After successfully completing 18,000 tattoo removal treatments we’ve learned a thing or two about what makes for the best results. The age of a tattoo, contrary to what you might expect, doesn’t really influence the process.
Brand new tattoos - so long as they are fully healed - can be removed as easily as tatts you’ve had for 20 years.
So the answer is yes, you can remove a 20-year-old tattoo with laser tattoo removal technology. But here’s where NAAMA comes in. The safest and fastest laser is available only at our studio.
What does the data show?
A graph of removal progress over the first eight sessions divides clients into three groups, those with tattoos that are 1-5 years old, 6-10 years old, and those with tattoos that are over ten years old.
The curve gradually rises up, with minimal difference between the three groups.
“If anything,” Ben, Data Analyst at NAAMA says after analyzing the numbers, “older tattoos seem to have slightly better progress.”
Overall there is minimal difference between the three categories in terms of percentage removal measured at each of the eight treatments.
On average tattoo removal takes 8-12 sessions with roughly 10% of the tattoo clearing each time.
There are three main factors that impact how long it takes: the size and color of the tattoo; the laser used; and the health of the immune system.
Reasons to remove an old tattoo
What are the reasons why people remove an old tattoo?
Over time, people's tastes and preferences evolve. A tattoo that once held sentimental value may no longer align with their current aesthetic or lifestyle.
Some professions have strict appearance guidelines. A person might choose to remove a visible tattoo to enhance their professional opportunities or comply with workplace policies.
Tattoos can fade or blur over time due to sun exposure, aging, or poor quality ink. If the original design is no longer clear or aesthetically pleasing, someone might opt for removal.
Tattoos related to past relationships can become painful reminders after a breakup or divorce. Removing the tattoo can symbolize moving on and starting fresh.
Significant life events or personal growth may prompt a desire for a fresh start. Removing an old tattoo can be a symbolic way to mark a new chapter in life.
Tattoos that were once trendy or tied to a specific cultural movement may lose their significance over time. As trends change, some may choose to remove a tattoo that no longer resonates with them.
As individuals grow and change, their perspectives and values may shift. Removing a tattoo can be a physical representation of a person's evolution and the shedding of past identities or beliefs.
“I can’t really even put my finger on how long I’ve had it. It has to be at least 35 years.”
Sally came to NAAMA with a story about lost relationships and new beginnings. “Over the years, every time I saw the tattoo, it reminded me of a lot of heartbreak… I don’t want the tattoo anymore.”
So how does it feel to remove a tattoo that is 35-years old?
“It's been very easy, very quick, very clean.”
“It's been a while since my last visit, but my skin now is in the best place to have its next load of treatments. I know that slow and steady wins the race. It always does. Being impatient is a very human thing to do, but patience is key. We should all have more patience and be less afraid.”
After 18,000 successful treatments we have the data to answer a lot of the most frequently asked tattoo removal questions. We have created a tattoo removal quiz especially to provide estimates of how well your tattoo will clear. So if you want to know how long it will take, why not have a go?
For trends in breakthrough laser tattoo removal technology, here are NAAMA's top FAQs.