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How Much Does It Cost to Remove a Tattoo on Average?



Did you make a permanent decision when you were younger to get a tattoo? Are you regretting your choice?

The good news is it might not be as permanent as you think. The cost to remove a tattoo is dependent on a few factors.

Tattoo removal is becoming very common and, as technology advances, so has the process of removing unwanted tattoos. We are going to go over the different options, so you can make an informed decision. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about how to remove a tattoo.

Cost to Remove a Tattoo

Beware, typically the more expensive the tattoo was to get, the more expensive the removal will be. A tattoo removal service by laser has an average price around $450, but based on the factors below, it could cost you thousands of dollars.

 Tattoo Body Placement

Think about when you get a cut or scrap, your body knows something isn’t right so they rush to help. This is how laser tattoo removal works. The white blood cells in your body come to the site and pull the ink away.

This is why the location of your tattoo affects the price. Areas that have less blood circulation typically need more sessions and more time to heal.

Ink and Skin

An all-black ink tattoo will likely need less sessions than a colored tattoo that is the same size. There are specific lasers for colored tattoos, but this will contribute to the tattoo removal price.

Similar to laser hair removal, fairer skin will more than likely be affected quickly. This could seem less session, but it’s not a guarantee.

It’s crucial to inform your technician prior to the removal of any pre-existing skin condition and medication you may be on. The cost to remove a tattoo could be even greater than the price if you don’t share relevant medical history.

Workmanship and Quality

Tattoos that are well done by a more experienced artist tend to be more difficult to remove. A novice artist might not have gotten the ink as deep into the skin as someone with more experience may have. The deeper the ink is, the longer it will take to remove it.

The ink quality also plays a role in the cost to remove a tattoo. High quality ink will need more attention and will be more expensive to remove, so keep that in mind.

Age and Size

Another factor that will demand the price is age. A tattoo that is 20 years old will take less time and heal faster than a fresh tattoo that is only a few years old. A larger tattoo means it’ll take more time to remove it.

Kirby Desai Scale Calculator

The Kirby Desai Scale can help you estimate the number of laser treatments you will need. This does not replace a consolation, but it can give you an idea of how much it’s going to cost and how long it’s going to take. The calculator takes all the factors we discussed and puts them on a scale.

Risk and Recovery

Removing a tattoo by laser is low risk and safe for most people. If you don’t follow post-treatment procedures, it will likely increase the cost. Scarring is not likely, but the chances will increase if you don’t take care of it properly.


This is another option. However, it’s not a popular one. It is more invasive than lasers, and it can be more painful too. It also has a longer recovery time and skin pigmentation is likely to be affected too.

Dermabrasion is not significantly cheaper, it has a range from hundreds to thousands of dollars depending on the tattoo. Although it is an option, it isn’t as effective, and it cost about the same as laser removal.

Surgical Removal

Having your tattoo surgically removed might be an option. It’s typically only for smaller tattoos, as it leaves significant scarring.

One of the more appealing aspects is it’s a one time removal. You don’t have to go 5+ appointments. After the plastic surgeon removes it, that’s it. It can be more affordable than laser, but scarring is a factor as that is unavoidable with this method.

Cosmetic Tattoo Removal

If you previously got your make-up permanently tattooed on and don’t like it or want it removed, you have options too. Cosmetic tattoos use different ink than body art tattoos, which makes it easier and faster to remove. There are different types of cosmetic removal, but the average price ranges from $200 to $500.

Free Tattoo Removal

If you have been previously incarcerated or trafficked, there are programs and non projects that will help you remove  your tattoos free of charge. If you need a tattoo removed to help you secure a better job, if your body art is gang related or whatever your reason may be, there are options to help.

Home Treatments and Cover Ups

Home treatments such as creams are the most affordable, but also not effective. Another affordable option to consider is covering it up with a new tattoo. Keep in mind, overlapping tattoos will make laser removal more difficult in the future if you change your mind after getting the cover up.

Payment Plans and Insurance

Payment plans are all dependent on where you go for your treatment. A lot of places will offer a free consultation, and you can decide then the course of action you want to take regarding your payment.

You probably guessed it, no, insurance does not cover the price of a tattoo removal. It is considered an elective or cosmetic surgery or treatment, so you will have to pay out of pocket.

Time to Invest in Yourself

The cost to remove a tattoo is not cheap, but it is an investment in yourself. If you aren’t happy with your body art, it can affect your self confidence.

There are many different options to help you afford tattoo removal. If you found this article to be informative and helpful, check out our page for more tips and ideas.

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