It seemed like such a good idea at the time! But things change and the tattoo removal business is growing almost as fast as the tattoo business. The Green Bay Press Gazette reports, “Market research by IBISworld shows the tattoo removal industry has grown 440 percent in the last decade, and now is a $75.5 million per year business.” Doctors have been working on how to remove tattoos with the least cost, time, discomfort and scarring but there’s still no quick, easy fix.

The best way to minimize tattoo removal pain is by taking future regret into account before taking the plunge. Of course, you expect to love your ink forever but think of it as a tat pre-nup. Always do your research and find a reputable tattoo artist but also consider other things like where you put it and what colors to use. Surprisingly, lighter colors like pastels, white and yellow are the hardest to remove while darker shades like green, blue and black are the easiest.

Read Related: Intentional Ink: In Defense Tattoo Ideas that Are Meaningful


When you look into how to remove tattoos, you may be tempted by some of the cheaper at-home options but tattoo removal should be left to professionals. One common DIY method involves lightly sanding the tattoo and covering it in salt for a few hours. Pain aside, this may fade your tattoo but probably won’t erase it and it’s likely to leave a scar, or worse, cause a nasty infection. Tattoo removal creams can also irritate skin and generally don’t work.

Laser treatments are the only doctor-recommended, safe way to get rid of unwanted ink. The number of sessions required depends on size and difficulty — prices can range from $80-$600. The good news is that picosecond, a new technology, has made laser treatments quicker and more effective.


There are some simple steps you can take before you embark on tattoo removal to make it go more smoothly. In fact, you should be doing these things already! Number one, don’t smoke. Get your blood flowing and your body flushing out toxins with regular exercise and by staying hydrated. Use plenty of sunscreen and keep the tattoo area out of the sun as much as possible before and during the removal process.

For a quick temporary fix, try a tattoo concealer like MAKE UP FOR EVER Extreme Camouflage Cream ($34), Dermablend Leg and Body Cover ($31) or Kat Von D Tattoo Eraser ($14).