The tattoo removal process is a complex procedure, and the time it takes to fully remove a tattoo can depend on several factors. YAG Laser tattoo removal equipment can take anywhere from one minute to an hour. The color, type, size,and location of your tattoo will determine how long the removal process takes. Some tattoos will need more than one session to complete the removal.
Certain colors may take longer to remove. This is because different colors require certain wavelengths for removal. Generally, the colors that are easiest to remove are black, brown, green, and dark blue. Colors like red, orange, pale blue, and yellow are a lot more difficult to remove, and thus take longer.
Tribal designs and other very dark tattoos will usually take longer to remove because they absorb more heat than other tattoos and this may result in inflammation and swelling. Lighter tattoos are typically much easier to remove, as less blistering and natural swelling occurs.
The size of your tattoo is a big determining factor in the time it takes for removal. Larger tattoos will obviously take much longer to remove than very small tattoos. Extra small tattoos can take anywhere from 1 to 2 minutes, while an extra large tattoo may take up to 60 minutes. Extra time will need to be added to factor in the time it takes to cool and cleanse the area, as well as apply dressing.
Because laser tattoo removal causes some swelling and pain, it is often necessary to divide tattoos into smaller portions for removal. Extra large tattoos may need to be split into 4 or 5 sessions. Tattoos that cover the entire back can take up to 8 treatments to fully remove.
Certain areas of the body are much more sensitive to the laser removal process. Tattoos that take up a large portion of the body or tattoos in sensitive spots will usually need to be split into multiple treatments.
Overall, the time to remove tattoos depends on several factors. A small butterfly tattoo on the ankle apparently takes less time to remove the entire back tribal tattoo. The level of pain tolerance of an individual may also be a determinant factor in how long the procedure takes.