The Ultimate Guide to Tattoo Removal Costs and Methods in 2024

The Ultimate Guide to Tattoo Removal Costs and Methods in 2024


Making the decision to remove a tattoo is as significant as getting one in the first place, and understanding the tattoo removal costs is an essential step in this journey. Whether it's a change of heart, a career requirement, or any other reason pushing you towards this choice, knowing how much tattoo removal costs can help you prepare both mentally and financially. As diverse as the reasons for removal are the methods available, each with its own implications for your pocket. Laser tattoo removal costs are often discussed, but they're just a part of the larger picture.

This comprehensive guide for 2024 will navigate you through the various tattoo removal methods, breaking down the cost of tattoo removal for each and highlighting the factors that influence the overall expenses. You'll gain insights into how much does tattoo removal cost on average, from laser tattoo removal costs to other emerging techniques. Moreover, we'll explore the expected number of sessions and healing time required, offering you a complete overview to make an informed decision. By the conclusion, you'll have a clearer understanding of tattoo removal pricing, enabling you to take the next step with confidence.

Overview of Tattoo Removal Methods

Exploring the various methods for tattoo removal reveals a range of techniques, each with its own set of benefits and drawbacks. Here, you'll learn about the three most common methods: laser removal, surgical removal, and dermabrasion.

Laser Removal

Laser tattoo removal is highly regarded as the safest and most effective method for erasing unwanted ink. Utilising specialised lasers that emit high-intensity light pulses, this technique breaks down the ink pigments, which are then naturally eliminated by the body over time. The process is non-invasive, generally less painful than other methods, and is capable of removing tattoos with minimal risk of scarring. It's important to note that laser removal can effectively target a wide range of ink colours and is suitable for various skin types.

Surgical Removal

Surgical removal involves excising the tattooed skin, often leaving a scar. This method is typically reserved for smaller tattoos as it can be challenging to perform on larger areas. The procedure includes numbing the area with a local anaesthetic, removing the tattoo with a scalpel, and then stitching the skin back together. While effective, the feasibility of this method decreases as the size of the tattoo increases.


Dermabrasion is a more intense process where the tattooed area is sanded down to deeper skin layers, allowing the ink to leech out. This method can be quite painful and often results in bleeding and scarring. It's generally less effective on deep or large tattoos and may require multiple treatments [1].

Each of these methods has its own set of implications for cost, effectiveness, and recovery. When considering tattoo removal, it's crucial to consult with a professional to determine the most suitable method based on your specific needs and tattoo characteristics.

Cost Breakdown of Each Method

Laser Removal Costs

Laser tattoo removal costs can vary widely depending on several factors. For very small tattoos, measuring 1-2 inches, you might expect to pay between £30-£50 per session. Medium-sized tattoos, similar to the size of a small plate, typically range from £70-£100 per session. Larger tattoos, such as half a sleeve, could cost you between £140-£200 per session. If your tattoo is professionally done, you may need multiple sessions, often 5 to 10 or more, depending on the size, colour, depth of the ink, and your skin type [2].

Surgical Excision Costs

Surgical tattoo removal is generally considered for smaller tattoos due to the complexity of removing larger areas. The cost for surgical excision can start from around £500, but this can increase based on the size and location of the tattoo. This method is less favoured due to the high risk of scarring and potential for infection [3].

Dermabrasion Costs

Dermabrasion is another method used for tattoo removal, where the skin is sanded down to help remove the upper layers containing the ink. The cost for dermabrasion starts from about £300 but can be higher depending on the size and complexity of the tattoo. It's important to note that this method can leave significant scarring and might not be effective for all tattoo types [3].

Each method has its own set of implications for cost, and the total expense can increase significantly based on the number of sessions required and the specific characteristics of the tattoo. Always consult with a reputable specialist to get a precise estimate tailored to your situation.

Factors Affecting the Cost

The cost of tattoo removal is influenced by several factors, each playing a significant role in determining the overall expense of the procedure. Understanding these factors can help you anticipate the potential costs involved and make informed decisions about your tattoo removal journey.

Tattoo Size and Colour

The size of your tattoo significantly impacts the cost of removal. Smaller tattoos require less time per session, resulting in lower costs. For instance, very small tattoos, about the size of a ping pong ball, may cost between £30-£50 per session, while larger tattoos, like half a sleeve, could range from £140-£200 per session. Additionally, the colour of the tattoo also plays a crucial role. Darker and more colourful tattoos typically require more sessions for complete removal, increasing the overall cost.

