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After a long winter, Chicago residents are desperately awaiting beach season. That likely has many of you thinking about getting your beach bodies ready. Trimming, toning and tanning are probably high on the priority list. With 1 in 5 people with a tattoo regretting their ink, tattoo removal is likely to be high on the list too. Clients at our Chicago tattoo removal clinic often have questions on how quickly to expect fading and the risks associated with sun exposure. Here’s what you need to know:

Tattoo Removal & The Sun

Your skin should be fully healthy while undergoing treatment. So a strong, active tan or sunburn in the treatment area is not advisable prior to having a treatment. A mild tan is okay.

During laser tattoo removal, your skin absorbs energy and needs time to heal. Compounding the heat of the sun will increase the risks of side effects. These include blistering, scarring, and infection. Your skin will be more susceptible to burning after a laser tattoo removal treatment. You also may not be aware of the sensitivity while you’re in the sun and may not notice discomfort until after the damage has been done.

We advise clients to keep the treatment area shielded from the sun for two weeks before treatment and two weeks after treatment. Always be sure to use SPF 25 and higher when the tattoo is exposed. The good news is that treatments are spaced every 4-6 weeks – so you do have a window to enjoy the summer sun. As long as you keep the treatment area covered while in the sun, you’re free to enjoy the summer rays.

Tattoo Removal, Tanning Beds, & Sunless Tanning

Tanning beds and sunless tanning should be avoided in the treatment area before and after tattoo removal. Covering the treatment area during these sessions is an easy solution.

Tattoo Removal Progress: How Quickly Can You Expect Results

Speed of results vary widely from person to person as there are many factors involved in tattoo removal. Typically tattoos fade the most around sessions three and four. This is when there is still a fair amount of ink in the skin and the laser settings are stronger and have had a chance to break down the ink pigment. For faster results, exercising, drinking lots of water, and not smoking are three things you can do to help expedite the process.

If you’re anxious to get the tattoo removed quickly in time for beach season, the sooner you start, the better. Taking a break from treatments also is an option as there is no adverse impact of spacing treatments out longer than the minimum wait time of 4 weeks between treatments.

If you have more questions you can email us at or schedule a free consultation here. We’re happy to help.