Can You Excise a Tattoo on the Bottom Side of Your Wrist, That is 3 Sq Inches Big?

if so can it be all be done at one time or will it require 2 stages ? and if loss of motor function of the hand a possibility?

Doctor Answers 5

Tattoo Excision Versus Removal By Laser

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A three inch tattoo would be too big to remove through excision. Removal by laser would be the better option. If you are curious to know how many  treatments will be needed, this can be determined using a rating scale called Kirby Desai. 

Redondo Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Excising a tattoo on the wrist...

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Depending on the size and whether or not there is enough skin in the area, excising a tattoo can be very effective.  Since there is only a layer of skin being removed, you wont have to worry about losing any type of motor functions in your hand.  However, only small tattoos are amenable to excision and one that is 3 square inches would be too big.  The laser is most commonly used to remove or lighten unwanted tattoos, especially larger ones.  It requires multiple sessions and the price is based on size and color.  Make sure to find yourself an experienced physician to discuss all of your options. 

Andrew Miller, MD
Edison Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 222 reviews

Removal of Tattoo by Laser

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A tattoo on the wrist that measures over an inch would be too large in this location to excise. Just pinch the skin in this area and you can see that there is not an inch of extra skin.

Look at the other options. You can go to a tattoo shop and have flesh colored ink put over your old tattoo. Of course it may not cover perfectly but it would be fast and fairly cheap.

The other option is laser removal. Usually it costs over a $1000 and at least six months or more and all the ink may not fade. If you can find someone that has been doing laser removals for 10+ years and has good reviews, let them take a look, and they could give you a closer estimate.

Good luck.

T. Wayne Day, MD

T. Wayne Day, MD
Nashville Dermatologic Surgeon

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Tattoo excessive

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Pictures will be helpful to evaluate your situation. This description however the tattoo seems too big to be excised in one stage; therefore staged excisions  or laser tattoo treatment may be necessary. Although motor loss is a possibility this would be a very unusual complication since excision would be superficial (skin deep only).

Best wishes.

Excising a Tattoo on the Wrist

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Excising a tattoo on the wrist is not recommended for a variety of reasons. First, I'd never recommend excising a tattoo (with very few exceptions), because it's simply inefficient. On an area like the wrist, the skin is thin, not particularly lax (meaning all the bending and moving you need to do with this area of the body would be hindered), and there is extensive vasculature and nerves. The safest and most effective way to remove your wrist tattoo would be to use a series of laser treatments to fully remove the ink in your skin without causing any lasting damage or scarring.


Best of luck! 

Cameron Rokhsar, MD, FAAD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon

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.