How much does tattoo removal cost and how does pricing work?
Tattoo removal cost (pricing) is nearly always the first or second thing people ask about during our free consultations at our Chicago office. As with many medical procedures, the cost isn’t as easily determined as, say, it is when buying a loaf of bread at the grocery store. Consultations are usually necessary to get an accurate quote.
But that isn’t a very satisfying answer, is it? You want a more concrete answer.
I’ll discuss tattoo removal pricing at length here. If you want a price quote form us, you can easily schedule a free consultation by logging on to BareTattooRemoval.com.
Laser tattoo removal cost is a function of two factors: size and the number of treatment sessions required. Let’s look at each one individually:
In the United States, we are on the “imperial” measurement system, not the metric system. So, we measure tattoos in square inches rather than centimeters or millimeters. For those of you who aren’t sure, a square inch is about the size of a postage stamp. If you don’t know the size of a postage stamp, there may be larger issues here than your tattoo regret. Those outside of the U.S. might experience different units of measurement.
Most tattoo removal providers will measure the treatment area using a transparency and a dry erase marker.
There are a number of difficulties with this pricing method. For one, tattoos are shapely works of art and often times there are areas within the design that don’t have tattoo pigment. In some instances – especially larger pieces, this can make it difficult to estimate the true size of the tattoo. Another problem is that tattoos may fade unevenly over time. This is especially true for tattoos with multiple colors. In these instances, the original measurements may overestimate the size (and therefore, cost) as the treatments progress. It may require re-measuring the size after a few treatments if some areas are no longer in need of treatment. When receiving a quote or consultation, be sure the provider is including these factors in the price so you’re not being overcharged.
Number of Treatment Sessions Required for Tattoo Removal
The number of treatments varies widely depending on a number of factors. Some main factors include: ink density, ink type, colors, location on the body, skin type, and even the client’s health and level of physical activity.
Typical full removals take between three and ten treatments sessions. If you’re looking to fade a tattoo to get a cover-up, perhaps it will require just a few sessions.
Treatment Session Intervals
Laser tattoo removal treatment sessions are spaced every four to six weeks in order to allow the skin proper time to heal and for the body to process the ink.
There is only one negative to waiting longer than the minimum number of four weeks between treatments: you’re not attacking the ink again as soon as possible. Treating the tattoo in shorter intervals allows for maximum fading in the shortest amount of time.
Waiting longer than four weeks does have two positives though:
- You can always pay per treatment session– so that naturally spreads out payments over time and makes the tattoo removal cost more affordable.
- You may see additional fading after four weeks so if you wait longer before receiving your next treatment session, you may get more for your money.
What’s A Fair Price for Tattoo Removal?
A fair price for tattoo removal depends on the office location, competition, and quality of the technology. Nationwide, $49 per square inch per treatment is a common price point. Many clinics will charge a minimum of around $100 per treatment too.
Bare Tattoo Removal pricing starts at $79 and increases from there, depending on the size.
Buyer Beware: You Get What You Pay For
In selecting the right place to go for tattoo removal, price should be just one factor you consider. Although Bare Tattoo Removal is very competitively priced, we may not always be the least expensive. We’ll elaborate in another post but suffice it to say that you should seriously consider other factors, including:
- The technology (quality, age, maintenance record, ability of the laser to target your colors)
- Expertise (competency) of the laser technician
- The office’s guarantees
- Online reviews
Considering factors beyond price may actually remove your tattoo faster and for less money with a lower risk of side effects.
Does Insurance Cover Tattoo Removal Cost
No. Tattoo removal is a cosmetic treatment and most insurance policies do not cover the procedure.
Tattoo Removal Financing
Many tattoo removal clinics offer patient financing. Be sure to ask about programs like Care Credit or Healthcare Finance Direct to help make the tattoo removal cost more affordable.
As mentioned earlier, because it takes a series of treatments, the tattoo removal cost is inherently financed over time. This is true unless you choose to pay up-front for all your treatments or a package. Financing will require a large (around 20%) upfront payment then space smaller payments out each month for 18 months or more. This may be a logical option for some clients. It may be especially appealing if the provider offers discounts for clients who pay in full / finance all sessions.
Crowd Funding & Non-Profit Grants to Fund Tattoo Removal
Have a compelling story about your tattoo and why it’s so important for you to remove it? You might want to consider appealing to your friends and family by creating a crowd funding campaign. There are many platforms. GoFundMe is one such provider. You might be surprised at how many people choose to pitch in and help you cover the tattoo removal cost.
Also, researching non-profit groups that fund tattoo removals may be worth the time. Bare Tattoo Removal has teamed up with a Chicago area non-profit, Sacred Transformations. The organization evaluates eligible candidates whose tattoos are negatively impacting their lives. Often times the tattoos are holding them back from turning things around. Sacred Transformations will fund part or all of their removal treatments or provide cover-up tattoos. Former gang members and victims of human trafficking are common applicants.
Always ask about discounts for tattoo removal. They may not be well advertised but probably exist. Package pricing, discounts for those looking to join the military, and size discounts for larger tattoos are common.
Clients sometimes ask us whether tipping is customary for tattoo removal. While tips are certainly not expected, they are appreciated.
Tattoo removal outcomes cannot be guaranteed – and if someone does, you should be highly skeptical. There are too many factors involved to say exactly how many treatments it will take – or even if the tattoo will certainly come off completely. Most clinics don’t offer guarantees of any kind.
Bare Tattoo Removal tries to minimize any uncertainty. If you pay in advance for your total number of treatments we estimate it will require, we provide the following guarantees:
- If we determine the tattoo is fully removed in fewer sessions than originally estimated, we’ll refund you the unused treatments.
- If it takes more than the number of sessions we estimate, we’ll provide up to 6 months of additional treatments at no cost.
These tattoo removal guarantees are unmatched. We hope they make you feel confident in the high-level of service we offer and more certain on the total tattoo removal cost.
So, back to the Original Question: How Much Does Tattoo Removal Cost?
If you were looking for the short answer, it’s that tattoo removal cost depends on the size of your tattoo and the number of treatment sessions you’ll need. Tattoo removal cost can range anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars or more.
-The Bare Team