The cost of having a tattoo removed is dependent on many factors including the placement of the tattoo, how old it is, its size, and what types of ink were used. Because of this, removal can range from $1,000-$10,000. While you can usually split this cost up over time, paying for each removal session independently, many individuals may find the cost of removal prohibitive. If you want to have your tattoo removed and do not know how you will afford it, here are some avenues to pursue.
If Your Tattoo Interferes With Daily Life or Employment, Consider Humanitarian Removal Assistance
There are several national and local humanitarian agencies that focus on tattoo removal. These agencies generally offer assistance with payment for removal for individuals who have tattoos on visible areas, such as the hands, face, and neck or those who have gang-related tattoos as these types of tattoo can interfere with employment and quality of life. Additionally, they may work with you if you had a tattoo placed as part of human trafficking or if you were a minor when you got your tattoo.
If the Tattoo Was Completed on a Minor Without Parental Consent, the Tattoo Artist May Be Required to Pay for the Removal
In most states, tattoo artists need consent from a legal guardian to place a tattoo on a person under 18. If your parent did not give consent and you are a minor with a tattoo, your parent may be able to sue the tattoo artist for the cost of the removal of the tattoo as well as general pain and suffering on your behalf.
If You Are Having an Adverse Reaction, Your Insurance May Cover the Cost of Removal
In rare cases, your insurance may cover all or part of the cost of your tattoo removal. This is generally when removal is considered a medical necessity. For instance, if you are having an adverse reaction to the chemicals in the the inks or if your tattoo artist used an ink that is later found to be toxic, your insurance company may cover the cost of removal.
Ask Your Clinic If They Provide Seasonal or Daily Discounts
If you are having your tattoo removed at a dedicated tattoo laser removal clinic, then it is likely that they will offer discounts at certain times. For example, they may offer discounts during the winter when most people are not concerned about the visibility of their tattoos. Additionally, they may offer lower prices for weekday appointments as opposed to weekend appointments or morning appointments as opposed to afternoon appointments.
Additionally, most removal clinics and dermatologist offices will offer a discount if you purchase a number of removal sessions as a package. For instance, if you pay for five sessions, you may be able to get a discount on the sixth session. However, this is only helpful if you are able to pay a large sum up front.
Supplement In-Office Treatments With At-Home Treatments
Some forms of tattoo removal are less expensive than others. For example, you may be able to drastically lighten a tattoo with the help of creams or sprays that you can apply at home. By using these creams or sprays between laser appointments, you may be able to reduce the cost of your overall treatment. Additionally, you can ask your removal expert what types of lasers they use. For example, q-switched lasers are usually the most common laser and will be the most cost-effective choice for each session. However, you may need more sessions with a q-switched laser, which can increase your overall cost.
If you are concerned about the cost of tattoo removal, discuss payment plan options with a removal specialist in your area.