I have a black tattoo covering a white tattoo. Can it still be removed? (Photo)

I recently got my white tattoo redone in black. It's located on my wrist. I've made an appointment for a consultation in July with an office that uses a PicoWay laser to remove tattoos. It's black and on the small side (1.5" x .25"). I know black ink is supposed to be the best to remove but there is white underneath. (The white ink is 8 years old.) Do you think it will be able to be removed?

Doctor Answers 3

Caution With White Ink Removal

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Certainly when there is a white component to the tattoo then caution should be used. This is because when exposed to the laser, the white can turn black. But, one can treat on the second time and treat the black component and it can be effective. A small test spot once should be attempted. If it turns black, then a second test spot to that area would be warranted. Some offices charge for test spots so the downside is it might cost more and take more time to remove, but a safe approach is always the best approach.

San Antonio Dermatologist

White Laser With Black

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Darker ink is easier to remove.  Sometimes white can changes colors with the laser and white ink does not go away as easily with laser.  If it turns black or darker with the laser then it will be easier to remove of subsequent visits.  But yes, a black laser goes away very well with the PICOWAY laser.  The white can change colors with the laser and there should be a test patch performed as with any and all tattoo removal sessions.  This test session guides the therapy and lets us know what will happen to the tattoo when it is lasered. Hope this helps and good luck

Susan Fox, DO
Hollywood Phlebologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Laser for black and white tattoo ink

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The presence of white ink makes laser treatment unpredictable.  White ink typically contains titanium dioxide which can turn BLACK when it is treated with a laser.  Usually we avoid using laser on tattoos with white ink because of this risk.  You could consider doing a small test treatment to a small part of the tattoo to see how it reacts but understand that any white ink may turn black.

Richard Ort, MD
Lone Tree Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 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.