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CostHelper > Health & Personal Care  > Personal Care & Body Art > Tattoo Removal

Tattoo Removal Cost

How Much Does Tattoo Removal Cost?

average costTypical: $200-$500 per sessionhigh costHigh: Up to $10,000
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  Typical costs:
  • Tattoos can be removed using several different methods: laser removal, excision or dermabrasion, and the cost varies for each technique. Laser tattoo removal, which is the most common method, and usually the best, ranges from $200 to $500 per session. Because it can take from five to twenty sessions to remove a tattoo, the total cost could reach $10,000.
Related articles: Tattoo, Mole Removal

What should be included:
  • In laser tattoo removal, the surgeon uses a high-intensity laser beam to blast the pigment, breaking it into tiny particles that dissipate into the body. Different types of lasers target different colors, so the bigger and more colorful a tattoo, the more treatments it will likely require. In dermabrasion, the doctor uses a rotating brush to sand the skin, taking the pigment with it.
  • With excision, usually used for very small tattoos, the surgeon cuts away the tattoo, then stitches up the wound. The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery provides an overview of each method.
Additional costs:
  • Some patients find laser tattoo removal painful - it has been compared to being splattered with hot grease - so some elect to have a local anesthetic. This might costs extra - about $50 or more per shot. The surgeon might also prescribe an anesthetic cream to be applied after the treatment.
  • Tip: You might be able to get a discount if you have your tattoo removal performed by a physician-in-training, under the supervision of a licensed surgeon; contact the department of dermatology at your local medical school to see if this is an option. Or, if you are planning to have multiple tattoos removed, ask about a reduced fee for having both treated in a single visit.
Shopping for tattoo removal:
  • Tip: Beware of companies that sell creams and lotions that promise to remove tattoos - experts agree these do not work. Instead, find a dermatologic surgeon who is experienced in tattoo removal and has been certified by the American Board of Dermatology. The American Society of Dermatologic Surgery[1] offers a free physician finder service. Just type in your state and choose "tattoo removal" under procedure.
  • Tip: Keep in mind that if you opt for laser tattoo removal, the number of sessions needed will depend on several factors, including the size of the tattoo, the number of colors used, which colors were used, and whether you have previously tried to mask your tattoo by getting another tattoo on top of it. Some colors, such as turquoise and yellow, are particularly difficult to remove; and in some cases, the tattoo can only be faded, but not fully removed. And, rarely, some ink colors react badly to the laser, turning dark instead of disappearing; this is irreversible. Other possible side effects include scarring and bleaching of the skin. The Tattoo Removal Laser Clinic[2] offers some before-and-after photos of successful tattoo removals.
Material on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Always consult your physician or pharmacist regarding medications or medical procedures.
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
I have all out line tattoos...
Amount: $70.00
Posted by: The dude in Fresno, CA.Posted: December 5th, 2012 11:12PM
Tattoo Description: Scape goat it\\\'s 3x3
How much would this cost to get it removed
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Amount: $2,400.00
Posted by: a user in western, MA.Posted: November 27th, 2012 08:11PM
Tattoo Description: huge
look. this site is bugged out.i went to a removal center to get my horrible tattoo removed and they told me it would be an estimated 2400 to be removed. my tattoo is about 12x6.
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Tattoo removal
Amount: $1,800.00
Posted by: staceylynn in baltimore, MD.Posted: May 16th, 2012 01:05PM
Tattoo Description: barbwire on arm
Had 9 laser treatments so far over the course of a couple years due to cost. It is lighter but still there, now considering surgical removal.
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Want to get a tattoo removed
Amount: $20.00
Posted by: Pfannenstiel in Grantsboro, NC.Posted: July 7th, 2011 11:07PM
Tattoo Description: Chinese Symbol
I want to get my tattoo removed on my chest, but I don't know how much it would cost. It's about a 2 X 2 Chinese symbol.
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tattoo removal
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: antonia vultaggio in chesterfield twp, MI.Posted: March 4th, 2010 08:03AM
Tattoo Description: I have stars going down my neck that i n
im only a single teenager living on my own and i dont have alot of money i got this tattoo for free when i got it down and i need to get rid of it. please help me =[
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Excision Tattoo removal
Amount: $750.00
Posted by: MeatPlow McGill in Denver, CO.Posted: February 12th, 2010 01:02AM
Tattoo Description: Tribal that ran from back up onto my nec
I recently had seven inches long and one inch wide of a tribal tattoo removed from my neck. I wish I had a option to upload a picture but it wont allow me. I priced everywhere the laser tattoo places quoted over $7000.00 and said it would take almost two years. I said forget that and went this route I had assesment appointment wich cost 30.00 and two weeks later they cut it out it took approximately one and a half hours. So to some it up 90% cheaper and two years faster I have a little scar but oh well. I hope this helps cause I couldnt find any info.
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laser tattoo removal
Amount: $920.00
Posted by: a user in Baltimore, MD.Posted: June 6th, 2009 04:06PM
Tattoo Description: small purple flower on wrist
I've spent a total of $920 for 6 laser tattoo removal sessions. I have only had my first one and it wasn't bad at all. They numb the area with a lidocaine so you don't feel much pain at all. The healing part is a bit more painful and aggravating though.
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