Effects of Eyebrow Tattoo Removal?

I had them done 15+ years ago. There are 3 colors including a flesh tone in a small area. What are the chances that my natural eyebrow hair won't grow back, and what are the chances of scarring?

Doctor Answers 5

Laser tattoo removal of the brow

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The ink used in tattooing the brows can be treated like any other tattoo with a laser. This usually involves anywhere from 6-12 treatments. Because the hair follicle begins quite deep in the skin it is unlikely to be destroyed by this process but always a small risk. The problem for you is that flesh tones often contain iron and can oxidize and turn brown/black with treatment. If this happens it may be more difficult to remove. It is best to perform a test spot first to determine if this will happen or not.

Dallas Plastic Surgeon

Removal cosmetic eyebrow tattoos

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Flesh tone tattoos will likely turn very dark when the standard tattoo removal lasers are used. I typically treat tattoos on the eyebrows that contain flesh tones with a series of very superficial fractional resurfacing procedures. Every situation is different but the hair usually returns.

Roy G. Geronemus, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon

Eyebrow hair growth affected by laser tattoo removal

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Permanent makeup for eyebrows may be removed by several sessions of laser hair removal but there is a risk that the eyebrow hairs that are present will absorb the laser energy and heat the skin surface which risks a burn and therefore risks a scar. Laser hair removal procedures involve the shaving of the hair first for this reason. The disadvantage then, is that the safest way of avoiding skin changes such as scarring, would be to shave the eyebrow hairs prior to treatment of the permanent makeup with the laser. The other disadvantage is that the pigment in the eyebrow hair will compete with the pigment of the tattoo for laser energy absorption and the hair shafts may be partially or completely eradicated preventing new growth. Even if you had a test spot done in one area and it worked well, it would not guarantee that you wouldn't lose eyebrow hairs in the rest of the area.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Eyebrow tattooing and hair growth

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There is no correlation between permanent ink used in tattooing and hair growth. If you have been a long time without eyebrow hair growth, it is unlikely you will have any new growth of eyebrow hair. However, the tattoo should have no effect one way or the other.

They are in the process of testing Latisse which grows eyelashes to see if it will work with eyebrow hairs and some patients have had success there so you can ask your physician there to see if it is worth trying in your case. If you have the laser to remove tattooed liner, then you need to be careful because some tattoo removal lasers can effectively and permanently remove eyebrow hairs. I hope this information helps.

Scott Trimas, MD
Jacksonville Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Tattoo Removal on Flesh Toned Colors

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To remove the tattooing that has been done, you first need to consult with a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon who can best give you all of the appropriate options – whether in 2014 a Q-Switched laser is appropriate or whether one of the new Picosecond lasers are able to work well in these areas.

Then you need to be very careful with the flesh tone tattoo – there is a chance of pigment darkening with these flesh colors because of a reaction that can occur with the laser light and the pigment itself. If this happens, it is much more difficult to remove. We recommend test spots here, but even with them, there is no guarantee this will not occur with subsequent treatments. Fractional lasers have shown some promise with this, and those of us with multiple laser modalities may recommend this for the flesh-colored areas.

Michael Gold, MD
Nashville Dermatologic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 17 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.