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The Top 3 Tattoo Removal Cream Products Money Can Buy

Persons with tattoo playing rock paper scissors and stone

Tattoo removal cream is marketed as a quick and painless remedy to a problem that's gotten under your skin. This is appealing if you are like a growing number of Americans who are beginning to feel remorse for the ink they got a while back.

One study found that more than 30 percent of people with tattoos experience some regret. Furthermore, tattoo regret is becoming a source of clinical depression, another study claims.

So, are you curious if tattoo removal cream works? And, if it does — what is the best product for you? We'll take a look at the top three creams on the market, discuss their claims, and then compare user experiences and ratings. But first, don't you want to know how tattoo removal creams work and if they are safe to use?

Comparison Of The Best Tattoo Removal Cream

What Is Tattoo Removal Cream And How Does It Work?

The goal of tattoo removal cream is to remove or, at the very least, lighten permanent tattoos. But tattoos, by design, are difficult to remove. Tattoos are created by inserting or injecting a small amount of concentrated pigment or ink under the skin. Using a needle to penetrate the skin, a tattoo machine deposits the insoluble ink with each puncture.

Person applying tattoo

Image by Adrian Boustead via Pexels

Since skin is always shedding its outer layers of dead cells, it’s important that the tattoo ink is placed deep enough. Most needles penetrate around one millimeter into the surface to remain indelible to regular exfoliation. Therefore, for a tattoo removal cream to be effective, it must provide a higher degree of exfoliation.

FDA Warning

Tattoo removal creams, gels, and serums contain both organic and chemical acids and other compounds designed to remove a portion of skin cells in order to lighten or remove a tattoo. The FDA warns that they have not approved any do-it-yourself creams or ointments and is unaware of any clinical evidence that supports their effectiveness.

Additionally, the FDA warns that tattoo removal products may cause unexpected damage or reactions such as rashes, burns, and scarring, including changes in skin color. Before you use any do-it-yourself tattoo removal product, be sure to consult your doctor.

Skin Anatomy

Skin is your body’s largest organ. It provides your first line of defense against infection, heat, and injury. There are three layers of living human skin: the epidermis, the dermis, and the subcutaneous layers.


The epidermis is the thinnest, outermost layer of the skin. The thickness of this layer depends on the area of the body. The epidermal layer of your eyelids is around 0.5mm. There are four to five separate layers of the epidermis. The last layer consists of skin cells that continuously die, flake off, then regenerate.


The dermis is the thickest layer of the skin. This layer contains hair follicles, blood vessels, nerve endings, and fibrous connective tissue that protects the skin organ from injury. This layer contains the deposits of tattoo ink. The dermal layer is 1.0mm to 2.0mm deep. Damage to this layer of the skin can cause permanent scarring.


This tissue is the deepest of your three layers of skin. This layer is made up of fat, larger blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue.

TCA Tattoo Removal Creams

Trichloroacetic Acid, or TCA, is a strong acid commonly used in at-home preparations for removing warts, corns, and calluses. These skin conditions happen because of the excessive proliferation of skin cells. Therefore, they can come off without causing damage to the outer layer of the skin. For tattoo removal, TCA works by creating a chemical burn to the skin at the dermis level.

Hydroquinone Creams

Hydroquinone is a chemical called benzene-1, 4-diol, which is in the phenol class of drugs. Phenols, derived from coal tar, are a mildly acidic compound that attempts to bleach the skin by blocking your body’s melanin production. This action will do nothing for ink deposits in the dermal layer.

Therefore, hydroquinone is one of the least active ingredients for tattoo removal cream. However, it has the fewest side effects. It can cause mild redness, stinging, and burning to the skin.

Acid Peels (Lactic, Acetic, Glycolic)

Acid skin peels are popular in the practice of aesthetic or “spa” dermatology because of their ability to rejuvenate the skin. They are effective at peeling away the outer layers of the skin. However, these compounds can cause burns to the skin if a physician or trained clinician does not supervise their application.

Retinol Containing Creams For Tattoo Removal

Retinol creams are effective in lessening the signs of aging by promoting advanced exfoliation of the epidermal layers of skin. Over-the-counter strength retinol creams turn into retinoic acid on the skin and have limited effects.

No retinol impacts the dermal layer of the skin. Therefore, retinol would be an ineffective ingredient for a tattoo removal cream.

3 Best Tattoo Removal Creams

After poring over hundreds of reviews reading customer experiences and stories, we created this tattoo removal cream list from the highest rated products on the market. This list includes promising new products and others that have been time-tested. For consistency, we used Amazon to provide ratings and reference social proof.

The company behind this product states that their simple system is affordable, and “the most convenient of any tattoo removal method available.” The Tat B Gone system promises it will help fade away your tattoo and permanent cosmetics without the pain of traditional tattoo removal procedures.

Throughout a month or more, the solution promises to absorb into the skin where the “active ingredients interact with tattoo ink.”

Pricing and Reviews on Amazon

The Tat B Gone product is rated 5.0 out of 5 stars on Amazon. You can purchase a two-month supply of the two-step system for between $$$. However, it is a new product for Amazon and has only a handful of reviews. One customer happily reports that her “dark back tattoo” is much lighter after using the tattoo removal cream for a week and a half.

What is in Tat B Gone?

That’s a great question. Amazon offers no answers. Ingredients are also unavailable on the Tat B Gone website. However, the company claims that the Tat B Gone formula does not contain harmful ingredients like Chromabright, acids (TCA), and hydroquinone.

The product information claims that this TCA (Trichloroacetic Acid) peel is additive free and is ACS certified for quality and purity. RePair sells exclusively on Amazon and has no external website. This product contains 50 percent strength trichloroacetic acid.

It specifies not to use this product as a facial peel. The label states that this formula removes skin tags, tattoos, and warts.

Pricing and Reviews on Amazon

RePare Skin Care 50 percent TCA is available on Amazon. The selling price is in the $$ to $$ range. This product has a rating of 3.6 out of 5 stars, making it one of the highest rated products in the tattoo removal cream category. Dozens of reviews confirm that the compound works for lightning tattoos.

Many users complain of severe burning and advise using the product with a chemical neutralizer, which is sold separately. This product is also available in 75 percent strength medical grade TCA and 100 percent strength medical grade TCA. These have similar ratings and all claim to remove tattoos as well.

This product is available on Amazon. It will cost you around $$. This cream contains 50 percent lactic acid derived naturally from ingredients like licorice extract or kojic acid and bearberry extract.

The product claims to help lighten skin and tattoos by promoting the production of collagen. The botanical ingredients also increase cell turnover rate to create a brighter and more balanced texture.

Is it Effective for Tattoo Removal?

This product has 3.8 out of 5 stars on Amazon with over a thousand (mostly positive) reviews. When searching "tattoo removal cream" on Amazon, Perfect Image Lactic Acid Peel is one of the top results. However, none of the reviews reference the product’s effectiveness for removing tattoos.

