How Much is Tattoo Removal? Everything You Wanted to Know About Tattoo Removal Costs

Tattoos are a popular form of self-expression, but sometimes people change their minds or want to remove old tattoos for various reasons. In recent years, tattoo removal has become more accessible and effective.

But how much is tattoo removal, and how does the process work?

In this article, we’ll explore the factors that influence the cost of tattoo removal and discuss the various techniques available. By the end, you will have much of the information you need to decide which tattoo removal method is right for your unique scenario.

A woman undergoing tattoo removal on her wrist. Knowing the answer to how much is tattoo removal might make you think before you ink!

How Much Is Tattoo Removal?

Tattoo removal typically costs anywhere from $500 for a small tattoo to $5000 and up for larger tattoos. Several factors can affect the cost of tattoo removal, including the tattoo’s size, colors and ink density, location, and age. Let’s take a closer look at these factors.


Larger tattoos generally require more time and resources to remove than smaller ones. As a result, the cost of tattoo removal will typically increase with the size of the tattoo.

A young woman with a tattoo covering most of her upper back.

Colors and Ink Density

Different colors and ink densities can also impact the cost of tattoo removal. Some colors, such as black and blue, are easier to remove than others, like green and yellow. Tattoos with denser ink may require more treatment sessions, increasing the overall cost.


The removal cost will vary by the location of the tattoo you want to remove. Tattoos on areas with thinner skin, such as the ankles, may take longer and be more expensive. In contrast, tattoos on areas with thicker skin, like the back or chest, may be less costly to remove.

Age of the Tattoo

Older tattoos tend to fade over time, making them easier to remove. The cost of removing an older tattoo may be lower than that of a newer one.

Tattoo Removal Techniques

Several tattoo removal techniques are available, including laser tattoo removal, Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) therapy, and surgical tattoo removal. We will explain how they work and their advantages and disadvantages so you can make an informed decision.

A man undergoing tattoo removal on a chest tattoo.


Laser tattoo removal is the most popular method for removing tattoos. It’s highly effective and has a lower risk of side effects compared to other methods.

How Laser Removal Works

Laser tattoo removal works by breaking down the ink particles in the tattoo using targeted laser energy. The body’s immune system removes the fragmented ink particles, causing the tattoo to fade. Multiple sessions may be necessary to achieve the desired results.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Laser tattoo removal is highly effective and can remove most tattoos with minimal scarring. However, the process can be painful, and multiple sessions are often required. The cost of this method can also be quite high, depending on the factors mentioned earlier.

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Therapy

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) therapy is another method to remove tattoos. While less common than laser tattoo removal, it’s an option worth considering in some instances.

How IPL Works

IPL therapy uses high-intensity pulses of light to break down the ink particles in the tattoo. Like laser tattoo removal, the body’s immune system removes the ink particle fragments, and the tattoo fades.

Advantages and Disadvantages

IPL therapy is often less painful than laser tattoo removal and may require fewer sessions. However, it’s less effective for all tattoo colors and may result in scarring or changes in skin pigmentation. The cost of IPL therapy can be similar to or even higher than laser removal methods, depending on the number of sessions required and the specific treatment center.


Surgical tattoo removal is a more invasive method of removing tattoos. It involves physically cutting out the tattooed skin and stitching the remaining skin together.

How Surgical Removal Works

Under local anesthesia, a surgeon will remove the tattooed skin and then suture the edges of the remaining skin together. This method is typically reserved for smaller tattoos or when other removal methods have proven ineffective.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Surgical tattoo removal can be a quick and effective way to remove a tattoo, particularly for small tattoos. However, it’s more invasive than other methods and carries a higher risk of scarring and complications. The cost of surgical tattoo removal can vary, depending on factors like the size and location of the tattoo and the surgeon’s fees.

Tattoo Removal Frequently Asked Questions

A tattoo undergoing laser removal.

1. How much does tattoo removal cost?

Tattoo removal costs vary depending on size, color, age, and technique. Prices can range from a few hundred dollars for small tattoos to several thousand dollars for larger or more complex tattoos.

2. How many sessions are required for tattoo removal?

The number of sessions required for tattoo removal depends on the tattoo’s size, colors, ink density, and technique used. It typically takes multiple sessions to achieve the desired results.

3. Is tattoo removal painful?

Tattoo removal can be uncomfortable, and some methods, like laser removal, can be painful. Local anesthesia or numbing creams can often manage your pain or discomfort.

4. Will tattoo removal leave a scar?

The risk of scarring varies depending on the removal method used. Laser tattoo removal and IPL therapy generally have a lower risk of scarring, while surgical tattoo removal carries a higher risk. It’s important to follow aftercare instructions to minimize scarring.

5. Are there any alternatives to professional tattoo removal?

While some home remedies and DIY tattoo removal products claim to remove tattoos, they are often ineffective and can lead to scarring or skin damage. It’s best to consult with a professional for safe and effective tattoo removal.

Wrapping Up The Cost of Tattoo Removal

Closeup of professional tattoo removal process on a black ink tattoo.

The cost of tattoo removal varies depending on several factors, including the size, colors, and age of the tattoo and the specific removal technique used. Laser tattoo removal, IPL therapy, and surgical tattoo removal are all viable options, each with advantages and disadvantages.

It’s essential to consult with a professional to determine the best method for your specific situation and whether you are a removal candidate.

Next, check out our 6 Best Tattoo Numbing Creams for Those Sensitive Tattoos – or removals!

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