Tattoos are permanent marks on your body that probably carry many memories. However, in some cases, it could happen that a tattoo either does not turn out to be the way you had expected it to, or perhaps doesn’t carry the same meaning as it did to you all those years ago when you decided to get it.
There could also be a simple reason for wanting to upgrade the design by going to a better tattoo parlor. Whatever your reason is to get rid of your tattoo or tattoos, there exist many methods to make that happen.
If you’re wondering how common tattoo removal is, let us tell you that it’s more common than you think. A survey from 2021 stated that almost 12% of Americans wish to remove at least one of their tattoos.
Globally, $478 million was spent on tattoo removal procedures in the year 2019, and research suggests that this number will go up to $800 million by the year 2027. Therefore, no matter how much they cost, tattoo removal is surely common all over the world.
In case you’re pondering upon how much does it cost to remove a tattoo, you have come to the right place. In this article, we will discuss how much tattoo removal costs, the different methods of tattoo removal, the factors affecting the cost of this process, and more.
Cost of Tattoo Removal
The question of how much does it cost to remove a tattoo doesn’t have a simple, straight answer because there are various factors to be taken into consideration. This includes the type of tattoo removal procedure you opt for, how big your tattoo is, and so on.
On average, however, it could cost you about $3,500 if you’re going for laser tattoo removal, with the prices being higher or lower depending on where you get it done. Research does suggest that if your tattoo is quite elaborate and detailed, then it will cost you anywhere near $4,000 or more to get it removed.
Different Types of Tattoo Removal Procedures
In addition to knowing how much it costs to remove a tattoo, it is also important to know about the different types of tattoo removal procedures. Some of them are as follows:
Laser is the most common way to remove a tattoo in the current world. When you get a tattoo, there exist innumerable tattoo ink particles that are suspended in your skin. While your immune system is capable of removing the tiny foreign particles from your skin, the particles related to your tattoo ink are too big, which is why they are considered permanent, and it’s only with the use of a laser can they be broken down into smaller particles and extracted by the immune system.
By employing highly concentrated light waves, laser removal surgeries target the ink particles, thereby heating them up and leading them to fragment into minute particles. A single session is not enough to get rid of your tattoo through laser treatment.
Multiple laser sessions are required depending on various factors of the tattoo, including the size and design. If you have a colored tattoo, it could be harder to get rid of, and the colors may not completely fade away.
A gap of six weeks is recommended between each session so that the wounds can heal efficiently and the ink can be absorbed by the body.
Skin numbing medications are often used to deal with the procedure of tattoo removal, making it easier for one to handle them. There is an open wound at the end of a laser removal surgery that requires appropriate aftercare.
This includes cleaning the wound with water and soap every day, applying the ointment given to you by a medical professional, and keeping the dressing on till the wound is healed, which takes about five days from the day you get the laser tattoo removal done.
Dermabrasion is yet another method to get a tattoo removed. In this surgical method, a medical grinding tool is employed to get rid of your skin’s outer layers, which entails removing the skin layers that contain the tattoo’s ink particles, which in turn removes the tattoo. Dermabrasion is one of the more painful tattoo removal procedures and usually requires anesthesia.
Much like laser tattoo removal, dermabrasion leads to a wound being opened up, which calls for proper aftercare. A similar ritual of washing it regularly with soap and water can be followed, along with the necessary ointment and keeping the wound covered up till it is completely healed.
As opposed to a laser procedure, the wounds from dermabrasion take slightly longer to heal, which could be anywhere between 10 to 14 days. You should know that this method can often cause scarring, and hence it’s imperative to get it done by a trained and experienced medical professional.
Surgical removal or surgical excision is another method to remove a tattoo. In this method, the part of the skin that contains the tattoo is surgically removed, and the skin surrounding this area is surgically closed. Evidently, this procedure is mainly suitable for smaller tattoos, as it would be quite inconvenient to remove a bigger tattoo this way.