Effective Alternatives to Tattoo Removal Cream

The FDA recognizes two treatments it says are safe and effective for permanent tattoo removal. Neither are as inexpensive and painless as tattoo removal cream. However, unlike over-the-counter fading creams, both of these methods are highly effective.

Laser Treatment

"Laser" is an acronym for the term “Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.” Laser therapy is also known as laser rejuvenation or laser surgery. It is the most current and preferred method of removing unwanted tattoos. Laser therapy offers you a low-risk option for taking your ink off. It has very few side effects.

A dermatologist or surgeon uses a high-intensity laser to treat the skin. Unlike tattoo removal cream, laser beams work by breaking up the pigment colors. The kind of laser used depends on the pigment colors. There are separate lasers or different settings that work best for various colors.

Short haired inked woman wearing yellow sweater

Image by THE COLLAB. via Pexels

Commonly, a Q-Switched laser is used to remove tattoos. This laser targets and removes your tattooed skin selectively without damaging any of your surrounding tissue. This ensures that there is no scarring. The significant drawbacks of laser tattoo removal are its cost, discomfort, and the need for multiple treatments.

In the United States, laser tattoo removal treatment can cost between $$ to $$$ per session, and dependent upon the coverage area, it may take several sessions to remove the tattoo successfully. According to research, the laser doesn’t cause intense pain. However, you will feel a stinging and burning sensation.


Dermabrasion, called surgical skin planing, works through skin-resurfacing. Basically, it removes the top layers of the skin in a process similar to sanding. During this procedure, a dermatologist or plastic surgeon removes both the surface layers and the middle of the tattoo.

Tattooed woman using VR

Image by Tim Savage via Pexels

Following the dermabrasion procedure, the skin layers grow back without the tattoo. Dermabrasion is an outpatient procedure. Therefore, it doesn't require a hospital stay. According to reports, there is pain involved during the immediate postoperative period and profound itching during later phases of healing.

Dermabrasion tattoo removal costs can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on the size of the tattoo and factors like the size of your local market.

Tattoo Removal Cream Take-off

If the term “cream” makes you think of a thick, luxurious lotion-like product, then we can safely say that there are no good tattoo removal creams on the market. TCA or trichloroacetic acid is available in liquid form and works by causing a chemical burn to the skin.

This injury will cause a scabbing over of the area as the skin tries to regenerate. Depending on how deep the “burn” is that you receive, part of the tattoo ink may also come off when the scabs peel. However, as the FDA warns, the process is not painless or without risk.

Finally, other “creams” on the market, like Tat B Gone, offer far too little information regarding ingredients to consider safe. While the product's early reviews seem promising, much remains to be seen. Creams containing active ingredients like hydroquinone cream and natural acids are less likely to cause severe side-effects like burns, and pain, but they are also less effective.

Can You Tattoo Over A Removed Tattoo? Here’s The Truth

Person applying tattoo

​​​​​​image source: pexels.com

Everyone knows that tattoos are forever, but they don't have to be. When faced with a tattoo which has lost its meaning, or faded so badly it looks poor, many tattoo enthusiasts opt to remove or cover up the offending ink. After undergoing treatment to remove an unwanted tattoo, many are left with the same question: can you tattoo over a removed tattoo?

The good news is that there are ways to tattoo over the same patch of skin from which you removed a tattoo. There are many variables to consider when asking “Can you tattoo over a removed tattoo?” The method of removal factors into the effectiveness, as does the type of cover-up work you get. It's important to make the right choices to maximize the efficacy of your cover-up tattoo.

What Are The Different Methods Of Tattoo Removal?

The first thing to understand about tattoo removal is that professionals do not remove all tattoos in the same way. When seeking out a method of removing your tattoo, multiple options are ranging from surgery to home remedies. Not all removal methods are equally effective, however. That is particularly so when you are seeking to tattoo over the same area at a later date. If you think you may want to cover up your removed tattoo at a later time, it's essential to choose a method which is not only safe and effective but also best positions you to get your new ink applied.

Can they tattoo over a removed tattoo afterward? It all depends on the removal method you used.

Laser tattoo removal

The most popular way to remove unwanted tattoos is through laser tattoo removal. In a laser removal treatment, your removal professional fires a laser at the tattoo in small bursts. Tattoos remain because the ink embedded in the skin is too large to be broken down by the body. The laser breaks pieces of the ink apart. Your body then naturally removes the offending ink from your skin.

Laser removal therapy is not a one-shot treatment. So can you tattoo over a removed tattoo? Don't expect to be ready for your new ink immediately. The exact number of treatments required depends on the colors of ink, and how faded the current tattoo is. No matter what your tattoo situation, however, you will almost certainly need multiple sessions. When can you tattoo over a removed tattoo following laser removal? Most tattoos require between 6 and 10 laser removal sessions to fade them away completely. With a break period of between six to eight weeks for healing after each session, this means full removal takes typically between half a year to a year.

Removing your tattoo with a laser is not a painless procedure. Exact levels of discomfort depend on your personal pain tolerance. The good news is that laser removal therapy is the most reliable method of non-surgical removal.

Surgical tattoo removal

The other highly effective method of tattoo removal consists of surgically removing the skin containing the offending ink. Surgeons carefully cut around the existing tattoo to entirely remove the skin containing the tattoo. Then they pull the skin on either side of the wound together with stitches. As skin has elastic tendencies, you can do this on smaller tattoos with no additional grafting required.

A primary benefit of using surgical tattoo removal is the speed with which the surgeon removes your tattoo. As the tattoo is not faded treatment by treatment, only one surgery is required to remove your tattoo. It provides the shortest possible turnaround from deciding you want your tattoo removed to full removal.

Unfortunately, surgical tattoo removal is not without its drawbacks. That is particularly true if you are wondering when can you tattoo over a removed tattoo. Due to the need to pull the wound shut after excision, it is not ideally suited for large tattoos. If you plan to remove a big piece of ink then tattoo over it, surgical tattoo removal does not offer a viable route. You can never tattoo over a removed tattoo in this case.

Dermabrasion tattoo removal

Some people in need of tattoo removal opt to avoid lasers or surgery with dermabrasion. The removal process of a dermabrasion treatment involves the scraping of the skin which contains the ink with an abrasive surface. Your doctor essentially sands away the skin over the tattoo to get to the layer containing the ink.

As with laser tattoo removal, dermabrasion treatments commonly require multiple treatments for removal. Dermabrasion is also a painful procedure, as you can imagine from a process which comes down to sanding away your living skin. Laser tattoo removal also offers a more precise removal, as a laser can be used more accurately than the dermabrasion tools. Finally, dermabrasion removal can leave behind unsightly scarring. While this is effective for removing an offending word or picture, it's not a great canvas for later tattoos.

Due to the scarring and pain involved with dermabrasion, it's a poor choice if you are opting to cover your removed tattoo at a later date. Other options offer more comfortable and more effective methods of removal. So can you tattoo over a removed tattoo if you went with dermabrasion? The short answer is, no.

