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What Tattoo Ink Colors Are Easiest to Remove?

Which ink colors are easiest to remove using laser tattoo removal? Any ink colors that won't come out at all?

Doctor Answers (17)

Black tattoos are much easier to treat


Black tattoos are the easiest to treat.  Other colors such as red, blues, greens can become more difficult to treat depending if the tattoos were amateur or professionally done.  Amateur tattoos can even take twice the number of treatments to improve.

New York Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Tattoo colors that are easiest to remove?


First off you must use a Q switched laser system for tattoo removal

Black and Grey are the easiest ink colors to remove. Usually, a Yag(1064nm) laser works well for these)

Green is the most difficult followed by light blue (Yag and Alexandrite lasers 1064nm and 755nm).

Red/brown/yellow/orange respond well in my experience primarily using 532nm laser.

The bottom line is you can usually clear a tattoo to a level that is barely noticeable to the naked eye, it's just a matter of how many treatments it will take to get there. That's because of the great variability in ink composition and our own individual immune systems which is actually what clears the ink.

Hope this helps,

Dr D.

Louis M. DeJoseph, MD
Atlanta Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Black by far...

Black black black. The only trick is that if tattoos are layered. We just had on today. A black tattoo was used as a cover up for a yellow tattoo, we removed the black one a few months ago, only to reveal yellow. Multicoloured tattoos are commonly seen, so always ask if an old tattoo was layered. 
The second easiest to treat are red tattoos. 
The hardest- greens, but with the new Picosecond Laser (PICOSURE), its a little easier. 

Hope that helps


Dr Davin Lim 

Davin Lim, MBBS, FACD
Brisbane Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

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Black Ink Responds Best to Treatment

Black ink typically responds the best to treatment.  Primary colors such as a saturated blue or green respond well.  Neon colors (bright yellow and green) are the most difficult to treat and typically require the use of a different laser (Ruby) to target these pigment types.  Results also depend on if the tattoo was applied professionally and your skin color.  Typically, the greater the contrast between the color of the tattoo pigment and your skin, the better the result.  At your consult, your provider should address these concerns and help set realistic expectations for the treatment.

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Black Ink is Easiest to Remove


Black ink is my favorite. Nice improvement every session – predictable response. Reds, yellows, and greens all drive me bananas. We can hammer away at these pigments with our maximum-powered ND-Yag laser and yield frustrating results. The Q-switch ruby or KTP lasers are better for these pigments, but they’re hard lasers to find because that’s pretty much all they do.  :(

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Black is easiest color to remove.


The eaiaest colors to remove with laser is black and hardest colors to remove are green and yellow .

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Bright Colors take more sessions


Black and dark blue are the easiest to remove. Very bright colors like yellow and red can be hard.

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A Process Enabled with Great Technology


The PICOSURE laser with pico-second technology,  successfully removes tattoos of all colors, unlike previous laser technology.  By far, the dark black tattoos are the easiest to remove with fast, clean results.  Red colored tattoos have historically been most difficult to resolve, but the PicoSure  can remove even reds, with just a few extra sessions.   Other stubborn colors like greens and blues are also successfully treated with the PicoSure---making it essentially “colorblind”!

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Blue and Green Tattoo Ink Colors are now the easiest to remove


Our clinical trials at the Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York have shown that blue and green colors are now the easiest to remove as long as the PicoSure laser is used. We can sometimes see clearing of these colors in just a few sessions. These colors are are more challenging to remove with other types of lasers. Black colors follow blue and green as the next easiest to remove. Red colors usually do quite well with the use of a 532 nanometer Nd:YAG laser.

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Tattoo Ink Colors


Traditionally, black tattoos on light skinned patients were the easiest to remove.  However, recent advances in tattoo removal techniques and laser technology allows us to remove most colors of tattoo inks.  There are even lasers which are considered safe for removing tattoos on patients with darker skin types (ask your dermatologist about the Q-switched 1064nm laser.)  Recently, the 694nm ruby laser has been used more frequently, as it is able to remove difficult-to-get-rid-of blue and green tattoo ink better than other laser technologies.  I recommend visiting a dermatologist who utilizes a variety of tattoo removal laser wavelengths, in order to receive the most effective treatment possible.

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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.