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Tattoo removal can be achieved in a number of ways, ranging from laser treatments, chemical peels, dermabrasion and surgical excision. Tattoo removal isn’t covered by most insurance companies because it’s considered to be a cosmetic procedure.
Tattoos with many colors are more difficult to remove. They might require treatment with different lasers and wavelengths to be effective.
The cost of laser tattoo removal depends on the size, color, and age of your tattoo. The cost of surgical tattoo removal tends to be lower than laser removal and dermabrasion. The cost of dermabrasion varies depending on the size and coloring of your tattoo.
If you already have tattoos, you’re probably familiar with your local tattoo artists’ fees.
As of 2016, laser hair removal cost $306 per session on average, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). Most offices offer payment plans.
For most patients, pricing is a big factor in their decision. It's important to have confident yet competitive pricing for your services. We recommend having a clear pricing structure that allows you, the provider, to give a fast and simple answer to the patient's questions about pricing. It's best to have the consultation focused on the value of the procedure, not what you charge. (Source: info.astanzalaser.com)
For many practices, the minimum treatment session price for an extra-small tattoo is somewhere in the $75 - $125 range. Any price in this range is considered a normal minimum price for a single treatment. By having the minimum price stated, it allows patients to have a rough idea of the expected cost before they come into your clinic for their consultation.
The Kirby-Desai scale is a popular and well-regarded tool for analyzing the number of treatments a tattoo will need for removal. The scale accounts for the following factors that affect the rate of removal: (Source: info.astanzalaser.com)
Laser tattoo removal typically does involve some level of pain. That said, many say that it hurts less than they expected.
When discussing pain with patients, it's important to share that while they may experience some level of discomfort, the pain is relatively manageable and tolerable. It may take some tough love to encourage patients concerned about sensitivity.
You can get laser tattoo removal at an aesthetic clinic. A laser technician will numb the tattooed skin with a local anesthetic. Next, they’ll apply the laser to the skin. The skin may bleed, blister, and swell following each procedure.
Surgical removal is a very effective method for getting rid of an unwanted tattoo. It’s often less expensive than some of the other options. However, surgical removal will leave a scar, so it’s usually preferred for small tattoos.
Dermabrasion isn’t recommended for people with sensitive skin or skin conditions like eczema.
During a typical dermabrasion session, a clinician will chill or numb your skin with a local anesthetic to reduce any pain. They’ll use a high-speed rotating abrasive device that sands off the top layers of the skin to let tattoo ink escape. Dermabrasion isn’t recommended for people with sensitive skin or skin conditions like eczema.
A cover-up can be a cost-effective, quick option for disguising the tattoo you already have. This method is a good option if you don’t like the design of your tattoo but wouldn’t mind another tattoo.
When you ask a tattoo artist to do a cover-up, they’ll work with you to design a tattoo that can be used to hide what you already have. (Source: www.healthline.com)
Immediately after treatment, an ice pack will be applied to soothe the treated area. You’ll be told to apply a topical antibiotic cream or ointment. You should use a bandage or a patch to protect the site.
If you go to a reputable professional referred by your doctor, there are minimal side effects to laser tattoo removal. However, you should consider the following factors in your decision.
Your doctor should provide thorough preparation instructions before your appointment. Following these instructions improves the effectiveness of the procedure and reduces the risk of side effects. Here are some common recommendations: (Source: www.healthline.com)
Are there any risks or side effects?
Serious complications related to laser hair removal are rare. The most common side effects include:
While some laser sessions are quick and easy, not all are. Mine have been taking about 45 minutes because we take before photos, clean the areas, inject them with lidocaine for freezing, laser them, ice them, and then bandage them. Oh, and sometimes a weird side effect happens where I taste metal when the laser hits my skin. Adams says it's a sensation that some people experience when the lidocaine is hit by the laser and that it's totally normal.
Here's what I wish I knew before getting that little Latin phrase on my back.
I'd previously had one tattoo zapped at a spa (I was living in small-town Canada where there weren't plastic surgery offices or dermatologists), where an aesthetician used an outdated heat laser that ended up burning and scarring my skin. This time around, I got my treatments done by John F. Adams, M.D., at the New York Dermatology Group, where everything is done under medical supervision. I suggest you find your own removal expert by asking friends, influencers, or even by stopping people that you see with removal in process—which, yes, I have done.
Tattoos don't just disappear after a once-over with the laser. (I wish!) “A complete tattoo removal takes a minimum of 2 1/2 years on average,” says Bethany Cirlin, tattoo removal specialist and owner of Clean Canvas More Art. “Laser treatments should be scheduled three months apart from one another so you get the most out of each treatment. This allows your body to break down as much of the tattoo as it can while also giving your body the opportunity to heal completely before your next session."
If you have your procedures done by a doctor, the bill for each visit can run you hundreds of dollars. Brace yourself: The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery estimates the average cost per session at $463. But see point number one for why it's worth it. Your tattoo removal cost can also will vary based on the size, color, and age of your tattoo.
Contrary to the old belief that light, colored ink was hard to remove, Adams assured me that all hues will now disappear—no matter your skin tone. (FYI: The previous explanation was that, similar to laser hair removal, the laser would solely be attracted toward dark colors, like black.) With PicoSure technology, he says you can even get out yellows and greens, which were previously the most stubborn.
“Once you know you're unhappy with a tattoo on your body, immediately start using a zinc oxide sunscreen on it,” says Cirlin. “The most common reason people can't get lasered is because their tattoo has had sun exposure. By using a zinc oxide anytime you're outside, you'll help protect your tattoo, which will allow you to get lasered regardless of the season."