Chemical and home remedies

With professional tattoo removal often costing hundreds of dollars, some turn to home treatments. While the specifics of various home creams or other treatments vary, they all share their ineffectiveness. The FDA advises against using any so-called tattoo removal creams. Salabrasion techniques take the painful scrubbing of dermabrasion and remove the medical professionals and local anesthetics.

None of the available chemical treatments and home remedies are viable options to remove a tattoo for a future cover-up, and they should be treated as such. They are both less effective and more dangerous than professional treatments. Can you tattoo over a removed tattoo? If you removed it with a home remedy, the answer is likely no.

How Do Cover Up Tattoos Work?

Young woman getting tattoo

image source: pixabay.com

As the name implies, cover-up work involves tattooing over a previous piece of artwork. Cover up tattoos offer some of the most effective options for removing a tattoo you no longer want. Although any tattoo can be tattooed over, there are factors which improve your overall results. From the color of the old and new pieces to the type of design chosen, knowing how to get the best out of your cover-up work positions you to get the best possible results with your new ink. Instead of asking if you can tattoo over a removed tattoo, ask if you can tattoo over an existing tattoo!

Size matters

Any tattoo can be covered up, but not all cover jobs are equally challenging. It's not always necessary to cover the entire previous tattoo. Occasionally your tattoo artist will allow some of the original ink to remain because the top design removes enough context that it looks like part of the new work. Generally, however, your new tattoo must be larger than the previous piece. That means that when getting a cover-up tattoo, the smaller the original tattoo, the easier the job becomes.

The more detail, the better

The best cover up designs are those which feature lots of detailed work. Because the artist is not working with a clean slate, large consistent blocks are more likely to have inconsistent tone due to the pigments underneath. Complex designs which feature minimal consistent spaces minimize the effect of the underlying ink. Small variations over the length of a series of thin lines of different color become less visible. When in doubt, add additional details to your cover-up piece for better results.

Color choices

The color of your tattoos matter with cover-ups, and not just for the new piece. Although no colors are prohibitive in either covering the tattoo or the new work, there are general rules to guide you. For the new tattoo, the darker color choices you make, the more effective they are at covering your old work. The flip side remains true for the original work. Lighter colors cover more easily than dark colors.

That is where utilizing fading methods like laser tattoo removal proves so helpful. When planning to cover up a dark tattoo, many artists recommend undergoing some removal treatments. When using laser removal therapy as part of a cover-up plan, full treatment is optional. The more sessions you receive and the lighter your old ink becomes, the better your final results will be. If, however, you are operating on a tight budget, speak with your artist about getting just a few sessions to lighten the old artwork enough for an effective cover-up, without having to spend money on additional laser sessions.

Can You Tattoo Over A Removed Tattoo?

Man applying tattoo

image source: pixabay.com

Removing a regrettable tattoo is an effective way of ridding yourself of the offending ink. Once it's gone, however, many tattoo enthusiasts realize they still want something there, just something different. Whether your removal has left some unsightly signs of your previous work, or you just can't bear the thought of “wasting” that space with no tattoo, there's good news for anyone who has wondered “Can I tattoo over a removed tattoo?”

The answer is yes, you can. Don't rush into getting new work done, however. There are important considerations to factor into the process to ensure you are happy with your final product.

How many treatments should I get?

There is no magic number for tattoo removal treatments. Both laser removal therapy and dermabrasion work to fade your tattoo over several sessions, but they're not created equal when you plan to get a cover up tattoo. Laser removal best serves those opting for a cover-up tattoo. The scarring process after treatment is less noticeable and creates a better canvas for your new piece.

Once you've decided on your removal method, speak with your artist to determine an estimate on how many sessions you need. The current condition of your tattoo affects the number, as do the colors of both the old and new tattoos. The more treatments applied to the tattoo, the fainter it becomes, yielding better cover-ups. Those on a budget should speak with their artists about designs which will require minimal lightening before cover up.

How long do I have to wait after my last treatment?

Any professional tattoo removal method brings with it some recovery time. Exact times vary on a case to case basis, but six to eight weeks is a reasonable estimate. It's vital that you don't rush your cover-up tattoo. The scar tissue left behind by removal tattoos needs to heal to avoid infection fully. When in doubt, err on the side of taking extra recovery time before cover-up work. Your new tattoo will hopefully be with you the rest of your life. It's worth waiting an extra week or two to get the best work possible.

Is it going to hurt?

As with any tattoo, the answer depends on your pain tolerance. The pain of your work varies by location of the tattoo, as well. Tattooing over the scar tissue of the removed tattoo frequently leads to increased discomfort during the tattooing process. The increased pain is unlikely to be prohibitively so, but you should enter your session prepared for the potential that it will be more painful than previously.

The Final Answer To “Can You Tattoo Over A Removed Tattoo?”

Tattoo session

image source: pixabay.com

Dealing with a tattoo you no longer want is troubling. Removing the tattoo offers an opportunity to solve the problem, but it is not always a solution. Removal techniques only fade some tattoos. Scar tissue commonly remains, even after a successful removal treatment. It's tempting to think you're better off just covering up the old ink, and that's partly true. The best method for removing any traces of an old tattoo is to do both.

Can you tattoo over a removed tattoo? Absolutely. In fact, cover up tattoos often look better when you first treat the prior tattoo with laser removal therapy. The lightened tones of your initial tattoo create a cleaner surface for your new work. If you've been considering tattooing over your removed tattoo, it provides an excellent remedy.

Did you once wonder, “Can you tattoo over a removed tattoo?” before getting the procedure yourself? Share the results with us in the comments so others can see the results of the process.

The Best Tattoo Removal Before And Afters

Tattoo removal

Sometimes, we make mistakes in life -- big, ugly, somewhat permanent mistakes. But after taking a look at some tattoo removal before and afters, we realize they don't have to be so permanent! Nowadays, laser tattoo removal clinics are just as popular as tattoo parlors. Wherever there is someone completely enamored with their new ink, there's someone else dying to have it ripped off their dermis.

But how do you choose the right laser removal clinic? What kind of machines do they use? And the most important question of all -- does it hurt? These crucial questions are critical before you go on your great tattoo removal adventures. Our guide will help you navigate the world of tattoo removal before you jump off the deep end.