Skin Type and Health Conditions

Your skin type is another critical factor that affects laser tattoo removal efficiency and cost. Lighter skin types generally respond better to laser treatment, potentially reducing the number of sessions needed. In contrast, darker skin types might require more sessions to avoid complications like hyperpigmentation or scarring, thus increasing the cost.

Moreover, your overall health and lifestyle choices can influence the removal process. A strong immune system aids in faster ink elimination, while habits such as smoking or heavy alcohol consumption may slow down the process, necessitating additional sessions. Certain health conditions that affect the skin, like eczema or herpes, can also complicate the removal process, potentially leading to more sessions and higher costs.

By considering these factors, you can better understand the potential costs involved in tattoo removal and choose the most suitable method for your specific needs. Always consult with a professional to get an accurate estimate tailored to your situation.

Expected Number of Sessions and Healing Time

Typical Number of Sessions

The number of sessions required for complete tattoo removal can vary significantly based on several factors. Generally, you might need between 6 to 10 sessions, although this could increase to more than 10 depending on the size, age, location, skin tone, and ink characteristics of your tattoo. For instance, smaller tattoos might see substantial fading after just a few sessions, whereas larger or more colourful tattoos could require a more extended series of treatments. It's essential to have realistic expectations and understand that each session contributes cumulatively to the fading of the tattoo, with visible changes often noted as early as after the first or second session.

Healing Time Between Sessions

The healing process post-tattoo removal session is crucial and varies from person to person. Typically, a minimum of 6 to 8 weeks is recommended between sessions to allow your skin to heal properly and the body to remove the broken-down ink particles. During this time, it's common to experience some redness, swelling, and slight blistering, which are normal responses to the treatment. To aid in the healing process and prevent complications, it's advised to keep the treated area moisturised and avoid direct sunlight. Following your practitioner's aftercare advice is vital to ensure effective healing and optimal results.


Embarking on the journey of tattoo removal is a significant decision that encompasses not only the emotional aspect but also the financial implications. Throughout this guide, we have explored the various methods of tattoo removal, delved into the costs associated with each technique, and highlighted the critical factors that influence the overall expenses. The essence of making an informed decision lies in understanding these aspects, from the effectiveness and potential risks of each method to the anticipated number of sessions and recovery times. By absorbing this information, individuals can select the most suitable removal technique that aligns with their specific needs, financial situation, and desired outcome. The realm of tattoo removal is complex, yet armed with the right knowledge, navigating through this process becomes considerably less daunting. As you weigh your options, remember that consultation with a professional is paramount in achieving a successful removal with minimal risks. Should you seek further insights or wish to explore more on topics related to tattoo and its removal, check out our other blogs. Ultimately, the journey towards tattoo removal is a personal one, marked by a series of informed choices that pave the way for a future that resonates more closely with your evolving identity and aspirations.


What is the price for removing a tattoo that is 1 square inch in size?

The cost for removing a tattoo that measures 1 square inch is approximately £75 per session. For a tattoo that is 2 square inches, the cost increases to £100 per session. Removal of a 3 square inch tattoo costs about £150 per session, and for a 4 square inch tattoo, the price is £200 per session.

How much do people spend annually on tattoo removal?

In 2019, global spending on tattoo removal services reached approximately £478 million. A survey conducted in 2021 found that about 12% of Americans wish to remove at least one of their tattoos. Market research forecasts suggest that by 2027, annual spending on tattoo removal could nearly double to around £800 million.

What is the most advanced technology for tattoo removal as of 2024?

As of 2024, the most advanced technology for tattoo removal is known as picosecond laser technology. This technology uses ultra-short laser pulses to break down ink particles into smaller fragments more effectively than traditional laser removal methods. This can lead to quicker elimination of the tattoo, particularly effective for difficult pigments and multicoloured tattoos.

How long does it typically take to completely remove a tattoo?

The duration for complete tattoo removal can vary, but with laser tattoo removal technology, visible results can be seen within a few months. Most individuals achieve complete removal of the unwanted tattoo within one to two years, ensuring a permanent absence of the former ink.

Showering After a Tattoo: Essential Tips for Proper Tattoo Aftercare

Leave a comment