Laser Tattoo Removal Pricing Methods

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Patient Discussing Tattoo Removal PriceMore often than not, the most frequently asked question a practitioner will hear is, “How much does laser tattoo removal cost?” Clinics use a variety of pricing methods, but the most important thing to remember when deciding your clinic’s treatment pricing is to make sure it makes the most sense for you and your patients. Commonly used pricing structure types are:


Size Categories

This category is very easy to implement and is popular amongst clinics. Tattoos are priced based solely on size: extra-small, small, medium, and large. This pricing structure leaves no room for negotiation and allows a price break for patients with larger tattoos. It’s a simple way of differentiating between tattoos with which patients are familiar. The table below can give you a better understanding of size measurement in categories.

Square Inch 1” x 1” 2” x 2” 4” x 4” 6” x 6” 8” x 8”
Size Extra-small Small Medium Large Extra-large+
Description Size of a postage stamp or smaller About the size of a business card About the size of your palm About the size of two hands Half sleeves, full sleeves, and more

Price per Square Inch

This pricing structure takes a little more time to calculate but is more precise—plus you can advertise low prices per square inch. The only downsides to the price per square inch structure are that tattoos containing negative space are difficult to measure and large tattoos often become cost prohibitive.

Pulse Count/Duration of Treatment

Pricing is based on the number of pulses used during treatment and how long the treatment session takes. This pricing structure is not commonly used as it puts pressure on the speed of the practitioner and the efficiency of the treatment.

Flat Price for Guaranteed Removal

This pricing method is very rare and not something that is recommended. Although it may give patients some confidence in what they’re paying for, practitioners should not guarantee removal without assessing the tattoo first. Tattoos come in all different sizes and colors and some are harder to treat than others. You never can predict how a patient’s skin and tattoo will respond to treatment, so it’s important to not make promises that you can’t be 100% positive of happening.

Gradation Scale

The gradation scale depends on the shade of a tattoo. Basically, the less ink in a tattoo or the more faded a tattoo, the lower price a patient will receive for treatment. This pricing method is also not commonly done as it complicates pricing and produces less profitability in later treatment stages for the practitioner.

Treatment Packages

Almost all tattoo removal procedures will require multiple treatments before seeing complete tattoo removal. Package deals are a great pricing strategy for patients wanting to break up their tattoo removal costs into pieces. For example, a clinic may offer packages of 3, 5, 7, or 10 treatments based on a patient’s tattoo assessment. Treatment packages are convenient because they are paid in full before starting tattoo removal treatment. In addition, the patient stays committed to the process, to the practice, and ends up saving a lot of money. If you want to offer treatment packages at your clinic we suggest including a discount offer such as, 10% off a package of 3 treatments or 20% off a package of 5 treatments. The more the patient pays up front, the more they should save.

Other common discounts that tattoo removal clinics use are:

  • 50% off second tattoo treatment
  • Military and veteran discounts
  • Discounts for gang-related tattoos
  • Free or discounted treatments for cancer radiation tattoos

A method that is often discussed during a patient consultation is the Kirby-Desai Scale. This method can be used in coordination with any pricing structure, and many practices use it to determine the number of treatments a patient needs. They may then incorporate the number of treatments when determining a patient’s treatment price.

The Kirby-Desai Scale

The Kirby-Desai Scale is a predictive scale created by Dr. Will Kirby and Dr. Alpesh Desai, skin specialists in tattoo removal. The scale works by assigning numerical points to six different variables: skin type, location, amount of ink, layering, scarring/tissue changes, and colors. The variable points are added up to combine a score that will show an estimated number of treatments needed for complete tattoo removal. Many clinics use this pricing method because it is used and trusted by many experts in the tattoo removal field. However, other clinics opt out of this method because they feel it overcomplicates the consultation process.

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