Destroying Love

go tatto removal

Image Source: Instagram

Love In Full Bloom

absolute removal

Image Source: Instagram

Bouquet Chest

lazer erazer

Image Source: Instagram

Removing Alex

1 point tattoo removal

Image Source: Instagram

Eyeliner Be Gone

untatto parlor

Image Source: Instagram

Spider Killer

drm laser

Image Source: Instagram

Skull Eradication

laser peter

Image Source: Instagram

No Longer Rearing Its Ugly Head

mj driver laser tattoo removal

Image Source: Instagram

Why Would You Want to Remove Your Tattoo?

woman with tattoo

Image source: Unsplash

Before we take a look at some tattoo removal before and afters, you may wonder: Why do people remove them in the first place? If you do not have or do not regret your ink, consider yourself lucky. Those who no longer want any or specific tattoos on their bodies remove them for several reasons.


person holding round silver cup

Image source: Unsplash

One of the most popular reasons why people have tattoos removed is because they are impacting career advancement. While the workplace has become more tolerable with tattoos, there are extreme tattoos a potential employer would not permit. Tattoos based on racist ideologies are an example of unacceptable tattoos in the workplace, especially if they are in a visible place. Face, finger, and arm tattoos are high-visibility spots where tattoo removals are common.

Changed values

Tattoos drawn when drunk or in prison are usually in bad taste. Many ex-convicts have their tattoos removed because they no longer associate with the crowd on the inside. Secondly, their belief or value system now is different from when they were in prison, and therefore, because this tattoo no longer represents who they are, they have them removed. When it comes to drunk tattoos, thankfully tattoo parlors are by appointment only. Secondly, they usually don't allow drunk clientele into their shops, never mind sit down and get a tattoo. However, if you were to get a tattoo somehow while drunk, you'll wake up with a painful reminder to never do it again.

Dislike their tattoo

Lastly, someone may wish to have their tattoo removed because they no longer like how it looks. That is especially the case with permanent makeup including eyebrow microblading and waterline tattoos. The recipient may have received the tattoo when it was in-style but now is no longer fashionable. Secondly, they may not be as happy with the permanent makeup as they thought they would be. Lastly, the color they originally had may have faded or even changed color due to sun exposure or oxidization reduction reaction.

Tattoo Removal Options

Before jumping off the deep end of tattoo removals, it is wise to know about your options.

Laser tattoo removal

While laser tattoo removal is the most common method of elimination, it is certainly not the only one. What laser tattoo removal does is break up the ink into tiny fragments. Then, your immune system clears up those fragments until the tattoo is mostly gone. That, however, takes several sessions (depending on how large and colorful the tattoo is), causes blistering, and is costly.

Intense Pulsed Light Therapy

The next best thing is IPL -- Intense Pulsed Light Therapy. While heralded as being more effective and less painful than laser tattoo removal, it is also significantly more expensive. It easily costs 10 times as much as laser tattoo removal.

Surgical and chemical removal

Surgical removal (skin grafting) is also an option for smaller tattoos, although you're almost guaranteed to have a scar that lasts a lifetime. It is also extremely costly and recovery times are long.

Chemical-based products such as peels and creams are also popular. While an inexpensive option for tattoo removal, its effectiveness is debatable. Tat B Gone is one of the top tattoo removal creams. It is inexpensive and much less painful compared to other methods but takes significantly longer to see results. Doctors do not recommend these methods, as they can damage your skin and do you more harm than good.

Sanding and salabrasion

There are several other methods including sanding and salabrasion that may be considered more "natural." They do not employ the use of expensive machines, creams, or lasers. But they are much more painful and will leave a scar. The sanding method involves taking sandpaper and rubbing the tattoo over and over until the top layer of skin (and tattoo) is rubbed off. This method does not guarantee the complete removal of the tattoo, and there is a great risk of infection. Salabrasion is another method that is also high on the pain and cost meter. It involves using water, salt, and lots of elbow grease to rub away the tattoo. To stave away infection, have a professional conduct the salabrasion and use sterile gauze, bandages, and ointment.

Lastly, if none of these options appeal to you, you could always cover up your tattoo with another one. Depending on the size and color, you may need to cover the existing ink with a larger, darker tattoo.

What You Need to Know Before Removing Your Tattoo

man working on tattoo

Image source: Unsplash

If after looking at all of the tattoo removal options you have decided on laser removal, there are a few things you should know — first thing's first: the cost.



Image source: Pixabay

The price varies greatly on the size of the tattoo and its color. Both of those factors will determine how many session you'll need to erase the tattoo as much as possible. But on average, each session costs anywhere from $200 to $500. Multiply that by how many sessions you'll need and you have your total for your laser tattoo removal therapy.

Pain level

woman aching

Image source: Pixabay

When it comes to pain, everyone's tolerance is different. What is very painful for one person may be a walk in the park for someone else. Having said that, if you tolerated the tattoo process, you would be able to withstand laser tattoo removal. If you feel the pain will be too great, talk to your technician about the possibility of using local anesthesia to make the process more comfortable. However, you may feel just fine with the occasional ice pack.

Is it completely gone?

After you've gone through the removal process, it is important to manage your expectations. Your tattoo may not be 100 percent removed once all is said and done. You may still see a faint outline of your previous tattoo no matter how many sessions you've completed. Tattoos with black, blue, green, and red are more responsive to lasers and are easily removable. However, tattoos with yellow, orange, and white are harder to remove. Amateur tattoos generally have less pigment and are shallower on the skin, which makes the removal process easier. Professional tattoos are deeper and thus, require more sessions.

Associated risks

Finally, although laser tattoo removal is the safest and most successful method, there are some risks. First off, the site is at risk for infection and scarring. There is also a risk for hypopigmentation and hyperpigmentation. Hypopigmentation is when the treated skin is paler than the surrounding skin. But some tattoos (such as cosmetic ones) are more at-risk for hyperpigmentation, which means they darken after treatment.

How to Find the Best Laser Tattoo Removal Clinic

It is essential to do your research before diving head-first into laser tattoo removal. First off, ask your group of family and friends if they have ever professionally removed a tattoo. If they have, perhaps they can recommend the clinic. Word of mouth is much more trustworthy than any written testimonial.

Like laser eye surgery clinics, free laser tattoo removal consultations are a sign of a good clinic. Do some preliminary research on the clinic of your choice and book a consultation. Once you arrive at the clinic, look for official certifications — they should be in plain view for everyone to see. When your appointment time comes, check out their equipment. Does it seem old, over-used, or broken in any way? Ask for tattoo removal before and afters photos. Most importantly, ask lots of questions. If your technician is unable to answer your questions or if you feel skeptical of their abilities, seek a second opinion.

The Process

Knowing the process before you start is vital to ensure there are no surprises along the way. The first sign of a good tattoo removal clinic is a free initial assessment. Here, the specialist will ask about your family history and conduct a patch test. The patch test consists of a technician shooting a single shot of the laser to your skin. You will come back a few days to a week after to ensure you have no adverse reaction to the laser. If all is well, your therapy can commence.

Talk to your specialist to find out if you require any local anesthesia to make the process more comfortable. There are some parts of the body which are more sensitive than others and will require local anesthesia, ice, or a combination of both. Pain level differs from person to person. Some compare the sensation to a sunburn or pinpricks, while others describe it like a rubber band snapping against their skin. You'll more than likely require multiple sessions to get rid of your tattoo completely.

