If a Tattoo Was over a Scar, Can the Scar Tissue Effect Results of Removal?
Doctor Answers (5)
Tattoo removal with scar
PicoSure Laser can improve tattoos and scars
Scar tissue can slow down laser tattoo removal. Interestingly, in our clinical trials involving the development of the PicoSure we found that scars improved dramatically. So for patients with tattoos and underlying scars, the PicoSure laser is the best option as it can address both the tattoo and the scar.
Scars may slow down the removal of a tattoo via laser
Laser tattoo removal works by shattering the pigment granules in the dermis and having immune cells then "gobble" up the debris and take it away through the lymphatic system. If the tattoo is in a scar, there are less blood vessels in this dense tissue and it may minimize how many cells can get to the area to clean it up via the immune system, and it may slow down the response.
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Tattoo over a scar
Because scars generally have poor blood supply, it would take longer for the tattoo ink to be resorbed after laser treatment. Lasers work on tattoos by breaking up the ink into very small particles that then must be resorbed by the patient's body. The macrophages that take care of this activity would have a harder time of getting to the broken up pigment. Maybe you will need a scar excision which would also remove the overlying tattoo.
Scar tissue can affect both the tattooing process and laser treatment
Scar tissue can affect both the tattooing process [ink deposition may be greater or less in the scarred tissue] and laser treatment [the laser shatters the ink granules, but in a scar the body may take a lot longer to clear away the ink particles after laser treatment].
In your case, it might be good to wait 3-6 months after laser treatment, to give your body more time to clear away the ink.
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.