What are the chance of scarring? (photos)

I am starting my journey of getting my lower back tattoo removed. I got it when I was 18 of course and it's about 12 years old. It's not raised and it's all black. What is the chance of scarring? I'm healthy, don't smoke and I'm not tan by any means. I know those can be a factor. They said it should take 8 treatments but there is a possibility give or take a few it could last longer. They used a scale to give me an estimate. Thank you!

Doctor Answers 5

Black Tattoo Removal - Picoway

Hi,With the Picosecond Laser, you should be looking at 4-6 sessions, or so - as you mentioned the possibility of a session more, or a session less, is definitely there. The Kirby Desai Scale is a good tool to assess clearance if your doctor uses a Q switched Nd YAG or an Alexandrite laser. The picosecond lasers are generally understood to give faster and better clearance. Based on personal experience, I would like to add that scarring/ residual dyspigmentation is much lesser with the picosecond laser, as compared to the  nanosecond Q switched devices.Good luck!

Risks of scarring is low

Your tattoo is very ideal for tattoo removal as it is one colour and the ink is not dense. Although there is a small chance of scarring, you can reduce this risk by proper aftercare, choosing the right techican, going slow in the settings which will reduce the chance of blistering and therefore the chance of scarring, 

All the best
Dr Davin Lim

Davin Lim, MBBS, FACD
Brisbane Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Scarring with tattoo removal

Chances are having scarring are low when going to an experienced laser physician. Because your tattoo is one color and black, these are the easiest to remove so I don't expect there to be problems. Aftercare is important is there are any blisters, but this shouldn't be the case with a skillful laser surgeon.

Steven F. Weiner, MD
Panama City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

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Tattoo removal

You should do fine. The chances of scarring are low, but still there. You need to protect yourself from the sun, use sunscreens.

Keep treatment area clean. Usually applying Aquaphor healing ointment is a good choice.

H. Eliot Y. Ghatan, MD
New York Dermatologist

Scarring from tattoo removal?

Great question.  When it comes to tattoo removal there is no definite answer to any of those questions.  When it comes to scarring, it's all about how the patient takes care of the area post treatment.  It is best to keep the area treated, hydrated with either petroleum jelly or aquaphor and covered with a bandage. If it is in an area that your clothes will be rubbing, it's best to keep it covered until it is no longer irritated. Good Luck!

Mark A. Blair, MD
Phoenix Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 7 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.