How does laser tattoo removal work?

It’s a process. But the results are worth it. 

Successful tattoo removal relies partly on our LightSense™ laser, partly your body. We need both to work in harmony to clear those pesky ink particles.

You don’t need to be a laser expert (that’s our job) but it can be helpful to know a little about the process. What makes a tattoo permanent? And what does laser tattoo removal actually involve? Let the science lesson begin…

How laser tattoo removal works

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When you get a tattoo, the ink is deposited less than 1mm into the dermis (the middle layer of your skin). White blood cells called ‘macrophages’ see the tattoo as a foreign body and try to remove it, but the ink particles are too big. Instead, the macrophages encase the ink and trap it in the dermis. Your tattoo is now permanent!

Laser tattoo removal directs energy into the skin to break down the chemical bonds inside the ink pigment. This fractures the ink into tiny particles through a combination of photothermal (heat) and photoacoustic (light) ablation. These ultra-small ink particles can now be absorbed by new macrophages and naturally clear through your lymphatic system. 

The process is repeated until all the ink is removed. It takes an average of 8-12 sessions to fully clear a tattoo. 

It’s a clever system. And it works.

How long does laser tattoo removal take?

The LightSense™ laser system reduces downtime between sessions and NAAMA clients can have treatment as often as every 2-3 weeks, depending on your individual protocol. It means your tattoo can be removed in months, not years. Three factors determine how long removal might take: the tattoo itself; your health and lifestyle; and your bespoke treatment plan.

Tattoo style

Balanced lifestyle

Personal treatment plan

Nobody has the exact same tattoo as you. The depth, density, color, and type of ink make each tattoo unique, and all influence treatment length. 

The location of your tattoo can also have an effect, with tattoos closer to the heart often removing faster due to better circulation. 

Take our quick, data-backed quiz to see how long your tattoo might take to remove.

Strong immune systems are more efficient at flushing away ink particles. Optimise your results with a healthy diet and lifestyle.


Help your lymphatic system flow faster by drinking lots of water.

Healthy diet:

Being well-rested and eating a balanced diet will lead to the best results. Unsurprisingly, smoking and excessive alcohol consumption may slow the process.

Your tattoo is as unique as you are. That's why the most effective removal results are achieved through personalised treatment plans.

Our expert consultants will assess your tattoo, lifestyle and removal goals, and follow up with a bespoke aftercare protocol to follow between treatments.

What happens in a tattoo removal appointment?

It’s ok to feel a little apprehensive about starting laser tattoo removal. You don’t know what to expect - but we do, and we’re here to help. 

After checking you in, our front of house team will show you to a seat and offer a drink (the immune-boosting shots and craft coffees are our favourites). 

We love a before and after photo, so you’ll receive regular imaging by our photographer throughout your tattoo removal journey. These photos are incredibly satisfying for both you and us, we use them to track your progress and are a reminder of how far you’ve come. 

In the treatment room, your consultant will talk through the process and create your bespoke treatment plan. We use a Zimmer machine to actively cool and desensitise the skin during laser treatment, and your consultant will talk you through the session so you always know what to expect. 

Once the treatment is complete and aftercare has been discussed, your consultant will take you back to reception where we will book your next appointment. You’ll also receive an aftercare card with our key tips for looking after your skin in the days following treatment.

How many sessions to remove my tattoo?

No, after 27,000 successful treatments we can confidently answer.

Our low-energy LightSense™ laser is designed to be incredibly gentle on the skin (without compromising on results) and safe for all skin types

Yes, we are able to completely remove tattoos. There are three factors that determine the efficacy of tattoo removal: the tattoo, the tech, and your lifestyle.  

Read more about these here. To see the best results, we recommend booking a 1-1 tattoo assessment with our consultants.

We can remove most tattoos of all sizes, ink colours and designs, as well as permanent makeup and cosmetic tattoos. We’ll create a bespoke treatment plan to achieve the results you’re looking for.

There are however limitations on treating colour ink tattoos on Fitzpatrick 4-6 skin types.

Yes, we can successfully fade tattoos for cover-ups and we do partial removals as well. We usually recommend five sessions for tattoo fade, though this can vary between different tattoo styles, colours, and designs.

Read more about lightening a tattoo here

On average it takes 8-12 sessions to completely remove a tattoo and 3-5 sessions to remove permanent makeup, treating as often as every 2-3 weeks. 

Following our expert guidance - for example by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, ensuring you read our safe sun exposure guidelines, and applying aftercare creams - will help speed up your removal results. NAAMA Plus will supercharge your removal. 

Unfortunately, no - maybe one day! For now, tattoo removal is a process that takes multiple sessions to complete (8-12 on average).

However, one of the great things about our pioneering technology is that clients are able to come in for treatment more frequently. This means we see tattoo removal in months, rather than years.

Speak to us today to see how many sessions might be needed for your tattoo.