Based on the size of your tattoo, a surgical excision could require you to get regional, local, or general anesthesia. Naturally, a scar is left post such a surgical procedure.
After getting your tattoo surgically removed, keep the bandage on for the next 48 hours, post which you can clean the area with water and soap. The wound can be covered for one week post your surgery with a dressing.
A chemical peel, or trichloroacetic acid (TCA) peel as it’s known by in the medical community, is when a mild acid is used to peel the out layers of your skin, removing the tattoo in the process.
You don’t require anesthesia while getting a chemical peel. Much like other procedures, a chemical peel causes a wound that can be handled using water, soap, ointments, and a proper dressing. A wound from a chemical peel heals within 5 to 7 days.
Factors Affecting the Cost of Tattoo Removal
It’s not easy to determine the cost of one’s tattoo removal procedure because various factors are involved in coming to an answer to that query. Many factors need to be taken into account before you can have a number presented in front of you, such as the technology used for the tattoo removal procedure, how old your tattoo is, the number of sessions that went into the given procedure, and so on.
So, before you think of how much your tattoo removal is going to cost you, let’s take a look at the minor and major factors that determine and affect the total monetary amount.
Size And Color
Did you know that the color of your tattoo can majorly affect how easy it would be to remove? Yes, this indeed is true. Turquoise happens to be the toughest color to remove as the laser that can remove it properly is not available in most clinics.
Dark green, dark blue, brown, and black are easier colors to get rid of. Some of the colors that can be really difficult to remove are the lighter shades, such as yellow, orange, light green, and light blue.
As opposed to colored tattoos, black tattoos or traditional-colored tattoos are much easier to remove since they tend to absorb the wavelengths of the emitted lasers easily. When a tattoo has various colors involved, they call for lasers of different wavelengths to be used.
Based on the wavelength a given pigment can absorb, the removal of a tattoo could become complicated. Although you might think that lighter colors would fade off quicker than the darker ones, that actually isn’t the case at all.
Some clinics don’t always have the required technology to effectively remove colors such as purple, green, and blue. This is why it’s imperative that you choose a clinic with all the updated equipment and technology to properly remove your tattoo, even if it’s a colored one. The recent advancements in technology have surely made this easier.
Along with the color of your tattoo, the size of your tattoo also helps in determining how much it would cost you to remove it. The bigger your tattoo, the more it will cost you to get rid of it. The height and width of your tattoo are measured first, and the cost is calculated on a square inch basis, usually.
Ink Quality and Age
The age of your tattoo is a strong factor when it comes to an understanding of how easy it will be to remove. The strength of a tattoo’s pigment fades with time, which is why the older the tattoo, the easier it is to remove. A new tattoo, however, is brighter and bolder in comparison, thereby requiring multiple sessions for the pigment to break down, which in turn adds to the cost of tattoo removal.
Another associated factor that could alter the cost of your tattoo is the quality of the ink used for your tattoo. As opposed to low-quality ink that can be removed much more quickly, high-quality ink lasts longer on your skin, which is why it’s tougher to remove them and get them off your skin.
An interesting fact to note here is that your immune system plays a role in determining how affordable or expensive your tattoo removal process will be. If you have a strong immune system, the ink will fade away sooner as you go through the treatments, thereby lowering the cost of removing your tattoo.
There are certain areas of your body where a tattoo could last longer, which is why the location of your tattoo is another crucial factor that comes under this category that aids in determining the total expenditure.
Certain areas have more blood flow owing to being located closer to the heart, which helps in simplifying the tattoo removal process. Legs, lower arms, feet, and hands are the areas where it takes longer to remove a tattoo as they don’t receive a lot of blood flow as compared to some other areas.
Removing a tattoo is indeed a big decision to make, but the procedure doesn’t have to be painful or arduous. All you need is the right information to decide which path you’d want to take, which is why we wanted to give you a detailed breakdown of the factors you need to know about.
Now that you have the answer to how much it costs to get a tattoo removed, you can make an informed decision and take your pick from the different procedures based on what suits your needs and requirements.