Struggling to work out the cost of laser tattoo removal?

Let me help 🙂

It can seem very complicated, but it’s not if you take it stage by stage.

Most websites give the cost of laser tattoo removal based on the size of the tattoo you want to get rid of…

  • small
  • medium
  • large and
  • extra large.

And the prices can sound very reasonable … you heave a sigh of relief …

But sometimes there’s a catch you need to be aware of …

They are only giving you the price for only one session.

You’re going to need to multiply that many times to get rid of your tattoo.

It’s not all bad news, though – read on to discover the secret an “industry insider” told me …

It will save you time, pain and money 🙂

How do they work out the cost of laser tattoo removal?

Since 2009, many laser clinics use the Kirby Desai scale.
Kirby and Desai were dermatologists who specialised in tattoo removal.

They developed the system to estimate the number of treatments needed to successfully get rid of tattoos.

There were two ground rules: the type of laser being used….

  • a quality switched Nd:YAG and
  • 6 – 8 weeks between appointments.

These ground rules may not always apply today, as different types of lasers are now available.

Even so, their system for estimating the cost of laser tattoo removal is still the industry standard …

And I’m about to share it with you …

So you can get a rough idea of the cost of laser removal of your tattoos 🙂

Here’s how this works...

The Kirby Desai scale looks at 6 aspects…

  • skin type
  • location
  • colour
  • amount of ink
  • scarring or tissue change and
  • layering of ink.

As you will see, each chart contains a number points in the right hand column.
Judge the number value that is the best fit for your tattoo…

Add these up and

  • you have a rough estimate (with about 80% accuracy) for the
  • number of sessions you will need to remove your tattoo.

Then, multiply the number of sessions with the cost of laser removal per square inch of skin in your tattoo.

This will give you the approx cost you will pay …

1. Skin type

 Chart-1 estimating the cost of laser tattoo removal Laser tattoo removal can be effective on all skin types. But, hypo pigmentation (permanent lightening of the skin) is more likely on darker skin.

More sessions are needed because the laser operator will use lower laser settings.

You will need to wait longer between sessions to try to minimise the side effects. As you can see, the lighter the skin, the fewer sessions are needed.

Choose the number of points that apply to you.

2. Location

32-37_jcad_0309_Kartono.qxp Where the tattoo is positioned on the body plays an important part in the success of removal.

The tattoo ink is removed by the lymph and blood system. Success depends on how near the tattoo is to the heart.

It’s fairly easy to remove tattoos on the head, neck and upper body.

As you will see from the diagram, the feet and toes, being furthest away, cause the most problems and therefore need more sessions.

Add the score to your total so far.

3. Colours.

Chart-3 Many different ingredients are used to make tattoo pigments.

Amateur tattoos on the whole are easier to remove because they tend to use more black ink so less treatments are needed.This keeps cost down.

Colours tend to have a larger pigment and therefore more treatments are needed to remove them.

Add the points to your total.

4. Amount of ink to remove.

chart-4 This depends on whether it is an amateur or professional tattoo.

Amateur tattoos generally contain less ink. This is placed unevenly in the skin and is easier to remove.

Professional tattoos are usually placed deeper into the skin and more ink is used.

There are 4 categories, which I’ll explain as the pics are not very clear.

  1. amateur – small symbols, letters, words
  2. single colour, simple designs
  3. one colour, detailed designs
  4. complicated, multi-coloured designs

Add the points to your score.

5. Scarring and tissue change.

chart-5 estimating the cost of laser tattoo removal Complications sometimes occur in tattoo placement and scarring occurs.

Clients with a darker skin pigment are more likely to have this problem.

If you have scarring in the tattoo area, more laser tattoo removal treatments will be needed.

Add to your score.

6. Cover ups or layering.

chart-6 estimating the cost of laser tattoo removal If the client has had a cover up to hide an unwanted tattoo, there will be more ink to remove.

Because a cover up is larger – sometimes four times larger than the original tattoo – there is more ink to remove.

The number of sessions needed to get rid of the ink is increased.

Add this to your score.

Add up all your Kirby Desai points.

Now you have an estimate of the number of sessions needed to remove your unwanted tattoo.

Remember we said this will be about 80% accurate?

If you know the cost of laser tattoo removal per square inch, you’ll be able to do some simple sums 🙂


  • some clinics are not very “open” and will only tell you how much they charge per session …
  • and they charge different amounts depending on the size of the tattoo and the colours etc (Some colours are more difficult to remove than others).

Some want you to go in for a consultation so they can see what they need to remove.

Others ask you to send in a photograph of your tat for a quote.

As a very rough guide, it usually takes between 8-12 sessions to remove a tattoo, though, as you know, much depends on

  • size of the tattoo,
  • the ink and the
  • type of laser.


Many clinics will try to get you to book a treatment every 4 – 6 weeks.

Remember the secret I mentioned?

Best advice (from a friend who works in the industry) would be to leave at least 6-8 weeks between appointments, even 12 weeks if you can.

In the meantime, the scavenger cells in your body will still be removing the tattoo ink from your skin.

End result?

Your costs are greatly reduced, because you will need fewer sessions and there is less risk of scars 🙂

BTW – avoid cheap laser tattoo removal – there’s a reason why it’s cheap!

  • They may be using cheap, poor quality lasers which will never do the job properly.
  • You will end up paying much more or having the embarrassment of a tat that’s only partially removed.

If the cost or inconvenience of laser treatment is worrying, check out this method of home tattoo removal I have been recommending for six years 🙂

Instead of going to a clinic without any practical prior knowledge of laser tattoo removal …

Would you like to benefit from the experience of guide to the cost of tattoo removal experienceTania, who has “been there, done that?”

Her experience will help you decide if the cost of laser tattoo removal is a price worth paying.

She tells you

  • which questions you should be asking on your initial visit
  • records an interview with her laser technician and
  • videos one of her tattoo removal sessions so you will know exactly what to expect.

As she says, laser tattoo removal is a serious medical procedure and should not be undertaken lightly.

She even explains how to choose the best laser tattoo removal clinic in your area … think of the peace of mind that will give you 🙂

Check out her experience here. You’ll be glad you did 🙂