Will my color tattoo, especially the blue background and yellow poppies, be difficult to laser? (photos)

Brand new tattoo (colored about 2 weeks ago). I am so so disappointed with the colors and want it lasered off so I can get it redone in just black and gray. So if there are small traces of color that could be easily covered it won't be a huge deal but I really mostly want the blue background shading gone and the bright yellow in the poppies, that's what I hate the most and what is apparently, through my research, the hardest colors to remove. Any advice or knowledge is much appreciated!! Molly

Doctor Answers 8

Will my tattoo be difficult to laser?

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Thank you for your question and for including a photo.  You should definitely wait a couple of months for the tattoo to completely heal.  Different wavelengths treat different colors.  It is best to go to a provider that has multiple lasers, both Q-switch and Pico-Second technology.  The PicoWay Laser (Candela/Syneron) uses photoacoustic impact/pressure waves rather than photothermal/heat.  This process has less heat, therefore it is more comfortable and the chances of hyperpigmentation are less.  The Pico-second pulse shatters the ink into even smaller particles, allowing the body to more easily absorb the ink. Both technologies are capable to removing unwanted ink, sometimes it takes a little bit of testing to determine which wavelength can best target your ink.  It may be difficult to target blue and yellow and not effect the black outlining in the tattoo. If you plan on having it redone with just black, you should be able to get rid of enough color to cover it up and the outlining could also be retouched to sharpen it up again.

Good Luck!

Phoenix Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Multicolor Tattoo fade

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Thanks for your question. The presence of light colors can challenge the removal process. Sessions should be about 6 weeks apart and you will need a provider experienced with multicolor tattoos (with the right equipment/wavelengths). A Ruby laser (694nm) is useful for bright colors (bright blue, bright green, etc) and resistant inks including resistant black ink.Q switch ND:yag with good peak power- 1064nm for Black, dark blue, dark green, brown and purple and 532nm for Red, pink, orange and yellow. Pulses of 532 and 694nm cannot be overlapped in the same session or you will increase the risk of scarring. Ask lots of questions. Ask the provider "what wavelengths do you have and what colors will you be targeting with them". If they don't answer confidently this is a good indication that they don't understand well the PHYSICS of the treatment they are providing. That's not someone you want working on your tattoo. I hope this helps. 


Lisa Vuich, MD

Lisa Vuich, MD
Nashua Physician
4.7 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Tattoo Removal

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Thank you for your question in regards to Tattoo removal. Different wavelengths of a laser will respond better to certain ink colors than others. It is best to wait until your tattoo is completely healed before starting the tattoo removal process. To be sure what is best for you, see two or more board-certified providers in your area for a complete evaluation to make sure you are a good candidate and that it is safe for you to have treatment. I hope this helps.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 221 reviews

Treatment of multi-color tattoos

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Thank you for your question.  Pico lasers are the most advanced technology removing tattoos in fewer sessions then older laser systems. I utilize the PiQo4 which has 4 Pico wavelengths making it possible to target 96% of ink. Certain colors respond best to certain wavelengths.The removal process can vary based on your skin tone, sharpness of the ink, location of the tattoo, and your immune system. I would recommend to wait until your tattoo is fully healed. Best wishes with your tattoo removal. 

Daniel J. Ritacca, MD
Chicago Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Tattoo Removal

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After your tattoo heals I would suggest Alex TriVantage qswitched laser which treats different tattoo colors safely and effectively over time.  It can take multiple treatments such as ten to fifteen every six to eight weeks. The process to remove it is a little slow but safe and effective.

Hope this helps.  Good luck.

PicoSure is FDA approved for tattoo removal

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Thanks for your question. You should allow at least 6 months before considering treatment to allow the area to heal entirely. PicoSure uses photomechanical PressureWave technology, which is capable of shattering even the smallest targeted ink particles, including blue and yellow. The laser’s ultra-short pulse duration creates an intense impact, breaking up the tattoo ink into tiny particles that are easily eliminated from your body. It is best is to visit a board certified dermatologist to discuss number of treatments. Best, Dr. Katz

Bruce E. Katz, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
3.8 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Yellow and blue ink for tattoo removal.

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These are hard inks to remove as you have seen on the internet. Make sure that the provider has both a Q Switched and Pico wavelength with the tattoo removal laser. Also, they need to have multiple different wavelengths for these colors, some in the 600's/700's range. 532/1064 laser won't get these colors. The Piqo4 fits the bill for this. Picosure doesn't have the QS part and has problems with blacks (might not be important to you).

Steven F. Weiner, MD
Panama City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Laser tattoo removal - colors

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Molly - you are correct that the yellow and blue will be difficult to remove.  However, we never know exactly how a particular tattoo will respond until treatment begins.  There are many times that a particular ink will respond better than expected.  First, the tattoo is too new to begin treatment.  You should wait at least 6 weeks prior to beginning treatment.  Then, I would discuss your goals with your treating clinician so that expectations are clear.  If your goal is to lighten the ink enough to tattoo over it, that should be able to be accomplished.  Finally, I would be careful with the pink.  That might have white ink mixed with red, and white tends to turn a gray color with treatment.

Jeffrey Gosin, MD, FACS
Atlantic City Vascular Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 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.