Laser technology is the latest advancement in tattoo removal treatment. Though traditional methods are still used, laser tattoo removal has produced better and more satisfying results for patients without a significant increase in cost.
Laser Tattoo Removal Treatment
Laser tattoo removal is an advanced treatment designed to completely eliminate tattoos, without leaving scars or unpigmented areas of skin behind.
During a laser tattoo removal treatment, the laser’s high energy light breaks up the tattoo ink into tiny particles, which are gradually absorbed by the skin. Laser tattoo removal may cause slight discomfort, though a local anesthetic can be used to eliminate the pain.
Following a laser tattoo removal treatment, minor side effects such as red and tender skin may occur; however, these tend to diminish within three to seven days.
How Many Tattoo Removal Sessions Are Needed?
Each tattoo has different characteristics that influence the number of removal sessions necessary. These include:
Type of ink used
Whether the tattoo is old or new
The number of sessions needed for laser tattoo removal treatment is primarily determined by the color of the tattoo. Most tattoos are comprised of different color families and a different laser is needed for each. Some tattoos can require between 15 and 20 treatments before they are completely removed. Turquoise tattoos are some of the most difficult to eliminate because there isn’t a laser that targets the color effectively.
In most cases, laser tattoo removal takes between six and twelve treatments and can be spread over several months or a few years.
Alternative Tattoo Removal Treatments
In addition to laser tattoo removal, there are several other treatment options, including:
Intense Pulsed Light: IPL™ emits pulses of light onto the skin, removing the tattoo much like a laser treatment. This method is said to be more effective and less painful than laser tattoo removal treatment; however, it is also more expensive, with an average cost of $10 per pulse.
Surgical Excision: During this procedure, the tattoo is cut off and the skin is sewn back together. This procedure will leave a scar behind.
Dermabrasion: In this treatment, the skin is sanded away, leaving a scar or pale area.
Take-home treatments: These include cream and lotions designed to make a tattoo less visible. Take-home treatments do not completely eliminate a tattoo, but can help to fade it.
Usually, these traditional methods are used when laser tattoo removal treatment is not an option.
Laser Tattoo Removal Cost
The average laser tattoo removal cost ranges from $200 to $500 per treatment session. The price is dependent on several factors, including the type and extent of the tattoo, and the expertise and training of the surgeon.
Since laser tattoo removal can take several treatments to complete, the total cost could be as little as $1,000 or as high as $10,000.
Though these prices may be intimidating, several cosmetic surgeons offer payment plans and other financing options to help patients cover the laser tattoo removal cost.