Health And Wellbeing For The Over 50s

Tattoo removal treatments: Which are the best and how much do they cost?

Tattoo removal cost uk

Imagine living with an unwanted tattoo…for life!

We all make mistakes, don’t we? What seemed like a good idea when we were young, now doesn’t seem quite so good! ……..But, sometimes, we have a choice and we don’t have to live with our mistakes.

Some mistakes are removable!

And if you are thinking about the possibility of getting rid of your tattoo, you are not alone!

38% of people in the UK have considered removing their tattoo… 20% of them regretted the decision they made earlier in their lives.

So, if you also want to undo that mistake you made when you were young, you may want to consider a tattoo removal process! 

Let’s take a look at these three approaches to tattoo removal:

The process of removing a tattoo is gradual…but the results can be worth the patience! And if your tattoo is older, well, the good news is that they can be removed more easily compared to the newer ones.

So, is the tattoo removal process painful?

Well, removing a tattoo is not completely pain-free but the pain is not unbearable and it is probably less painful than getting the tattoo in the first place! The degree of discomfort also depends on the removal procedure. Some treatments are quick while others need a few sessions…and patience!

Chest and back tattoo removals are more painful. But, those numbing injections will help.

How many sessions do people need to remove that unwanted tattoo?

It depends on your tattoo’s age, colour, size, and the type of treatment you are seeking. 

When considering which process is best for you, you should take into account several factors including:

So, let’s compare the three possible procedures:

Surgical tattoo removal

As the name suggests, a surgical excision removes your unwanted tattoo…

When should you choose surgical tattoo removal?

People often turn to surgical removal if the laser process fails in removing the tattoo entirely. Professional tattoos with blue, yellow, purple and green ink are often harder to remove by laser – only a professional tattoo removal surgeon can help you with that.

But, you can also choose surgical excision if you want to avoid laser sessions which can be painful. 

Surgical excision is most successful on smaller tattoos and on areas of your body where the skin is loose.

What are the protocols of surgical excision?

Your surgeon may ask questions to ascertain your overall physical health. If you are generally in good health and you have considered all the necessary factors, your surgeon will set an appointment for the excision.

Is tattoo excision lengthy?

If you have a small tattoo, your surgeon will make an oval cut to remove the skin and stitch it together – all in one session. 

Two or more sessions are needed for larger tattoos or tattoos in areas where cutting the skin is not possible. 

Skin grafting where skin is taken from another part of your body, is performed for tattoos when stitching the skin is not possible. This might sound scary but all of this is performed under anaesthesia.

How much does tattoo excision surgery cost?

Prices for tattoo removal surgery start at around £1,000 but depend on factors such as the size of the tattoo, its location on the body and the region of the clinic in the UK.


Laser tattoo removal

Laser tattoo removal

This is probably the process you have heard of! Laser tattoo removal has become one of the most common and preferred tattoo removal methods for many people.

What is the process of laser removal?

A strong beam of light is passed over the tattoo to break down the ink particles. It does not remove the tattoo entirely but lightens the ink over time. Advanced laser technology is more effective…many clinics are using Q-switch technology. It is quicker and safer! 

However, there is yet another development in the form of PicoWay or PicoSure technology. These lasers pulsate in a picosecond, which is 1,000 times faster than Q-switch lasers.

How does Picoway tattoo removal work?

The short-pulse laser technology of the Pico laser delivers energy into the area of the tattoo very quickly, shattering the ink into tiny particles. This makes it easier for the body to remove the ink particles through the lymphatic system. Additionally, as the process is more powerful, you may need fewer sessions and the space between treatments can be much shorter.

Who can get a laser tattoo removal?

If you are not a fan of invasive treatments, laser tattoo removal may be for you. Laser treatments are also ideal for those who do not want the possibility of scars after removing the tattoo. 

A word of caution: If you are pregnant or have a fake tan/suntan, you should not sign up for laser removal but should wait before you embark upon the course of treatment.

How long does it take to remove a tattoo by laser?

Normally, 6-10 sessions are necessary to remove the tattoo entirely and this will depend on the colour and depth of the tattoo ink. If you have an older tattoo, or if you choose pico laser removal, you may need fewer sessions compared to those who have a new tattoo. It is recommended that you wait a minimum of 6 weeks between each session. One session lasts around 10 to 30 minutes.

How much does laser tattoo removal cost?

The cost of laser tattoo removal is in the region of £60 to £400 for a single session depending on your tattoo’s size and complexity. Most clinics offer a discounted rate for a series of sessions.

Here is a guide to the average costs of the two different types of laser tattoo removal in the UK:

TreatmentSingle Treatment / Per TreatmentCourse of 6 / Per TreatmentTotal Cost 6 sessions
Laser 1-3cm area£68.00£33.00£198.00
Laser 4-8cm area£116.00£56.00£336.00
Laser 9-15cm area£189.00£91.00£546.00
Laser 16-20cm area£289.00£139.00£834.00
Pico laser 1-3cm area£89.00£53.00£318.00
Pico laser 4-8cm area£158.00£95.00£570.00
Pico laser 9-15cm area£257.00£154.00£924.00
Pico laser 16-20cm area£404.00£242.00£1452.00

Is laser tattoo removal safe?

Generally, laser tattoo removal is very safe. The laser energy is absorbed by the tattoo ink only and the surrounding tissues are not affected. This ensures there is no lasting damage to the skin.


Dermabrasion involves the use of a rotating, sanding device to remove the top layers of skin containing the tattoo. In some instances dermabrasion may be a faster, more pocket-friendly way to achieve your goal.

Why should you choose dermabrasion?

Dermabrasion is a non-invasive tattoo removal method. If you don’t want to consider surgical excision and laser removal has failed to remove your tattoo, you may look at the possibility of dermabrasion. It is very effective on small tattoos and may be a more affordable option. However, if you have sensitive skin or a skin condition such as eczema, it may not be a suitable option for you.

How does dermabrasion work?

If you are fully convinced that you do not want to live with that tattoo, and you choose dermabrasion to be the desired removal method, the process begins!

How much does dermabrasion cost?

The price of completely removing a tattoo via dermabrasion starts from around £200 and increases to around £1000. The cost depends on your tattoo’s size and quality.

Removing your tattoo from home:

If you want to try to remove your unwanted tattoo from the ease of your home, there are many tattoo removal creams available. It is better to consult with a professional dermatologist to help in suggesting the best cream for your tattoo. This method is not 100% effective but some creams may help in lightening the tattoo. 

Non Surgical Cosmetic Procedures

If you are interested in other Non Surgical Cosmetic Procedures you might like to follow this link to our comprehensive guide to dermal fillers, chemical peels, laser resurfacing, photo rejuvenation and non surgical fat reduction.


A tattoo removal process can be overwhelming, so you have to weigh up the pros and the cons and receive some professional advice before making the decision to embark on a series of treatments. If you decide to go ahead with any tattoo removal procedure, it is vital you choose a clinic or surgeon who is well trained in the proper technique.