Getting a new tattoo is usually a thrilling and memorable experience in one’s life. The question is, what happens if the tattoo turns out to be a disaster or if you do not like it? Even though it is considered a permanent piece of body art, there are a few methods for getting rid of it.
However, there are not many tattoo removal methods available. The bulk of them are not very effective or successful in tattoo removal. That is why laser tattoo removal is the preferred removal method for the vast majority of people who wish to get rid of their tattoos. It is the most efficient method of performing such a task. However, isn’t that a significant investment?
Here, we will look at the best tattoo removal options available to you, as well as how much they are likely to cost you. So let us get this show on the road without further ado.
An Overview of Laser Tattoo Removal in a Nutshell
1. So, what exactly is laser tattoo removal, and how does it function?
Laser tattoo removal is a safe and effective method of removing tattoo particles from the skin by employing a photomechanical effect to shatter the tattoo particles and remove the particular pigment or ink. The Q-switched lasers utilized for this operation are Q-switched lasers because they target the tattoo ink by emitting infrared light at specific frequencies.
Because the laser delivers infrared energy to the skin in a single powerful pulse or shock wave, you should anticipate hearing some strange sounds throughout your tattoo removal session. The energy is directed at the ink on the skin, even if it penetrates below the skin’s surface. It then warms the ink, causing the tattoo particles to disintegrate and disappear. However, more importantly, how do these Q-switched lasers function? Here is how it is done:
- To reach the tattoo pigment or ink, infrared light must pass through the skin to do so.
- However, various tattoo pigments absorb different colors of laser light. Therefore, the color of the laser light depends on the tattoo color.
- The laser delivers pulse energy in the form of a brief shock wave.
- The energy warms up the tattoo, causing the ink to evaporate into the surrounding skin due to the heat.
- In order to minimize the burning and scarring of surrounding tissue and skin, heat or energy waves must be delivered in brief bursts.
Q-switched lasers, which are commercially accessible, are the only lasers capable of performing this technique properly. In most cases, tattoo removal cannot be completed in a single session. Depending on the type of tattoo, it will almost certainly take multiple laser treatments before any noticeable results can be seen.
2. Who Is Eligible for Laser Tattoo Removal Services?
Permit me to first state that if you have a fresh tattoo that you do not like, you are not the best candidate for laser tattoo removal at this time. Newer tattoos require more healing time and the formation of a new layer of skin before they can be treated with a laser. Moreover, this might take anything from 6 to 8 months.
So, who is eligible to have laser tattoo removal?
If you have an older tattoo that you would like to have removed, you would be the most suitable candidate for the process. Older tattoos are significantly more straightforward to erase than newer ones, especially if they are medium or small in size and do not have much shading or color.
Note: Suppose your tattoo is green, brown, black, or dark blue (or any combination of these colors). In that case, laser removal will be easier and faster.
This is because specific ink colors absorb the heat and energy emitted by the red laser instead of other colors, which need other laser colors or do not respond to lasers (like the yellow color).
However, if your tattoo is enormous and vivid, you will have difficulty removing the ink from your skin. It will need many laser treatments (sometimes even more than 20), which would be both time-consuming and extremely expensive to get the desired results.
3. Who Should Not Get Laser Tattoo Removal in the First Place?
As previously stated, people who have recently gotten huge and vivid tattoos should avoid laser removal methods. However, there are also additional categories of people who should avoid laser tattoo removal for their health concerns. Therefore, if you are considering laser tattoo removal, you should postpone the procedure.
- Skin that is darker or sunburnt
- Eczema is a skin disorder that affects the skin.
- Skin disease is a medical illness that affects the skin (like herpes).
- Having a weakened immune system
Although laser tattoo removal might not be the best option for you, there are still alternative methods for getting rid of the tattoo without exacerbating your problem or condition, such as electrolysis. Chemical removal, surgical excision, or dermabrasion are all options as long as they do not worsen or flare up your problem.
Laser Tattoo Removal Cost: Explained
4. Is Laser Tattoo Removal an Exorbitant Investment?
Having learned more about laser tattoo removal, let us look at some of the costs associated with it. For starters, we may respond to the query by saying that laser tattoo removal is quite costly.
Laser tattoo removal is a high-cost operation, similar to any other skincare service, with a few exceptions, such as when the tattoos are tiny and ancient, in which case fewer sessions are necessary.
In all other circumstances, the cost of a single session might range between $500 and $1000. Prices for individual sessions might sometimes exceed several thousand dollars in rare instances. The cost of a tattoo is typically determined by the type of tattoo, its age, whether it is colored, and where it is placed on the body. The cost of the laser technique for each session increases in direct proportion to the size and complexity of the tattoo and its placement.
You should expect to pay between $7,500 and $15,000 for a typical laser tattoo removal procedure, including 15 or more sessions. Certain studios provide bundled payment options (you can get a discount if you purchase five sessions in a package), as well as the opportunity to pay monthly or in installments.
5. What is the source of the high cost of laser tattoo removal?
In general, laser tattoo removal is considered the most expensive process due to the advanced technology employed throughout the procedure. However, other additional reasons contribute to the high cost of laser tattoo removal, such as the fact that
- When a laser studio, for example, is employing nanosecond or picosecond laser devices, which may cost up to $150,000, the laser removal itself will be far more successful and consequently more expensive.
- The overall quality of the service: the more respected the tattoo removal studio is and the better the overall quality of the service provided, the more you will have to spend for the tattoo removal operation. The personnel at laser studios are frequently highly trained and experienced. Clients are frequently given medical examinations and counseling before undergoing the operation.
