Tattoos are notoriously hard to remove. And as far as the rates for laser tattoo removal is concerned, there are various factors that could affect the pricing. Before getting your now-unwanted tattoo removed, consider these factors to estimate the removal rates:
1. Your Skin Type
To make tattoos permanent, the ink should penetrate the second layer of the skin called dermis. The vividness of the ink will depend on the skin color of the patient. Although laser tattoo removal is effective on both light and dark colored skin, removal is faster on dark skin. Those with lighter skin tone will have to go through lengthier sessions and longer wait sessions to break down the ink and remove the tattoo.
2. Tattoo Location
It’s easier to remove tattoos in parts of the body that get the largest amount of blood and spots with a higher number of lymph nodes such as the head and neck. Other parts of the body that get large blood vessels and lymphatic supply are the back and upper body. If the tattoo is located on any of these parts, they are easier to remove thus; the cost of removal is lower than spots that get the least blood supply.
3. Ink Colors
The tattoo ink differs in chemical composition and the structure of the ink will determine the difficulty level of removal. Usually, red, black, blue, green, yellow and orange are the most common tattoo pigments. Black pigments are the easiest to remove because of the small size of the color granules. As such, removing an all-black tattoo is cheaper than a colored tattoo. Red pigments are easy to remove as well, but yellow, green and orange are the most difficult to remove.
4. Amount of Ink Used
In the Kirby-Desai scale, the amount of ink used in a tattoo is divided into four categories: amateur (letters, words, or small symbols), minimal (one color, simple design), moderate (one color, complex design), and significant (multicolored, complex design).
The amount of ink used to create the tattoo will also affect the cost of tattoo removal. Amateur artists tend to inject uneven ink and so the final product contains less ink than a professionally made one. As such, tattoos made by amateur artists are easier to remove than those made by professional artists. Also, the more complex the tattoo design is, the higher the cost of laser removal.
5. Skin Damage
If the tattoo caused scarring or increased collagen deposition in the skin, removal could lead to complications. And that translates to higher costs of removal too. Scarred tattoos are harder to remove and will require more laser treatments.
6. Cover Tattoos
Some patients want to remove an unwanted tattoo by layering it with another tattoo. The new tattoo is usually larger and darker than the first tattoo. As such, removing a cover-up tattoo will require more laser treatments and the cost is significantly higher.
7. Tattoo Size
The size of the tattoo will also affect the overall cost of laser removal. Most tattoo removal clinics charge by square inch and the price goes anywhere from $49 to $300 per square inch. To estimate the cost of removing your tattoo per square inch, measure the width and length of the tattoo. Then, multiply the dimensions to get the square inches. The larger the tattoo, the higher the cost.