Remove Big Multi-colored (Green, Yellow, Purple, Blue, Black) Tattoo on Back. Reasonable Expectations?

I Have a Big Multi-colored (Green, Yellow, Purple, Blue, Black) Tattoo on my Back. What Are Reasonable Expectations? I would like to have it removed, but am worried it will be too big, too colored, for my doctor (who uses a 694 nm Q-switched ruby laser from Sinon) to get rid of it without leaving a large area of my back looking different afterwards. I added a picture- not of my own tattoo, but one that is similar in size and variation of coloring... Worst case, if my back looks too bad after removal, I would get a tattoo I really love and that is appropriate over the area (would that even be possible?).

Doctor Answers 2

Tattoo Removal

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Removing your tattoo will be a challenge and will take many treatments but can be done with the right lasers.  You will need more than just one wavelength to optimally address the different colors so I would start with looking for a Q switched 1064nm and 532nm laser so that the black and the red can be addressed.  The yellow may be a challenge since it can be mixed with other colors and if there is zinc in it it can turn black when pulsed. First be sure you want to commit to 8-12 treatments and know the costs per treatment. Second be sure that your doctor has the right lasers to treat the different colors in your tattoo to get optimal results.

Boulder Dermatologist

Multicolor tattoo removal

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One challenge in multicolor tattoo removal is that different colors respond differently to laser tattoo removal. some may be much more stubborn than others. Bright colors such as yellow and white pink could have certain metals mixed with the pigments which could oxidize with laser energy making the color darker! Some are successful that multiple treatments can diminish this new color.

Another concern is your natural pigmentation. Skin of color  might develop post inflammatory hyperpigmentation after laser treatment. Often, a lightening cream is prescribed post operatively if darkening is seen.

Usually a combination of Neodynium Yag, double frequency, lasers (1064nm and 532nm) along with othe lasers such as a yellow light laser, may help reduce the tattoo presence. See a physician that owns a myriad of lasers and has great experience in treating tattoos. Unfortunately, it does take ten or more monthly treatments to significantly fade (and this is not eliminating) the tattoo.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 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.