How soon after a new tattoo can you start laser tattoo removal?

If you hate your new tattoo, “The adult human skin cycle dictates when a laser procedure can start. If you start too soon after tattoo placement you run the risk of increased adverse events including prolonged ink retention and scarring. A minimum of six weeks is necessary but we usually err on the side of caution and have patients wait seven, eight or more…”   (Dr. William Kirby)

 We cannot treat a tattoo until it is completely healed. This may take 6-8 weeks after it has been applied.

Your skin, safety and comfort are our number one priorities. We definitely don’t want to harm your skin with a laser on top of a fresh tattoo. We want to remove your tattoo/s safely. Most tattoos take between five to twelve treatments for complete removal. Tattoo removal is a lengthy process, there is a time commitment involved and the tattoo cannot be gone in a few hours as it was applied.

What happens to a tattoo after it is placed in the skin?

The tattoo process begins by damaging the epidermis (the top layer of skin) to allow for the ink to be injected into the dermis (the second layer of skin) with a tattoo gun. The skin is punctured between 50-3000 times per minute. The ink particles are embedded in a protein envelope which surrounds each of the cells that contain tattoo ink. This is where your body comes to the rescue.


Firstly, your body’s immune systems has to stop the bleeding; this is what causes the swelling after getting tattooed.  Then your lymphatic system removes any remaining ink using ‘big eater’ cells.  New tissue begins to form around the ink and permanently contains it in the dermis layer of your skin. Any remaining ink in the epidermal layer is removed as the tattoo crusts over and heals. This cycle of healing and ink entrapment is a process that takes 6-8 weeks.  After this time, the tattoo will have settled into the dermis and can remain there for a lifetime.

tattoo ink placement


If the laser tattoo removal process is commenced before your tattoo ink is settled into the dermis you are likely to experience some adverse reactions and discomfort. Some of these are:

  1. Blister – Blistering can often occur after any laser tattoo removal treatment, especially on red ink, and is a completely normal part of your treatment. However, blistering as a result of laser tattoo removal on a new tattoo is due to the ink particles still in the epidermal layer, that have not settled in the dermal layer yet.
  2. Scar – Scars may occur when a tattoo has not healed properly. When the body is tattooed and undergoes ‘trauma’ it needs time to heal properly. If you have a cut that doesn’t heal properly because it is constantly getting picked at, it most likely will develop a scar, this is the same with tattoos.  Tattoos should always be allowed to heal properly before anything else is done to that area of skin. We understand it can be difficult when you have a new tattoo that you want gone, but please be patient.
  3. Take longer to remove -
 The number of treatments you require to remove your tattoo is dependent on many factors. Treating a new tattoo too soon can require more treatments, which means more cost to you. By allowing your tattoo to heal and settle into the dermis you will save yourself money! New professional tattoos do not respond to treatment as quickly as older tattoos.

Laser removal treatment on new tattoos is safe and successful removal is possible. Rethink Laser Tattoo Removal suggests you wait a minimum of six weeks to avoid any unnecessary risks that could cause you future issues. At Rethink we have the best equipment and experience, make sure your laser tattoo removal is done right.

Rethink Laser Tattoo Removal offers free consultations, so come in and see us as soon after your regretted tattoo as you’d like. We can go over the entire procedure and pricing, set the dates for removal treatments and discuss any concerns or queries you may have. Then, when the time is right, we would be more than happy to get you started on your journey!