Possible to Lighten a New Tattoo?

I had a tattoo on my right arm several weeks ago and it was a solid black. Now I'm trying to lighten it up. Can any one tell me what should I do? Thanks.

Doctor Answers 8

Lightening a Tattoo with Tattoo Removal

We can absolutely lighten new tattoos, however, new tattoos are typically more difficult to remove than older tattoos. New tattoos tend to have more color saturation than old tattoos, making the process a bit longer.

West Des Moines Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

How to lighten a tattoo

I recommend 3-4 laser treatments to lighten.  That's approximately 24 weeks until the last treatment is complete.  That will also give you some time to consider weather the last treatment is nescessary. 

David S. Rosenberg, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Laser tattoo removal in Los Angeles

Once the skin has completely epithelialized, then tattoo removal lasers can work to help lighten the tattoo pigment underneath the skin. 


Dr. Karamanoukian 
Los Angeles

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

See a Board Certified Dermatologist to Lighten a Tattoo

First, consult with a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon to give yourself the best chance to get the results your are searching for. Because it is all black, using proper settings and with a skilled provider, you can definitely lighten this – several sessions may be needed but this should not be a major issue to do.

Michael Gold, MD
Nashville Dermatologic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

YES- ideal treatment is laser.

You are a great candidate for laser FADING compared to removal... fading is much easier. The only trick I can predict is that your laser nurse/ doctor must get the passes right, as fading maybe patchy. 

In your case 1-3 sessions are needed.

Dr Davin Lim
Laser and Cosmetic Dermatologist

Davin Lim, MBBS, FACD
Brisbane Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Lightening a new tattoo

Often, new tattoos respond very well to laser treatment. Typically laser treatment consists of many, ten or more treatments done at least once per month. Newer tattoos might not need as many treatments as mature tattoos because the older tattoo has pigment that has been surrounded by the host's collagen in the dermis of the skin. The new tattoo's pigment exists freely within the dermis and may be more susceptible to fragmentation by the laser and the host's immune system can engulf the particles of pigment and carry them away from the dermis. I have had some patients though, whose new tattoos were stubborn. There never is a guarantee of results with tattoo removal.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Lightening a tattoo

You are in luck. A fresh tattoo is the easiest to lighten requiring the fewest treatments especially if black ink is used. I would recommend finding someone with a q-switched tattoo removal laser and they can do one or two treatments and it will be much lighter. I hope this information helps.

Scott Trimas, MD
Jacksonville Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Can a new Tattoo be lightened?

First you must let the skin heal from the tattoo roughly 2-3 weeks. After this the simple options include injecting the tattoo with some sterile saline solution which will have a slight lightening effect, or several treatments with a Q switched laser. Hope this was helpful.

Dr D.

Louis M. DeJoseph, MD
Atlanta Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 29 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.