One of the best signs of successful tattoo removal is frosting. Frosting occurs when gas bubbles (caused by the laser removal) rise to the surface of the skin. Although it may look disconcerting, it is an entirely natural side effect and disappears after 5 to 15 minutes. After your session(s), you will also experience blistering, swelling, and scabbing in the affected area. Remember to keep the area wrapped in a sterile bandage for at least three days. After three days, after-care is ironically similar to that of getting a tattoo. Use mild soap and warm water to clean and pat dry. Do not pick at scabs, and use an ointment (such as Aquaphor) to reduce itchiness caused by dry skin.

Best Tattoo Removal Before and Afters

We've selected the best tattoo removal before and afters so you can have a better idea of how laser tattoo removal looks. Some of the patients in these photos have results after just two sessions of therapy. Although the results vary, these tattoo removal before and afters are great examples of the laser's effectiveness.

We took a look at where tattoo removal before and afters garner the most reactions: social media. Companies post these before and afters to advertise their laser removal services. They prove that laser tattoo removal is an effective method to get rid of unwanted ink no matter where it is on your body.

Destroying love

go tattoo removal

Image Source: Instagram

Most of these tattoo removal before and afters offer great insight for people looking to manage their expectations when it comes to results. This small "love" tattoo was almost completely removed at Go! Tattoo Removal. Because of its small size and dark lines, this Pennsylvania clinic was able to remove most of the pigmentation after just two sessions. This clinic charges $200 per session.

Love in full bloom

absolute removal

Image Source: Instagram

Absolute laser tattoo removal has two locations: San Diego and Los Angeles. Taking a look at their tattoo removal before and afters show lots of happy customers. This flower and heart combo look like this after a few sessions. This clinic offers two tattoo removal laser machines: the Picoway and the Picosure.

This clinic claims the Picoway is much better at removing tattoos than Q-switched lasers. Q-switched lasers can remove both dark and light tattoos without adverse side effects such as scarring. Picoway offers the highest peak power with the shortest pulse duration. That means less heat from the laser and a more comfortably tattoo removal session. In contrast, the Picosure claims to be more effective in removing nearly 100 percent of the tattoo (even stubborn blue and green inks) in as little as 3 sessions.

Bouquet chest

lazer erazer

Image Source: Instagram

Some tattoo removal before and afters are quite faint after just one session. But this example is not one of them! This client took the saying "go big or go home" quite literally. This client from Melbourne, Australia had a significant amount of her tattoo removed after a single treatment. The clinic Lazer Erazer came about after owner and laser removal technician Jade Louise was unhappy with her tattoo removal procedures. She wanted to create a fun, judgment-free environment that makes her clients feel appreciated and at home. Lazer Erazer uses a Fotona QX Max, a Q-switched laser machine which uses single-pulse technology, to remove pigments from the dermis.

Removing Alex

1 point tattoo removal

Image Source: Instagram

The darker the tattoo, the easier it is to remove. This "Alex" tattoo is nearly a memory after just a few sessions. The clinic, 1 Point Tattoo, is located in Kaulia, Hawaii. This one-stop-shop both creates and removes tattoos. If you're planning on covering up your existing tattoo, this could very well be the best place to go.

Besides their tattoo laser removal machine, they have invested in a Zimmer cryo cooling machine. This specialized machine blows cold air (-30 degrees Celcius) at the treatment site to numb the skin within a few minutes. Their prices are unavailable online, as their treatment prices depend on the tattoo's size. They also offer discounts for the military and civil service members.

Eyeliner be gone

untatto parlor

Image Source: Instagram

If you looked quickly at these kinds of tattoo removal before and afters, you may not even notice the difference! But the UnTattoo Parlor successfully removed this client's permanent eyeliner on both upper and lower lid. This clinic uses a combination of Cynosure PicoSure laser machines, as well as a Cutera Enlighten machine. While the Picosure laser machine does the brunt of the work, the latter device treats several skin conditions. This machine revitalizes and lightens skin pigmentation.

These kinds of tattoo removal before and afters really drive home the importance of hiring a qualified laser technician. Having the procedure done on such a sensitive spot so close to your eye is risky. Always ensure you wear corneal shields to protect your eyes from the laser during the procedure.

Spider killer

drm laser

Image Source: Instagram

The fantastic DRM Laser Tattoo Removal clinic eliminated this unsightly arachnid on quite an odd spot: the thumb. Taking a look at these kinds of tattoo removal before and afters makes us see how effective laser machines really are! This Melbourne, Australia-based clinic uses a combination of two machines during tattoo removal: a Fotona QX Max and the Koolio cooling machine.

The Fotona uses four different laser wavelengths which eliminate different colors. The 1064nm Nd: YAG removes very dark (black) pigments and 532 nm KTP removes reds, tans, purples, and orange. Meanwhile, the 650nm wavelength removes greens, and the 585nm eliminates sky blue hues. The Koolio machine features cools up to -40℃ to keep clients as comfortable as possible.

Skull eradication

laser peter

Image Source: Instagram

When taking a look at tattoo removal before and afters, we came across a tattoo removal covered in "frost." Urge Tattoo is a shop located in Vancouver, Canada specializing in laser tattoo removal. This before and after shows a skull tattoo covered in frost immediately after the first session of treatment. The frosting dissipates approximately 10 to 15 minutes after the procedure.

The client will have to return for more sessions to eliminate their unwanted ink. According to their website, they'll need to wait six to eight weeks between each removal session. That gives your body enough time to break everything down entirely. It also reduces the number of total treatments.

No longer rearing its ugly head

mj driver laser tattoo removal

Image Source: Instagram

Some tattoo removal before and afters can only be seen in certain situations. In this case, we could only see the tattoo on the back of this gentleman's head when his head is mostly bald. After three treatments, the tattoo is a shadow of its former self. The clinic suspects that the removal will be 100 percent complete after a final session in 3 to 4 months.

This before and after photo is courtesy of MJ Driver, a five-location tattoo removal clinic in Australia. They offer free consultations, and although prices vary, sessions start at $80 per procedure. MJ Driver uses three machines for their removals: the cynosure Picosure, Medlite C6, and the Revlite. The Medlite c6 and revlite are Q-switched laser machines, while the Picosure is the newest and most popular piece of laser equipment.

Final Thoughts

The most critical step in choosing the right clinic is research, research, and more research! Look for qualified technicians offering a judgment-free environment and professional equipment. Inspect photos of their tattoo removal before and afters — the clinic should have plenty of examples. Being comfortable in their clinic and confident with their expertise is essential to have a positive experience. Shop around, book your free consultations, and ask as many questions as possible. Like love, you'll know when you've found the right one.

Featured image via Pixabay

Laser Skin Tightening: Everything You Need To Be Aware Of

woman with smooth facial skin had undergone a laser skin tightening

Skin tightening treatments are not generally used for tattoo removal. However, if you are exploring your options for Rejuvenating your skin, this treatment may be something you are interested in.

