Ultimate Facts Guide About Tattoo Removal

As the world's leader in tattoo removal we know quite a bit on the topic. Although not every scrap of information about tattoo removal is here, we do have more information about the topic than any other source. That is what comes from completing over 1 million tattoo removal treatments, having the most knowledgeable clinical advisory board in the industry and the most experienced team in the tattoo removal industry. Hazzah!

Tattoo Removal Facts

We get asked questions about tattoo removal every day.  We have gathered up the trivia, questions, answers and data supported facts and placed them here for your learning pleasure. These insights stem from Removery’s fusion of quantitative and qualitative methods. Our research draws from internal databases, clinical studies, and client surveys, as well as data spanning over 1 million tattoo removal treatments from 2019-2024 across the United States, Australia, and Canada. Rigorous statistical analysis, trend modeling, and privacy safeguards underpinned our approach. In case you were wondering why we have all the answers.


Ultimate Tattoo Removal Infographic For 2024


Most Asked Questions About Tattoo Removal

How many people in the US have a tattoo?

88.5 million of Americans have a tattoo, more than 1 in 3!

How many people in the US get a tattoo every year?

Americans get 11 million new tattoos every year. That’s greater than the population of New York City!

What is the average number of tattoos a person in the US has?

The average tattooed person has 3.3 tattoos. That’s more than the average number of children per household in the US!

How many people have a tattoo they don't like?

Roughly 33% or 28 million Americans have at least one tattoo they are dissatisfied or don’t like.  Imagine the entire population of Australia being dissatisfied with a tattoo, yikes!

What are the top reasons people remove a tattoo?

As we talk with clients, we have found that the most common reasons for removing a tattoo include “it’s just not me anymore”, “making space for a new tattoo design”, “meeting job or workplace requirements”, “life changes or personal growth that no longer aligns with the tattoo”, “the tattoo no longer holds significance”, “disappointment with the overall quality or tattoo appearance”.

Where can you get a tattoo removed?

More people have had their tattoos removed by Removery than any other single source in the US, over 1 million treatments so far. People can seek out tattoo removal from some tattoo artist studios, dermatologists, multi-specialty cosmetic shops or dedicated tattoo removal companies, like Removery.

How long does it take to remove a tattoo?

There are a number of factors that determine the length of a tattoo removal, however, based on data from over 1 million treatments, the average length is 8-12 treatments.

How much does tattoo removal cost?

When working with a qualified provider, the average total cost to remove a small tattoo is between $1500 – $2,000 and increases the larger the tattoo is.

Does tattoo removal hurt?

Laser tattoo removal feels different for everyone. Most clients compare the feeling of laser tattoo removal as “a bit prickly”!


What is the best laser for tattoo removal?

Our 8-person Clinical Advisory Board and extensive clinical testing, Removery has found that the PicoWay laser by Candela is the gold standard for tattoo removal.

How does tattoo removal work?

Laser tattoo removal works by fragmenting ink particles into smaller pieces, which speeds up your body’s natural attempt to break down the tattoo. Dr Weitz, explains the process. 

Do DIY methods work for Tattoo removal?

Not all tattoo removal methods are the same. DIY tattoo removal methods such as saline, creams, salabration, dermabrasion, and excision have very low rates of removal success and pose more significant risks or side effects. Dr Kwan video explains more.

What was the most popular tattoo trend 1950-1980?

Older designs of tattoos including military tattoos and Sailor Jerry Designs.

What were the most popular tattoo trends in the 1980s?

Flames, dragons, castles, wizards, cherries, roses, and cartoon characters.

What were the most popular tattoo trends in the 1990s?

Chinese symbols, suns around belly buttons, nautical symbols, and lower back tribal designs.

What were the most popular tattoo trends in the 2000s?

Feathers, leopard print, swallows, and infinity symbols.

What were the most popular tattoo trends in the 2010s?

Clouds, doves, praying hands, neo-traditional, and semi-colon designs.

