Can Raised Tattoo Be Removed?

I have a large design on my back--all black--with areas that are raised. It was done professionally (though badly) and I am looking into having it removed. Do the raised areas mean the ink is darker and thus may not be able to be removed?

Doctor Answers 5

Treatment of raised tattoos

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You should be examined in consultation to determine if the raised texture is an unusual allergic reaction to the pigment, or if you are producing more collagen in the dermis as a reaction to the trauma of the tattoo needle. The latter might be called either a hypertrophic scar, if the thickening is limited to the shape of the tattoo design, or a keloid, if the thickening spreads out beyond the design.

Both allergic reactions to pigment and overhealing scars can be treated by injecting the area with corticosteroids. The risk of these injections is the possibility of developing over thinning, or atrophic depressions in the skin's contour, as well as lighter skin color, and the development of fine blood vessels, or capillaries in the skin where the injection was given.

Surgical removal, or excision, of tattoos will leave a scar, and it can be unsightly if a keloid forms after the surgical excision.

Some patients have obtained benefit by laser therapy of hypertrophic scars, and some scars have improved from injections of medicines including: 5-fluorouracil, interferon, and the topical use of Aldara. and corticosteroid adhesive tape.

Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Tattoo and scar removal

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Raised scars indicate that you may have keloid or hypertrophic scarring tendencies.

These can be very difficult to treat although there are options.

There are two issues here:

  1. Pigment removal
  2. scar management

The problem is that pigment removal can trigger more scar tissue formation. I would first recommend trying a test area with laser removal followed by scar managment with pressure or laser or intalesional injections may be an approach to your problem.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Picosecond laser treatments by an experienced Doctor is your best option

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Hello and thanks for your question.

This is a very difficult to treat although Picosecond laser treatments by an experienced Doctor is your best option. The raised areas maybe scaring or extra pigment layer which will be harder to remove.

Wishing you all the best,

Dr Murray from Absolute Cosmetic Medicine

Removing raised skin

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The raised skin is a scar. These scars are caused by excessive tissue formation. The dermatologist who removed the tattoo should see it and suggest treatment.

Sanusi Umar, MD
Redondo Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Removing raised tattoos is not possible

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If your skin is raised from having a tattoo, I would suspect that this is scar tissue built up from the injury to the skin from the procedure.  I doubt this can be corrected without further scarring unfortunately. 

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.