Are the first signs of aging starting to take a toll on your skin's appearance? Forget about the scalpel. Skin tightening is an effective and non-invasive way to lift sagging skin, eliminate cellulite, and smooth away wrinkles. And all of this is possible without surgery, downtime, or recovery. So how does skin tightening work? And is this treatment really as amazing as it sounds?

Non-invasive skin tightening has delivered amazing results to countless patients. But you should never undergo a procedure, regardless of how low-risk it is, without doing extensive research. Before visiting your dermatologist, learn about the cost, risks, and potential benefits of this revolutionary skin treatment.

What Is Skin Tightening?

Skin tightening is precisely what it sounds like: tightening loose skin on the face, neck, and body. Sagging and loose skin can occur after extreme weight loss, but for many people, this is just a natural part of aging. As we age, the collagen and elastin in our bodies begin to break down. Since these compounds are what gives skin its elasticity and tautness, without it our skin no longer fits the contours of our face and body.

Most skin tightening treatments work by contracting the skin and stimulating the production of new collagen. This helps bring new life into sagging or loose skin around the face, neck, and body. Skin tightening can help eliminate wrinkles and give your skin a more youthful appearance overall.

Skin tightening is appealing to many people because it is non-invasive. While there are several ways to perform a skin tightening treatment, very few require major surgery or incisions. Instead, skin tightening patients are in and out of their doctor's office in no time.

However, it's important to note that skin tightening is not a weight loss procedure. While some skin tightening results can give the appearance of weight loss, these procedures do not affect the fat tissue underneath the skin. Some other non-invasive treatments, like Coolsculpting, combine fat reduction with skin tightening for even more dramatic results.

The Most Popular Types of Skin Tightening

When it comes to non-invasive skin tightening treatments, you have a variety of options. Not only are doctors developing new techniques to improve the treatment process, but brand new technologies also emerge from time to time. Each technique has its own pros and cons, and some dermatologists specialize in one treatment type over the others.

The type of treatment that's best for you will depend on a variety of personal factors, and only a licensed dermatologist can say which is the right one. Before committing to any one treatment type, make sure to consult with multiple doctors and explore all of your options.


dermatologist treating patient

The most popular brand name for ultrasound skin tightening is Ultherapy. The same ultrasound waves that have been used for decades to create images of fetuses and view internal injuries can now also help tighten your skin. While this treatment method penetrates deeper into the skin than most lasers, it's currently only used for the face, chin, and decolletage. After Ultherapy or another ultrasound treatment, the skin around your face, brow, and chin will slowly tighten and lift. For the decolletage, or the skin between your neck and breast, this treatment can smooth wrinkles caused by sun damage and aging.

Ultrasound treatments can penetrate deeper into the skin because they use sound waves instead of light. These waves can reach the base layers of the skin to trigger collagen production. While it can take several weeks or even months to see the full results, this procedure generally leaves skin noticeably tighter and lifted.


Radiofrequency treatment

Radiofrequency treatments use the same wavelengths as your radio, television, or even your Wi-Fi network. But radiofrequency, or RF, treatments use a specific set of wavelengths honed to penetrate and heat the inner layers of the skin. This heat helps promote the production of new collagen and elastin underneath the skin's surface.

Unlike ultrasound skin tightening, which only treats the face and surrounding area, RF treatments can help contour and tighten the entire body. Some patients choose RF therapy to treat cellulite and tighten loose skin on their abdomen or legs. But facial skin tightening is still one of the most popular uses for this treatment. Properly administered RF treatments can deliver results that last for up to two years.

Intense pulsed light

Intense pulsed light process

Sometimes, intense pulse light, frequently called IPL, is combined with radiofrequency techniques to penetrate deeper into the skin. The addition of IPL to this treatment supposedly helps the doctor target certain areas of the skin more specifically than radiofrequency alone. One of the popular brand names for this combination therapy is called Refirme.

With the inclusion of IPL, some patients might also see improvements to their skin's color, texture, and more. Studies show improvement in elasticity and tone, as well as pigmentation and visible veins following this combination treatment.

Who Is an Ideal Candidate?

old woman

These skin tightening procedures are ideal for patients who have noticeably lost some elasticity and firmness in their skin. This could present itself in a change in skin texture, the appearance of small wrinkles, or sagging skin. Tightening treatments are not ideal for patients who have excess skin following weight loss or more dramatic signs of aging that require cosmetic surgery. A licensed dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon can tell you if you're a good candidate for these procedures.

While these skin tightening procedures are low-risk for most patients, some conditions can prevent you from getting one of these treatments. Pregnant women will need to wait until after their pregnancy to undergo one of these skin procedures. Plus, certain medications or pre-existing skin conditions may prevent you from qualifying for non-invasive skin tightening. Consult with your doctor to determine if any of these concerns apply to you.

Will skin tightening affect your tattoos?

When it comes to gaining or losing weight, many people worry that their tattoos will warp with their changing skin. This is certainly a potential side effect of extreme weight change. But can the same thing happen to a tattoo through non-invasive skin tightening?

Thankfully, the changes in your skin following this treatment may look dramatic, but the actual movement of the skin is minimal. Tattoos in the treated areas shouldn't show any noticeable signs of warping, stretching, or other changes. In fact, smoother skin on and around the tattoo might actually improve its appearance.

Before undergoing non-invasive skin tightening, always ask your doctor about any tattoos near the treatable area. The tattoo shouldn't be harmed by the tightening itself. However, some lasers and other non-invasive treatments can have undesirable effects on the ink itself. Your dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon will be able to determine if this side effect is a concern for you and your chosen treatment type.

How Much Does Skin Tightening Cost?

The price of a skin tightening treatment greatly depends on your geographical location, the size of the treated area, and your chosen treatment method. Many dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons are happy to provide a cost estimate when you visit them for a consultation. Unfortunately, since these procedures are considered cosmetic in nature, insurance won't cover them. Therefore, you should expect to pay the full cost out-of-pocket.

Ultherapy, the popular ultrasound treatment option, can cost up to $5,500 for a full face and neck treatment in areas with a high cost of living. Smaller treatment areas and geographical locations with lower costs of living can go as low as $750 to $2,500. Refirme, which uses IPL and RF wavelengths, is considerably cheaper. These treatments cost anywhere from $100 to over $1,800, with the average treatment costing around $525.

Where Should You Go for Skin Tightening?

patient consulting a dermatologist

Like any medical procedure, you should always visit a licensed medical doctor for non-invasive skin tightening. The best doctors for a procedure like this include dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons. Even though no surgery is actually involved in skin tightening, proper application is still necessary to prevent burns, scarring, and other negative side effects.

