Tattoo Removal: How Does It Work And How Much Does It Cost?

Tattoo removal has gained vast popularity over the past decade.  We all make mistakes and unfortunately for some, their spontaneous decision involved getting a tattoo. But the good news is, there are ways to remove your unwanted tattoos.

What are the ways to remove a tattoo?

Before the dawn of laser tattoo removal, several other methods were used to lighten tattoos and remove them over time. Some of them are:

Dermabrasion. The process of dermabrasion involves removing several layers of your skin until the tattoo is completely removed.

Salabrasion. Just like dermabrasion, salabrasion also strips down layers of skin to remove your tattoo. Salabrasion specifically uses salt to scrub away your skin and eventually remove the ink.

Cryosurgery and excision. Cryosurgery is the process of cooling down the skin and cutting into it until the layer of the ink is removed. This is typically used for larger, more prominent tattoos.

Injection. Before, people believed that tattoos could be removed through injecting wine, lime, or garlic into the skin layers.

Modern day tattoo removal – The use of lasers

Laser tattoo removal started gaining popularity in the 1990s. It uses Q-switched lasers, which are pulse laser lights that produce higher peak power relative to continuous emission. Since its introduction, lasers have been widely used to remove tattoos because of its effectiveness.

How does laser work?

Because the Q-switched lasers produce high peak powered emissions, it can disrupt the ink particles if applied onto the tattoo. Once disrupted, the ink particles are then targeted by the body’s immune system. This results in fading as your body tries to bring out it’s natural skin color.

Tattoos typically require several laser treatments before being completely broken down. There are several factors that determine how many sessions that you need. Thus there is no definite number of sessions needed to remove a tattoo completely. Complete removal of a tattoo depends on:

Location of the tattoo. Experts say that the closer to the heart the tattoo is, the faster and easier it is to remove. This is because of the higher blood pressure which helps break down the ink and improves the healing process.

Type and size of the tattoo. Undoubtedly, bigger tattoos usually take longer to remove compared smaller and less intricate ones.

Quality and color of the tattoo. Surprisingly, it is not the dark ink that is difficult to erase, but instead, it is the lighter shades that will take more time. Dark colors, such as black and blue, are easily indicated by the immune system as something to be lightened. On the other hand, yellows and pastels tend to require more laser exposure to be fully broken down.

The body’s immune system. While laser emission breaks down the ink on your skin, fading is your bodies natural immune response.  Generally, the healthier a person is, the easier it is for your body dissolve the ink. Smokers typically require more sessions for a tattoo to be removed, partially because nicotine slows down the blood flow to the treated site.

How much does it cost?

Laser tattoo removal clinics charge on a per session basis, estimating it based on the size, type, quality, and location of your tattoo. And because there is no definite number of sessions needed to remove a certain tattoo, the cost varies.

There are clinics which charge as low as $50 per square inch of tattoo per session, while there are those whose rate can be high as $250. The total tattoo removal cost near me will depend on the total number of sessions that you will need. It can range anywhere from $1000 to $10,000 overall.

Some tattoos can be completely erased in 6 months, while some need 2 years. If a company offers you a fixed amount for a definite number of sessions to remove your tattoo, you should expect that there will be additional charges along the way. Tattoo removal costs can be quite steep, so you should scout for the best ones that will give you the best value for your money.


Laser tattoo removal with all its advanced features is the most effective way in completely removing  unwanted tattoos from your body.