Permanent Tattoo Removal

I had the symbol for "mother" tattooed (far right) and wanted "daughter" and "love" added to it. The symbol for "daughter" is on the left. I want to have this fixed, and the only alternative I see is to have it lasered off. Will laser tattoo removal erase it completely? Will it leave any scarring? I've been sick to my stomach since this was done. Please help me.

Doctor Answers (8)

Black tattoo is easier to remove


Tattoo removal is easier depending on the color of the tattoo! If you have a tattoo color of yellow or green-blue, it can be faded but less likely to be removed! But if you have a tattoo that is black in color you can sometimes remove it completely depending on the depth of the ink. Sometimes, the laser can't absorb deep enough to remove the tattoo that it will leave a bruise like area that can be covered with makeup.

Birmingham Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Tattoo Removal


The biggest risk in removing tattoos with laser is that in some cases we can only partially remove the tattoo. In some cases, the ink is placed so deep in the skin that by the time the laser energy hits the ink, it is not strong enough to break it down. Some inks absorb the laser better than others. Scarring is not very common. You can always have a small test spot done so that you and the doctor can get a sense of how you will respond.

Jerome Potozkin, MD
Danville Dermatologic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Laser Tattoo Removal


Yes you can do tattoo removal we have the Medlite some colors are more difficult than others. Laser Tattoo Removal you can use for better results

Jhonny Salomon, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

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Best option for tatto removal


Laser tattoo removal should work out extremely well for you. In your case, complete removal should be expected. Your best choices are the PicoSure and any of the q-switched lasers. Multiple treatments in one session can speed up removal. It is best to be in experienced hands to obtain the optimal outcome.

Roy G. Geronemus, MD
New York Dermatologist
3.5 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Tattoo removal for black tattoos are easiest to treat


It is easiest to remove black tattoos with the lasers that are currently available.  In that sense you are more fortunate.  Find an experienced dermatologist with laser experience for treatment. Please let me know how your treatment goes.

Michele S. Green, MD
New York Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Tattoo Removal Questions


Laser tattoo removal is the only safe and effective method for removing skin tattoos.  Most tattoos can be very close to, or completely, removed after a series of laser treatments.  It is important to visit an experienced laser surgeon who uses the most up-to-date tattoo removal lasers.  Some tattoo inks require different laser energy for removal, depending on their color and on your skin color.  However, you are in luck, because black tattoo ink tends to respond best to laser tattoo removal.  

Eric Schweiger, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Laser Tattoo Removal


Laser Tattoo removal is very effective in the right patient.  How effective your tattoo fades depends on a few factors.

(1) Professional or Amateur -- Professional tattoos generally have a heavier amount and deeper placement of the ink, making them slower to respond

(2) Color of your tattoo -- Black ink responds best.  Depending on the laser used-- Red, Blue, Purple and Green are also very responsive.  Yellow, orange, white, or skin colored tattoos do not respond well, and some may worsen.  Also, very vibrant or "flourescent" tattoos may not respond as well.

(3)  The Laser used --  The best lasers for tatto removal are the Q-switched (meaning how fast the energy is delivered) Nd:Yag (1064nm), the frequency doubled Q-switched Nd:Yag (532nm), and the Q-switched Alexandriet (755nm). 

The Nd:Yag is the most effective laser for Black, Blue, Purple and some greens.

The Frequency doubled Nd:Yag is best for Red and some greens.

The Alexandrite is effective for Black, Blue and best for green.

(4)  The experience and knowlege of your laser operater -- ideally administered or overseen directly by a physician who has performed hundreds of cases.

(5) How effective your immune system is at clearing the ink.

Your goal, with your black tattoos, should be significant fading of your tattoo over the course of 6-8 treatments spaced at least 2 months apart.  Some tattoos may fade completely with enough time and treatment, but generally a good result is 80-90% fading.

Jeffrey C. Poole, MD
Metairie Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Tattoo removal - Tattoo ink is variable


We can not say there will be "complete" removal but the goal is to make it barely visible.

Best situation is single dark pigment and very light skin.  Risks can include incomplete removal and scarring.  Also, the depth and amount of ink placed is a factor as well.

Barry E. DiBernardo, MD
Montclair Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.