- The tattoo itself can significantly impact the overall cost of laser removal. Suppose the tattoo is huge, dense, colorful, or difficult to approach. In that case, the operation will take between 15 and 25 sessions, which can add up to a significant amount of money in the long run.
6. Why is the tattoo the determining factor in the total cost?
On the other hand, the laser removal studios have a predetermined hourly charge. However, if a tattoo is tiny and of a particular hue, it may be erased in a short period, requiring just a few sessions, which are typically between 8 and 12.
On the other hand, other sorts of tattoos have a distinct impact on cost. For example, more sessions will be required if the tattoo is larger than life.
- It is positioned in a difficult-to-reach location.
- Located in an area where there is little or no active blood flow,
- tinted in a variety of hues other than green, brown, black, and deep blue.
- It has ink that is dense and thick.
On average, 12 sessions are required for a tiny, black tattoo positioned in the low-density bicep area. This might cost up to $7000, depending on the tattoo’s size. A vast and colorful tattoo with high ink density that covers a complete sleeve, for example, may need up to 25 sessions and a final cost of up to $15,000, according to some estimates.
7. What should I be aware of before laser tattoo removal?
Here are some of the most important aspects to consider before scheduling an appointment and determining the cost of tattoo removal:
- Inquire about the laser technology that is being utilized for laser tattoo removal.
- Please inquire about the staff’s experience and education and their qualifications.
- Inquire about a consultation.
- Consider the tattoo’s size, placement, and color while making your decision.
- Inquire about hidden fees or charges (including aftercare and follow-up sessions).
- Inquire about your payment options.
- Inquire about membership discounts and payment methods available on a delayed basis.
- Inquire about the number of sessions you may require.
Other Tattoo Removal Procedures and Their Associated Costs
Surgery for Tattoo Removal
If you are not a good candidate for a laser tattoo removal technique or if the cost is prohibitively exorbitant for your financial situation, you may want to consider surgical tattoo removal. Even though this process is less expensive than laser removal, there are certain drawbacks to it as well. As an illustration,
- Because surgical tattoo removal entails cutting away the inked skin and sewing the remaining skin back together, it is common for scars to appear after the procedure.
- Surgical tattoo removal is ideal for minor tattoos not located in difficult-to-reach or problematic locations.
- It will take many weeks for the treated region to recover thoroughly from the procedure.
- Because it is considered cosmetic surgery, surgical tattoo removal is not covered by health insurance plans.
If you are concerned about scarring, you may reduce the likelihood of it occurring by meticulously following the surgeon’s aftercare recommendations and doing so frequently. Maintaining cleanliness and avoiding direct sunlight and heat is all that is required. Any symptoms of irritation or infection should be treated with the recommended ointment and followed up with a visit to your surgeon.
The cost of surgical tattoo removal is determined by various factors, including the size of the tattoo and its location. For example, you may expect to pay anywhere from $150 to $350 for the surgical removal of a bit of tattoo if it is modest.
Dermabrasion Tattoo Removal
Dermabrasion is another option for tattoo removal that is less invasive than laser removal. Removal of epidermal layers using a piece of sanding equipment is required for this operation, which will allow the ink to drain out.
In contrast to laser and surgical tattoo removal, dermabrasion is not widely used for a variety of reasons.
- The outcomes differ from one individual to the next.
- It can only remove a significant portion of the tattoo, not the entire tattoo.
- This product is not suggested for those who have sensitive skin or skin disorders.
- As a result of the pigmentation changes, it is not suggested for people with darker skin.
It is dependent on the size and color of the tattoo as to how much it will cost for dermabrasion operations. Thus, the price ranges from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, depending on the circumstances. As a result, we do not consider it the most excellent tattoo removal option because it might be just as expensive as other solutions while being less efficient in removing tattoos.
Putting another tattoo on top of the existing one
Suppose none of the above-stated methods appear to work for you. In that case, we offer one final option: covering the tattoo you do not like with another one that is more pleasing to you. This could be the most cost-effective alternative, but there are a few things you should be aware of before going on this journey:
- The only tattoos that can be covered are those that have fully healed.
- The finished tattoo will have a darker look than the original.
- The new design will likely be heavier.
- It will also be far denser and, most likely, more detailed.
- If you want to get one done, you will need to find a tattoo artist specializing in tattoo cover-ups.
When it comes to the cost of a tattoo, the size of the tattoo and the fact that the artist must create a new, bespoke design to suit the previous tattoo are typically factors to consider. This can significantly raise the cost of the tattoo, and you may wind up spending more on the cover-up than you would have for the original artwork. The cost of a tiny tattoo starts at roughly $100 and can rise to several thousand dollars depending on the artist. Despite this, it is far less expensive than laser tattoo removal.
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Finally, remark that
Consider carefully what you want from your tattoo and seek a professional who will perform it correctly to prevent having to deal with tattoo removal. Some individuals want to save money, so they go to less competent tattoo artists. Then they have to deal with tattoo removal, which is significantly more expensive.
For those left with an unsightly tattoo, we propose either laser removal or hiring a high-end specialist to execute a cover-up tattoo to hide the imperfections. These solutions appear to be the most worthwhile investment of your time and money. Not to mention that laser removal may be paid for in monthly installments, which should make it much more affordable for you. Speak with representatives from nearby laser removal studios and tattoo parlors for additional information.