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 (11)

Black tattoo is easier to remove

+4

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
5.0 out of 5 stars 174 reviews

Laser Tattoo Removal

+2

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

Good tattoo for R20 method

+1
This is a good tattoo for the R20 method - rapid removal which is 4 times faster than traditional laser tattoo removal.  See the link below for more informastion 

Sam Naficy, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 148 reviews

Permanent Tattoo Removal is possible

+1
Black ink is the easiest kind of tattoo ink to treat and can generally be broken down with the least number of treatments. If you choose an experienced and reputable treatment provider, your risk of complications (such as scarring) will be very low. This is a very important consideration when choosing where to go fro laser tattoo removal. Another important consideration would be the type of laser used. Currently, the ND Yag 1064 is the gold standard on the market and should be the top choice for effective, safe tattoo removal.

Cory Torgerson, MD, PhD, FRCSC
Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Risks Always Exist with Tattoo Removal But Are Minimized with Reputable Provider

+1
This kind of tattoo is not uncommon for us to see in the office and one that many of us routinely use lasers to remove. If you go to a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon who is skilled in lasers, this kind of tattoo should not be too difficult for us to remove with a minimal chance of scarring or other pigment changes. The risks always exist, but you can minimize this by going to a reputable provider.

Michael Gold, MD
Nashville Dermatologic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Best option for tatto removal

+1

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
3.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Tattoo removal for black tattoos are easiest to treat

+1

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 34 reviews

Tattoo Removal Questions

+1

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
3.5 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Laser Tattoo Removal

+1

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

+1

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 36 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.