More Than Skin Deep | Understanding The Laser Tattoo Removal Process

Tattoos are an incredible form of self expression that has been gaining in popularity steadily for a lot of years. In fact, a the Harris Poll of 2012 about one out of every five adults in this country has at least one tattoo on their skin. However popular tattoos may be, not every person who chooses a work of skin art will be happy with it forever, and it is not at all uncommon for people to show up in a dermatologist's office in search of tattoo removal.

If you are the person who had a lapse in judgement at some point in your life and would like to eliminate the results from your skin, it is likely that you have several questions about the tattoo removal process. Here is your guide to understanding a few of the most common concerns.

Is it possible to completely remove a tattoo with laser treatment?

Dermatology and laser tattoo removal have been enhanced dramatically over the last several years, and this is good news for people who want to have a tattoo removed. Most tattoos can be almost completely eliminated with little scarring. There are some factors that affect how well tattoo removal works, however, including:

  • The colors of the ink used
  • How long you have had the tattoo
  • The location of the tattoo itself

How painful is laser tattoo removal?

Laser tattoo removal is considered a minimally invasive procedure that does not involve a great deal of pain. A numbing agent will either be used topically or injected beneath the skin before the treatment to help alleviate any pain that may be felt as the ink is destroyed. Your dermatologist will likely give you a topical cream to use after treatment to help with healing and pain, but you can also use cold compresses as well. The pain level can vary depending on the number of treatments, the depths of the ink, and even the proximity to bone.

How much does laser tattoo removal cost?

The removal of tattoos by a licensed dermatologist can range in price according to the different methods used in the process and how many treatment sessions are used. According to, tattoo removal can take as many as 20 sessions to complete over the span of several months, and therefore, the cost could be as much as $10,000.  Because of the costs associated with laser tattoo removal, many people choose to have a few treatments to lighten the tattoo and then have it covered with a more desirable design by a tattoo artist.

Choosing to have a tattoo removed from your skin can be a life-changing decision. If you have questions concerning laser tattoo removal, be sure to talk to a professional dermatologist about your options and what you should expect.