Are red ink tattoos impossible to completely remove? (photo)

I got this done as a cover up. And long story short...I don't like it. I've come to find out that red ink is one of the hardest ones to remove and now I feel like such an idiot for not just lasering the first tattoo away in the first place. I've searched all over the web and have not found any successfully removed red ink tattoos. They all have obvious red lines that look like a nasty rash. My question is....would getting this completely removed be impossible? I don't want to make another stupid decision.

Doctor Answers 6

Red Ink Tattoo Removal

It is not impossible to remove a red inked tattoo, it just is difficult to remove. But, it can definitely be done.  I would recommend going to a  doctor that has a lot of experience with tattoo removals. Best, Dr. Green

Red tattoos

It's not impossible to remove a red tattoo. Its just difficult. It may take quite a few sessions. I would recommend following up with a reputable provider for evaluation.

Red Tattoo Ink

I am sorry to hear about your concerns. Pico lasers are the most advanced technology. I utilize the PiQo4 laser which has 4 Pico wavelengths including the 532 wavelength ideal for red pigment and I also use the Picosure for a total of 5 Pico wavelengths. Certain colors respond best to certain wavelengths. The amount of treatments can vary based on several factors such as the location of your tattoo, your skin tone, how sharp the ink is, and how quickly your body eliminates the ink. Even with advanced lasers and multiple wavelengths complete removal is not always possible but it can be. I believe that tattoos are removed faster and safer with Pico lasers and there is less risk of scarring. I think it is important not only to seek the best technology but an experienced laser tattoo removal provider.

Daniel J. Ritacca, MD
Chicago Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Nothing is Impossible

Not impossible. The number of treatments will not be predictable till you start treatment.  This is a harder color to remove, but not impossible. See an expert.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 165 reviews

Are red ink tattoos impossible to completely remove? (photo)

The question is, is red ink in a tattoo impossible to remove. With a laser, it may be. Lasers break up the pigment which is then distributed throughout your lymphatic system and liver. Incidentally, it is believed that red ink can be carcinogenic.

The most effective way to remove red ink or for that matter any ink is with the GoTattless system. This actually extracts the ink out of the body. This will take sometimes 4 to 5 treatments, but it is effective. 

My suggestion is to find a GoTattless representative in your area. Best of luck to you.

Are red ink tattoos impossible to completely remove?

Hello, thank you for your question and for including a photo. Red ink does definitely respond very well to the 532 wavelength pulse. We use the PicoWay laser here in our facility, it has a 532wavelength. 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.  Because your body also plays a part in ridding the skin of ink, it is impossible to guarantee 100% complete removal of any tattoo.  The pico-second technology can usually remove a tattoo in about half as many treatments as the traditional Q-switch devices. You can check in your area to see if this device is available.

Good Luck!


Mark A. Blair, MD
Phoenix Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 8 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.