Even if you think you can get a better deal, you should avoid unreputable medi-spas and salons that offer laser or ultrasound treatments. While there's a chance that your treatment will be overseen or administered by a doctor, you're more likely to find yourself in the hands of an unlicensed, untrained member of their staff. If something goes wrong during your procedure, this individual doesn't have the knowledge or expertise to prevent and treat issues as they arise. Don't put your skin's health and appearance at risk by going to a cheap spa. Instead, always choose a licensed medical doctor for this and related treatments.

What Are the Side Effects of Skin Tightening?

These skin tightening procedures are non-invasive, meaning they don't require any type of surgery. However, they are not entirely risk-free. Most negative side effects can be attributed to improper treatment. But they are still potential risks that you should consider when deciding if this procedure is right for you.

Even though most people go right back to their daily life after undergoing non-invasive skin tightening, there are some normal side effects that you can expect. These include swelling, redness, and bruising at the sight of treatment. These side effects are completely normal. However, if they worsen or persist for a long period of time, don't hesitate to contact your doctor for further information.

Outside of these common side effects, there are some long-term or permanent effects that can result from a skin tightening treatment. If you see any of these side effects after your procedure, contact your doctor immediately. While these side effects can be temporary and harmless, it's better to be safe than sorry.


Skin tightening that utilizes a laser, like Refirme, can result in skin discoloration in the treated area. The same damage that triggers additional collagen production can also trigger melanin, the compound that gives skin its color.

Patients with darker skin have a greater risk of hyperpigmentation (darkening of the skin) or hypopigmentation (lightening of the skin). Evidence also points to certain post-treatment techniques increasing the risk for this side effect. Potential side effects caused by discoloration may fade over time or be permanent.

Burns and scarring

Some non-invasive laser procedures heat the skin to help encourage collagen and elastin production. However, if these procedures aren't administered correctly, they can burn the skin. While most burns will heal over time, severe burns could leave behind scarring that will never completely fade.

The best way to prevent this serious side effect is to only go to a licensed dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon for your skin tightening treatments. An experienced doctor or nurse will know how to properly administer the treatment without burning your skin. This might not be true at an unlicensed spa or salon.

Allergic reactions

woman with allergy

In rare cases, patients may experience an allergic reaction following a skin tightening procedure. These reactions might result from topical products used during the treatment or the device itself. Allergic reactions have been reported following tattoo removal and laser hair removal, so this side effect isn't exclusive to skin tightening procedures.

Luckily, these reactions typically don't last long and will not return as long as you don't return for more skin tightening treatments in the future. Ask your doctor about the best over-the-counter medications to take and other recovery instructions you should follow to minimize your symptoms.


Numbness of the treated area can occur following ultrasound, radiofrequency, or laser skin tightening. This side effect isn't too surprising considering that these tightening treatments work by causing slight damage to the deeper layers of the skin.

Most post-treatment numbness rectifies itself within a few days. If your numbness persists, though, make sure to contact your doctor. Nerve damage could have occurred during the treatment and should be addressed right away. While there are no current studies on this occurring after a skin tightening procedure, it has been documented following other non-invasive cosmetic treatments.

Will You Transform Your Body With Skin Tightening?

The side effects listed above are real risks to consider before undergoing any of these skin tightening procedures. But they pale in comparison to the potential dangers of a surgical facelift. If you have your heart set on treating your sagging or wrinkled skin, then non-invasive skin tightening is generally the safest option. However, you should always consult with a trusted, licensed doctor before choosing to undergo one of these procedures.

Of course, your other option is to simply embrace the aging process. As well as the changes in your skin that come along with it. Society might seem to prefer youthful-looking skin, but beauty is fleeting and subjective. If you choose to feel happy and empowered with your natural skin, this confidence will radiate from within. Whichever path you choose, it is your body and you should do whatever makes you feel best.

How Much Does Tattoo Removal Cost? And How Much Should You Pay?

Person tattoo

You may have two tattoo removal professionals in one county, but each of them will charge differently. Many things things will affect the cost of this very specialized service. Understanding these factors and how they influence tattoo removal pricing will help you estimate tattoo removal costs. That way, you can budget accordingly.

Factors That Affect the Cost of Tattoo Removal

You need to consider several important factors when asking, “How much does tattoo removal cost?” These will help you come up with a set of criteria that will then help you to decide which tattoo removal expert you should hire. How accurate your criteria are, in relation to your needs, will also determine whether you get the best value for your money.

How much does tattoo removal cost based on tattoo appearance?

When it comes to determining the cost of your tattoo removal procedure, bear in mind that a tattoo’s appearance matters a lot. Prices may vary according to the size of the tattoo, the ink color or colors, the depth of the tattoo, and more.

How much does tattoo removal cost based on size?

How big is your tattoo? Larger tattoos also tend to be more elaborate. But even if they are not, their sheer size guarantees that they will cost more to get rid of just like they cost more to create. After all, more ink has been used to create them. Think of Ben Affleck’s back tattoo for example. Tattoo removal costs for such a tattoo would be far much higher than the cost of removing say, Bella Hadid’s tiny black angel wings on her ankles. Size matters. And it determines how much money you will have to shell out to get rid of body art that you no longer want.

How much does tattoo removal cost based on ink color?

Not all inks are created equal. Did you know that? Some tattoo inks are much easier to remove than others. When you undergo procedures like laser tattoo removal, you can expect black ink to absorb all the light wavelengths, break up, and fade much faster. Other color hues like yellow, purple, and blue are more stubborn. They require specific light wavelengths to remove. They also absorb laser light at a much lower rate. As a result, they may end up costing more to get rid of.

How much does tattoo removal cost based on ink depth and quality?

How much ink was used to create your tattoos may determine the depth of those tattoos. Its quality also matters. Professional tattoo artists tend to use more ink to create body art as opposed to amateurs. For this reason, professionally-created tattoos are inked deeper into the skin and are much more difficult to remove. Conversely, home-made tattoos will be much easier to remove since amateurs often tend to create shallow tattoos. The cost of removal will, therefore, be cheaper for these superficial tattoos that have been done in an amateurish way.

That said, the chemicals used in the tattoo ink also matter. Heavy metal compounds like beryllium and chromium may make tattoo inks much more difficult to remove. The components of homemade inks, some of which professionals are not even familiar with, also affect its quality and ability to penetrate the skin. Removing some of these inks from your body may be more labor-intensive than you would expect. For this reason, you may have to dig deeper into your pocket to pay for tattoo removal services.

henna hands mehendi pattern female

image source: Pixabay

How much does tattoo removal cost based on the procedure?

There are a number of tattoo removal procedures that exist currently. Each of them has pros and cons. Some work much faster than others do. Also, some are more effective in removing particular tattoo ink colors than others are. Besides, the complexity of a tattoo removal procedure will also affect your overall costs.

Laser tattoo removal

For example, the average cost of a laser tattoo removal session is $200 to $500 typically. If you take advantage of offers from sites like Groupon, then you may be able to lower that average price range to between $150 and $200. However, you may be able to find sessions that cost less if you shop around. It all depends on the kind of laser treatment that you intend to use to get rid of your body inkings. Laser tattoo removal is non-invasive and quite popular for that reason.

