience of being tattooed, you can probably handle the minimal discomfort. It might be reassuring to know, however, that MEDermis Laser Clinic uses a special numbing technique that is unique to our clinic.

Our priority is to make you as comfortable as possible, so before, during, and after the procedure, the technician will use the Cryo5 chilling device to blow very cold air on the area and numb it. In addition, this technique always preps the surface of the skin for the laser so that you can get the best results with minimal pain.

The overall sensation varies from person to person, but there are a few things we’ve noticed over the years.

  • If you don’t experience pain getting a tattoo, you likely won’t experience pain in the removal process.
  • Women tend to have more tolerable experiences with laser removal and handle the treatments better than men.
  • We work with every patient and will stop immediately if they need a break.

With this in mind, it’s important to remember that tattoo placement will play a huge role in your removal process.

Areas with a lot of nerve endings are going to be sensitive, this includes:

  • hands/wrists
  • feet/ankles
  • the length of the spine
  • rib cage area
  • face
  • underside of bicep
medermis laser tattoo removal in 2 treatments
Results after 2 laser treatments with MEDermis Laser Clinic

We are straightforward with our clients and we will give you all of the facts before starting the removal process. The laser treatment takes a fraction of the time of getting a tattoo, per session, and we numb the area beforehand, making the removal easier than getting the tattoo.

Also, the tattoo gun actually dissects the skin to apply the ink, whereas the laser does not cut or burn the skin. The laser simply attracts the ink and fragments it. This fragmenting is what the individual feels and we’ll work hard to make you as comfortable as possible throughout the treatment.

The Most and Least Painful Spots for Tattoo Removal

Before looking at specific body parts, let’s review some of the factors that can affect if a tattoo will be painful or not. Apart from your personal threshold for pain, these factors will impact how getting a tattoo feels:

  • Skin sensitivity
  • Endorphins
  • Amount of shading
  • Experience (if you’ve gotten tattoos before or not)

These are just a few factors that are worth considering as you decide whether to get your new ink. It’s also important to keep in mind that your reaction could change throughout the process depending on what’s being done and where it’s placed.

Now that we have the basics covered, let’s get into the specifics of tattoo placements and pain.

The Most Painful Places to Tattoo

Let’s go ahead and get the worst out of the way. Here are some of the most painful areas on your body to get a tattoo. Pain in the following areas is generally high to severe because they are close to bones without much fat, have many nerve endings, and/or thinner skin.

  • Rib cage
  • Feet/ankles
  • Shins
  • Head/face/ears
  • Groin
  • Hands/fingers
  • Inner bicep
before and after results of laser tattoo removal of black anklet and geometric tattoos
Results after 10 laser treatments with MEDermis Laser Clinic

The Least Painful Places to Tattoo

While the list above may seem quite long, the good news is that there are still plenty of other areas that are much lower on the pain scale when getting inked. If you know that you don’t have a high tolerance for pain it may be worth considering one of the following placements:

  • Forearm
  • Outer bicep/shoulder
  • Calves
  • Upper and lower back
results of laser tattoo removal of lower back black tattoo of two birds
Results after 11 laser treatments with MEDermis Laser Clinic

What to Consider Before Laser Tattoo Removal

When you’re finally ready to take the plunge with tattoo removal, consider these details to avoid any unwanted surprises:

  • Professional level: Don’t be fooled by a generalist that claims they can adequately remove your tattoos. Specialists have a broader scope of experience, are certified and have the best technology available. A generalist is typically less experienced and likely using a non-specific laser, which will have increased costs and risks.
  • Timing: Don’t think your removal will only take a few sessions. At MEDermis Laser Clinic we can typically remove your tattoo in three to seven sessions, with each lasting 15 to 30 minutes. However, the sessions are spaced six to eight weeks apart, which can span several months to over a year.
  • Color: Depending on the colors used in your tattoo, you may need additional sessions in order to completely remove your tattoo. Greens, light blues, and yellows are typically more difficult to remove – even with advanced technology – as they are more challenging for the lasers to identify. Darker colors, like black and dark blue, are much easier to remove as the laser is more adept at identifying them.
  • Cost: Tattoo laser removal is not the most inexpensive solution for removing tattoos, but remember that it is the safest. At MEDermis Laser Clinic, our sessions start at $49. We also offer a financing solution so that you can make payments over time.
  • Degree: Contrary to common knowledge, a laser does not have to completely remove your old tattoo. If you still enjoy tattoos but dislike your old one, you can have the ink faded enough that a tattoo artist can apply a new tattoo over the old space.

Call the Tattoo Removal Specialists Today!

With 12 years of experience and groundbreaking techniques, the professionals at MEDermis Laser Clinic can provide laser tattoo removal with minimal discomfort and excellent results. Using lasers to target the specific coloration and thickness of the tattoo, they can bring the skin back to a very natural tone and texture. The discomfort of tattoo removal is minimal compared to the clear skin you will have after placing yourself in the capable hands of the staff at MEDermis Laser Clinic.

We have office locations in San Antonio and Austin, TX so that we can help you no matter where you live. Our specialists have removed nearly 300,000 tattoos using only the most advanced and safest laser technology available. And if we can’t remove your tattoo in the estimated sessions we provide at your free consultation, then we guarantee we’ll continue removing the tattoo at no additional cost to you for up to a full year. Speak to one of our specialists today by calling 512-637-5277 (Austin) or 210-402-4030 (San Antonio), or fill out our online consultation form.