How Soon After You Have a Tattoo Done Can You Get It Lasered off

My tattoo is under my left ear and down my neck it is a tribal cross 3inches long by a inch and a half about the size of a credit card I wish now not had it done. It is all black and i have a really pale skin tone.

Doctor Answers 6

When to Use Laser Tattoo Removal

You can start using a laser to remove your tattoo as soon as you want. However, I would recommend waiting until the area is fully healed, as the laser process can be irritating to the skin, and this would only be exacerbated by already inflamed skin. Because your tattoo is new, it's likely that the pigment is as fresh as it will ever be, meaning that you may need more treatments than someone with a very old tattoo might need.


Best of luck! 

New York Dermatologic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Laser tattoo removal

You can immediately start a series of laser tattoo removal, whether with Alexandrite or NdYag laser.  There is a risk of scarring and change in coloration, both lighter and darker.  After 10 monthly treatments, there often is significant improvement.  You should wait, however, if there is significant inflammation of the area from the tattoo procedure to minimize the risk of scarring.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Removing Tattoos with Lasers

Immediately.  Unfortunately, it will still take a series of treatments to be successful in removing it.

Deborah Sarnoff, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Tattoo Removal Options

It is best to wait until the skin is completely healed before you start using a laser to remove the tattoo.  If you laser it while still healing, there will be additional trauma to the skin which could lead to textural changes after healed (i.e. a scar). Make sure that the laser your doctor uses to remove the tattoo is designed for the removal of tattoos specifically. I've seen some tattoos removed using an ablative CO2 or Erbium YAg laser. The tattoo is removed but a burn scar is left. The lasers used for tattoo removal concentrate their energy in the pigment. As a result, the pigment shatters and is carried away by the body. But wait until the tattoo is completely healed so that you don't cause potential trauma that could cause a scar anyway, and also, as pointed out by Dr. Smith, because some of the tattoo is going to fade out in the next few months since some of the implanted tattoo pigment will naturally be carried away by cells in the body. The result is that there will be less pigment for the laser to have to work on, which means that there will likely be fewer sessions and the sessions will be a little easier on your skin.

Andrew Kaufman, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Lasers for Tattoos can start immediately

There is no reason to wait to begin treatment for your tattoo. You should realize That it will require multiple sessions. It will require ,in general , less treatments if a) it was implanted by a non professional b) if it is pure black- rather than an exotic color c) the lines Are thinner - as well as other factors. All tattoos fade slowly over time. Good luck!

Joshua L. Fox, MD
Long Island Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Tattoos can be lasered immediately after you get them, but it is best to wait

Tattoos can be lasered immediately after you get them, but it is best to wait.

The reason for this is that your body will get rid of some of the tattoo ink during the first 6 months after you were tattooed, then when you start in on laser treatment, fewer treatments will be needed.

On the other hand, if you are in a hurry to get rid of the tattoo and the cost and number of treatments is not an issue for you, treatment can be started immediately after you get the tattoo, and repeated every two weeks or so until the tattoo is gone.

Kevin C. Smith, MD
Niagara Falls Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 4 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.