What are the most popular tattoo trends in the 2020s?

Micro tattoos are the largest new trend in this decade for new tattoos.

What are the best steps to take after a tattoo removal treatment?

Keep tattoo clean and dry. Avoid heat and hot water for 48 hours. Reduce vigorous exercise for 24 hours. don’t pick or poke at tattoo. Avoid sun exposure. Use SPF +50 sunscreen with +20% zinc oxide.

How long is the average waiting period between tattoo removal sessions?

Typically 6-8 weeks, unless a large tattoo is being treated in smaller sections. If a tattoo is being sectioned then the rest period is typically 4 weeks.

Does ink matter when it comes to tattoo removal?

The type of ink used in the tattoo can impact removal. Professional inks are generally harder to remove than amateur ones, as they often contain a wider variety of pigments.

What are the risks of tattoo removal?

Laser removal can cause temporary side effects such as redness, swelling, blistering, and even scarring. Infection and hypo/hyperpigmentation are also possible risks.

Does tattoo age matter for tattoo removal?

Older tattoos tend to respond better to removal than newer ones. This is because over time, the ink particles break down and become easier for the body to eliminate.

Are amateur tattoos easier to remove?

Amateur tattoos are often shallower and use less ink, making them somewhat easier to remove compared to professionally done tattoos with deeper ink penetration.

Does skin color matter with tattoo removal?

It certainly does. But there’s an increased risk of changes to skin color if performed by inexperienced laser operatives or with a substandard laser. It’s your skin, after all. Dr Kwan explains.

Do tattoo removal creams work?

Over-the-counter tattoo removal creams often claim to fade tattoos without lasers, but their effectiveness is widely debated and they are generally not as successful as laser removal methods.

Is tattoo removal required for a tattoo cover-up?

No. However, tattoo removal might be necessary before getting a cover-up tattoo, especially if the new design is significantly lighter than the original tattoo. Fading the old tattoo can provide a better canvas for the new one.

Can permanent make-up be removed?

Laser tattoo removal can also be used to remove permanent makeup, like eyebrow or lip tattoos, using similar methods as regular tattoo removal.

Do tattoo removal providers need to be medically trained?

Some US stated require medical oversight for all tattoo removal procedures. However, operating a tattoo removal laser can be very complex and cause damage if used incorrectly. Before choosing a tattoo removal clinic, ensure that the technicians are properly trained and certified in laser safety and tattoo removal procedures.

What is the difference between the different Tattoo removal lasers?

Q-switched lasers are the most commonly used for tattoo removal, but newer techniques like PicoSure and PicoWay utilize shorter pulses to target ink particles more effectively, potentially reducing the number of sessions required. The PicoWay by Candela is considered to be the gold standard.

When was tattoo removal invented?

Tattoo removal was first applied to human patients in 1967 using an ND YAG laser. More.

How long does a tattoo removal session last?

That varies based on the size of the tattoo but treatments are typically very quick, Less than 5 mins for a small tattoo or usually less than 15 minutes for a large section of a tattoo.

Does the US Navy have a tattoo policy?

Yes, the US navy updated their tattoo policy for all sailors in 2021. Here are the details.

Does the US Army have a tattoo policy?

Yes it does, it was updated in 2022. Here are all the details.

When is National Tattoo Removal Day celebrated and what is its significance?

National Tattoo Removal Day is celebrated on August 14th each year. This special day, which was initiated in 2015, honors the journey of those individuals who have chosen to begin the process of removing unwanted tattoos. It’s a day to recognize their commitment to change and their pursuit of a fresh canvas. More about Tattoo Removal Day.

When is National Tattoo Day celebrated and what is its significance?

National Tattoo Day falls on July 17th annually. It was first observed in 2016. This day celebrates the rich history and diverse artistry of tattoos across various cultures. It’s a time to appreciate the personal stories, cultural significance, and creative expression behind this ancient form of body art.

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