Laser Tattoo Removal – Cost, Risks and Side Effects

There are times when you get a tattoo done without giving it much thought and once you have it inked you start feeling that it does not match your personality or is not “the right thing” for you. Sometimes it might so happen that the tattoo artist does a bad job out of it and you no longer want it. In cases like these, the laser tattoo removal procedure is useful as it helps you get rid of the ink from your body. Lets take a look at the procedure, its cost and side effects.

Traditional Tattoo Removal Techniques 

Before the laser tattoo removal technique came into picture, tattoos were removed by sanding the area or dermabrasion. Another method used was to cutting out the tattooed skin and using a skin graft from another area to replace the skin. However, with the advent of the laser technology, tattoo removal has becomes easier to perform.

Read more about microdermabrasion here

What is the Laser Tattoo Removal Technique ? 

In the laser tattoo removal procedure, your tattooed skin is subjected to a laser beam which breaks down the pigments of colors from your tattoo and removes them off the surface of the skin.

Laser Tattoo Removal Procedure

Before the procedure, your skin is evaluated to see what are the colors that are present in your tattoo and what kind of laser beams you would need. You might be given a topical anesthetic or administered local anesthesia to minimize the pain. You will also be given a protective eyepiece to protect your eyes.

laser tattoo removal procedure

The removal technique involves placing a laser emitting handheld device on the surface of your skin. The laser beam targets the colored pigments without affecting the skin around it. The procedure makes use of concentrated beams of different wavelengths for different colored pigments. The laser breaks down the pigments in the tattoo into minute particles. Then your immune system kicks in and removes the pigment from your body.

However, one sitting is not sufficient to remove the tattoo. You would need anywhere between 5-10 sittings for the complete removal of the tattoo. There needs to be a gap of a minimum of 4 weeks between two sittings. Depending on the ink and the area covered, your tattoo should be removed completely within 6 months to a year.

Laser Tattoo Removal before and after

Read more about least painful places to get a tattoo done here

Cost of Laser Tattoo Removal

The cost of the laser tattoo removal can vary depending on the size of the tattoo, the pigments used and the location. On an average, a sitting should cost you about $100.

Risks and Side Effects  

  • The procedure itself is very painful, since the laser beam creates a lot of targeted heat. Even after the procedure your tattoo will feel hot and will be swollen for a couple of days.
  • The skin that is subjected to the laser can lose some of its natural pigments and can turn pale.
  • There can be scarring in some cases if you pick on the treated area.
  • Sometimes you can experience blistering and infection in the area.

However, with the advancements that are happening in the laser industry, the side effects can be brought down to minimum and the treatment can be almost hassle free.

Read more about factors to consider while choosing laser resurfacing here

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About the author

Aparna Anand

After a stint in an MNC in Bangalore, Aparna has now started doing what she loves the most- writing. Travelling and cooking come a close second and third. She lives in Mumbai with her husband.