Surgical tattoo removal

You could also opt to undergo dermabrasion to remove your tattoo. Dermabrasion is, as the name suggests, using an abrasive tool to "sand" the tattoo from your skin. This is a surgical procedure carried out by a dermatologist, and it's not cheap. You can expect to pay an average of $1,170. Remember, that’s the cost of the dermabrasion alone, minus other treatment factors like anesthesia.

How much does tattoo removal cost based on the number of sessions?

Your tattoo may require more than one removal session before it's completely gone. And the number of sessions will affect the total cost value of your tattoo removal procedure. 

That number is dependent on aspects like the size and complexity of your tattoo, the kind of removal procedure that you select, and how effective it is, as well as the ink quality and depth. All these factors are intertwined and can make a heavy dent on your pocket if you choose the wrong tattoo removal method.

Generally speaking, the total number of tattoo removal sessions varies widely from 3 to 10 sessions for popular procedures like laser removal. Some tattoos may require as many as 12 sessions, with each spaced between 6 and 8 weeks apart. Dermabrasion also varies in terms of the number of sessions and the resulting costs. However, if your tattoo is not too deep, this method, though painful, may end up being cheaper overall compared to other tattoo removal methods.

tattoo artist arm

image source: Pixabay

How much does tattoo removal cost based on a doctor’s reputation?

The reputation of the skin doctor or other professional that you choose for your tattoo removal is important. It determines, somewhat, the costs that you will incur to get rid of your ink. Reputation, in this case, refers to the academic qualifications, fame, and experience the tattoo removal expert has within his or her field of study and work.

How much does tattoo removal cost based on the brand value of the doctor?

You could have two board-certified cosmetic dermatologists, but if one of them has starred in "Drs. 90210" like Dr. Will Kirby or "The Doctors" show like Dr. Sonia Batra, then what they charge you may end up being very different. That’s what branding is all about. Some skin doctors are more famous than others. They have or may continue to star on reality shows and often have guest spots on other TV shows as well. Others are thought-leaders in their fields and have published lots of articles and books.

Famous skin experts are celebrities in their own right. They have a highly visible brand. Such professionals don't need marketing -- their reputation precedes them. For that reason, many skin doctors of this kind are in a position to name their price. In order for you to access their services or those offered in their clinics, you may have to pay more for the privilege. Alternatively, you could opt for a similarly qualified doctor who is not famous and save money.

How much does tattoo removal cost based on academic qualifications?

The academic qualifications of tattoo removal experts vary. Both tattoo removal technicians and cosmetic dermatologists are capable of getting rid of your inkings. But the educational paths that they took to become professionals in their fields are different. And that difference will affect the price of their services.

Cosmetic dermatologists

Cosmetic dermatologists are fully qualified MDs that undergo medical training that takes anywhere from 9 to 11 years. In addition to getting tattoo removal training, they can handle other dermatological conditions that affect the hair, nails, and skin. They can also do additional procedures like dermabrasion and Botox injections.

Certified technicians

On the other hand, we have technicians who have trained in courses like laser tattoo removal. They usually undergo vocational training, the duration of which depends on the certification. But most of the time, these courses take a short time. They usually work under the supervision of better-trained experts in environments like a dermatologist’s clinic.

How much you pay for tattoo removal depends on which of these two professionals handle you. Whereas a cosmetic dermatologist will charge you an average of $136 per hour, a laser technician, on the other hand, earns an average of about $18 per hour. In any case, ask to see a sample of their work to help you decide if hiring any given professional will be money well spent.

How much does tattoo removal cost based on a professional's experience?

The longer a tattoo removal expert works in the field, the better that professional gets. For that reason, the experience of a tattoo removal expert matters. Someone who has worked for longer in the tattoo removal sector will be able to demand higher prices. That person probably has an established reputation and does not need to advertise to get a constant stream of clients. The demand for that professional’s services is much higher. After all, they know more and are less likely to make mistakes. Complications associated with their services are fewer.

In contrast, tattoo removal professionals who have worked for a shorter time are less likely to be trustworthy in the eyes of customers. They need to work on building a reputation in the industry. Since there is a lower demand for their services, they are forced to charge lower prices. That’s why you may find cheaper dermatologists charging $100 to $170 per hour and more expensive ones billing $200 or more hourly. With this in mind, you could opt for a tattoo removal professional who has worked for a shorter time in the sector if you want to save money. But you need to make sure that such a person is still good at his or her work and comes highly recommended.

How much does tattoo removal cost based on location?

How much does tattoo removal cost based on location? Well, that depends on the geographical area in which you intend to get tattoo removal services. It also depends on the health care environment in which your services will be provided.

A regular clinic vs. a medical spa

The cost of getting your tattoos out will depend on whether you go to a regular clinic or medical spa. A medical spa is a spa that offers medical services under the care of a medical health practitioner. Whereas in a clinic you would receive tattoo removal services for a short while, then go home to await the next session. A medical spa offers additional services. These are meant to pamper you, make you relax, and to enhance your health and appearance. You can also attend educational sessions and buy additional products on offer that will help you look and feel great. However, these extras may add to the cost of your tattoo removal costs, so bear that in mind.

How much does tattoo removal cost based on geographical location?

Some states are more expensive than others. The high cost of living in such locations pushes up the prices of products and services as well. The higher the cost of living in a state, the more expensive it is to live there. For example, some of the most expensive states to live in are Hawaii, Washington DC, and New York, respectively. At the same time, some of the least expensive states to live in are Indiana, Georgia, and Alabama, respectively.

When you take a look at the hourly salary of a cosmetic dermatologist in these areas, you will notice a difference in their values. Cosmetic dermatologists have an average salary of $348,984 in Hawaii, while those in Indiana have an average salary of $314,297. That’s a difference of over $34,000. That difference comes to about $2,800 monthly. And it must be accounted for in the hourly cost of service that you receive.

For this reason, it sometimes makes sense to find a qualified and experienced tattoo removal expert in a low cost of living state. That strategy works if you travel a lot across different regions in the U.S. and yet live in an expensive state. You can schedule your tattoo removal sessions to coincide with your work travels in a cheaper state and save quite a bit of money.

tattoo body art move painted woman

Image Source:  Pixabay

So, How Much Does Tattoo Removal Cost?

So, how much does tattoo removal cost? Well, it depends! It’s important that you bear in mind all the factors that affect the cost of removing your inkings before you begin to search for a skin doctor or tattoo removal technician. Pay close attention to the training and experience of the professional and the location and environment in which the services will be provided. Also, remember that your tattoo’s appearance -- size, shape, complexity, color, depth, and ink quality -- will affect your overall tattoo removal expenses as well. And if you want bragging rights associated with going to a clinic of a famous cosmetic dermatologist? Well, that will cost you more too.

Do you have a tattoo removal story you'd like to share? Tell us about it in the comments!

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