How Much Does It Cost to Remove a Tattoo?

Upset man with large tattoo
Tattoo regret can happen can happen to anyone – especially once they realize the cost of getting one removed can be much more than the original price of the tattoo.

When you get a tattoo, you’re thinking of forever—or not thinking at all. Whatever the case may be, one thing in life is guaranteed, and that is that we will all be taken in directions we don’t expect. People change. Maybe that tattoo of your girlfriend’s name seemed like an awesome idea once upon a time, or that religious symbol was a commitment along a spiritual path.

But now you’re seeing someone else or you’ve chosen a different path. Waking up every day with a reminder of your past just isn’t acceptable anymore.

What will it cost to get that unwanted reminder removed? Laser tattoo removal cost can actually range quite widely. The price you will pay will depend on a variety of factors:

The size of your tattoo. If for example a plastic surgeon charges $60/square inch, you are going to pay a lot less to remove a small tattoo that is just several square inches than a full set of sleeves. Keep in mind that many plastic surgeons have a set minimum. So even if your tattoo is smaller than the minimum, you can expect to pay that price, whatever it is.

The colors of your tattoo. Black is the easiest color to remove. The most stubborn colors tend to be blue, yellow, and green, so the cost may increase if you need these challenging colors out. Note that the more colors you have, the more sessions you may need, which will up the cost.

The quality of the original job. If the original job was well-done, the ink will have penetrated deeper into the skin with better staying power. These tattoos are harder to remove that those which were applied poorly to begin with.

Layered tattoos cost more to remove. If you have layered new tattoos on top of older ones to try and hide them, the process of removing them will be a lot more extensive and expensive than removing just one layer would be.

So What is a Typical Price Range to Remove a Tattoo?

At the lower end, if you have a very small tattoo you need removed, you may find prices as low as $75, but this is unlikely. Again, most places will set a higher minimum than that. A much more typical minimum price would be around $100 to $200.

This is the cost for a single tattoo removal session. At the upper end, the price for a single session might be as high as $500—or more, depending on how extensive the tattoo is.

Because some tattoos are very extensive, it may take a number of sessions to remove them. If you want to remove something big, you could be looking at 20 sessions. At the upper end, that could mean costs ranging as high as $10,000.

Note that this is just the cost for having your tattoo removed. There may be additional costs that you end up tacking on as well. Getting a tattoo removed can be a great deal more painful than getting one applied. So while you might have been fine getting a tattoo without any anesthetic, you may very well decide to opt for one during the removal process. This can add $50 to each session. You might also need to pay for an anesthetic cream which you can apply to your skin following the treatments.

Video of the Laser Removal Process

Black tatoos are one of the easiest to remove. Here is a short video to demonstrate the process. As you can see from the video, it is a little bit painful, however the process doesn’t take too long to complete each session.

Tips for Finding the Best Price

Here are a few more smart tips to keep in mind while you are shopping around for laser tattoo removal:

  • There are opportunities for discounts if you hunt for them. For example, if you allow a physician-in-training to perform the removal process under a licensed surgeon’s supervision, you may get a lower price. You also can ask for a discount for having more than one tattoo removed in a single session.
  • Keep in mind that not all tattoo removal jobs are perfect. There are colors that react badly to the laser, and which will fade but not go away completely (some may even darken). Sometimes the skin ends up being bleached or scarred by the process as well. Thankfully major blemishes are not all that common; if you have any concerns, ask the surgeon in advance.
  • You cannot remove a tattoo using a lotion! There are a number of different companies out there selling various tattoo removal ointments and creams which are supposed to be the next miracle solution. These products do not work! Think about it. If they did, who would put themselves through the pain and expense of tattoo removal?

At the higher end of the price bracket, getting laser tattoo removal can be quite expensive. But at the lower end, $100 to $300 for a single session really is not bad at all, and you will be happy once you have completed the process. You’ll have a clean slate again. Imagine being able to look in the mirror each day at clear skin!

Visit our NJ tattoo removal business directory to find a specialist near you.