How Much Does It Cost to Remove a Tattoo?

Something to think about BEFORE you get that tattoo is the fact that having a tattoo removed is much more expensive than having one put on. Laser tattoo removal can range from several hundred dollars up into the thousands of dollars, depending upon the size, type and location of the tattoo and the number of visits required. More bad news is that medical insurance generally doesn't pay for tattoo removal, since it is considered aesthetic or cosmetic in nature. (Traumatic tattoos, which result from accidents or injury, are a different matter.)

Because this is a medical procedure, make sure to see a dermatologic surgeon who specializes in tattoo removal. Check with the American Society for Laser Medicine & Surgery or the American Society of Dermatologic Surgeons for a referral or ask your own doctor for the name of a specialist in your area. (Some tattoo parlors also provide tattoo removal services. Before you sign on, make sure the person doing the removal is a medical doctor who specializes in laser surgery! Tattoo removal, like tattoo application, carries with it the risk of infection and must be handled with extreme care.)

If you're a young person trying to escape gang life and you don't have the money to get those tell-tale tattoos removed, your tattoo doesn't have to last forever. Check this out: Some generous doctors, hospitals and local governments and civic groups around the nation are offering free tattoo removal to give teens like you a new chance at life. These links discuss several of these efforts: