Laser remains the gold standard for tattoo removal for those who can afford the process. Sessions cost, on average, $150.00 to $250.00. A rule of thumb for tattoo removal is 10 times the cost of your original tattoo for the cost of laser removal. It can cost significantly more in large metropolitan areas on the east and west coasts or when performed by a Dermatologist or Cosmetic Surgeon whose practice includes laser tattoo removal.
Tattoo Removal Facts
Although laser is the best method for tattoo removal it is not, by any means, perfect. Unfortunately, no one laser system can remove all tattoo inks.
Amateur tattoos usually require fewer treatments because they generally consist of less dense, inferior pigments when compared to professional tattoos. Deeply planted tattoos are more difficult to remove, and older tattoos are not necessarily more difficult to remove, again depending on the depth of the pigment.
Light colored vibrant inks may require more treatment sessions because of the inability of current laser technology to generate the specific energy wavelength for the color. Once implanted, the ink particles are absorbed by dermal fibroblasts, cells which produce skin collagen, and remain there permanently for the life of the person.
Tattoo Removal Review
In order to selectively remove tattoo pigments placed in the dermis, pulsed lasers must meet the following requirements:
The laser wavelength must be absorbed by the specific colored ink being targeted
The heat generated (up to 900 degrees Fahrenheit) should be confined to the target.
The energy delivered must be of sufficient power to breakup or vaporize the target.
The intense heat causes some pigment particles to shatter and kills the tissue cells in which the pigment resides. The rupture of pigment containing cells eventually triggers the immune system to ingest or dispose of the tattoo pigment fragments through drainage to the nearest lymph node.