Are you regretting your ink? Or maybe you want to change the design for something better? If so you’ll probably be asking how much does laser tattoo removal cost?
The quick answer is – it costs a lot more than having the tattoo done in the first place! That’s because the process takes many many sessions spaced over months and possibly even years.
HOW MUCH DOES LASER TATTOO REMOVAL COST?
The first thing to say is that the price depends on the size of the tattoo – as this determines the length of time it will take to laser it. Here are some examples for a Q switched laser treatment.
- A very small tattoo of 1-2 inches – like a golf ball or smaller, may cost £30-50 per session.
- A tattoo of 3 inches – like the size of a tennis ball, may cost you from £40-£80 per session, depending on your area.
- A medium tattoo – like two tennis balls will be around £70-100.
- Half a sleeve will be more like £140-£200.
If your tattoo is a professional tattoo (not administered by you sticking a needle or compass in yourself) then it will take multiple sessions. Expect at least 5 sessions – but it could take 10 or even more. I’ll explain what determines the number of sessions later.
In this example – let’s say it costs £50 per session and you end up having 7 sessions. £50 x 7 = £350.
You’ll want to leave around 6 weeks in-between each session.
HOW MANY SESSIONS WILL YOU NEED?
There are many factors which can affect how many laser treatments you’ll end up needing. Let me give you a brief description of how it works so you can understand why.
The laser shatters the ink particles in your skin layer by layer. After each treatment, there will be particles of ink which are now small enough for your body’s immune system to engulf (a bit like a pac man). These clever cells gobble up the ink and remove it from your body in your urine. The whole process relies on your body acting on the ink (which it sees as a foreign body) and removing it.
This is what will affect how many sessions you need:
- How much ink is in your skin in the first place eg. how dense and how deep your tattoo is.
- How healthy are you – does your immune system work effectively?
- Your lifestyle. Do you smoke, take drugs or drink heavily? If so it will take more sessions – as your immune system has the toxins from smoke/drugs etc to contend with as well.
- The age of the tattoo – very old tattoos are usually quicker to remove, as they are often already faded and break up more easily.
- Where is the tattoo on your body? The further away from the heart the harder it is to remove. So the same tattoo on your shoulder will be removed more quickly than an exact replica on your ankle.
- How long you leave inbetween sessions. This really does make quite a big difference. If you are prepared to leave really long gaps between sessions (10 weeks plus) then you can end up requiring less sessions. So it might be taking longer overall but you are spending less money!
- Is it a professional or amateur tattoo? An amateur tattoo may only take 2-3 sessions. A professional tattoo will take much longer, due to the depth and greater amount of ink.
- The type of laser will also play a part. A quality laser will shatter more ink than a lower powered laser, and therefore will break the tattoo down quicker. For example a ‘passive’ Q switch may take 6-8 sessions to reach a 50% fade, but a good ‘active’ Q switch laser may only take 4-5 sessions.
HOW CAN YOU ESTIMATE THE PRICE THEN?
If you go to an established laser clinic then they should be able to give you a rough estimate. But even then it is very difficult to say.
I would ask to see photos of tattoo removal that the clinic has carried out so you can see the results for yourself, and ask them how many sessions it took.
From experience we have a good idea if it’s going to take 5-7 sessions or probably 10 sessions plus. However after 15 years I’m not always correct!
Most clinics will give you a discounted price for multiple sessions if you pay up front. For example – Pay for 4 sessions and get the 5th session free. This means that you’re getting a 20% discount. You should find that most laser tattoo removal clinics will provide a discount for block booking. If they don’t mention it – just ask.
HOW TO SPEED UP THE PROCESS & SAVE MONEY
Here are a few tips (although you may not like them!) to help reduce the number of sessions you need and save you some money:
- Once your skin is healed (after laser) massage your tattoo daily. If you do it in the shower or bath you’ll remember better. Use anything you’re washing yourself with – just massaging your skin will increase the circulation in the area, and get more blood cells to the tattoo, which will help remove it.
- Drink lots of water.
- Exercise more – this also speeds up your circulation.
- Stop smoking – I’ve already mentioned this and it really does affect the removal process.
- Leave long gaps in-between laser – this not only helps your skin heal but also allows your body to keep processing the ink and removing it. Most clients are keen to come back as soon as they can, but really if you can leave long gaps of 10 weeks, then you’ll be doing yourself a favour.
So now you know the question, ‘how much does laser tattoo removal cost?’ is not so straightforward to answer. But hopefully you have a better idea of the price range for your own tattoo.
I hope this article has helped you understand more about how much it’s going to cost your to remove your tattoo.
If you have any more questions about tattoo removal feel free to email me at email@example.com
Or you can visit our laser tattoo removal page here.