2 sessions done with a Q-switched ruby laser because black ink turned brown. Is hypopigmentation permanent? (photos)

My first laser session has been done with a Nd: yag-laser. As the black ink turned brown, my doctor used the ruby laser two times in order to remove the brown ink. Unfortunately I can already see some "ghosting" of my tattoo in the areas where the ink has already been removed. Is this a total loss of melanocytes? Is there a possibility that the skin will return to it's normal colour?

Doctor Answers 2

Hypo pigmentation and it probably will return to normal

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I use a Q Ruby almost daily in my tattoo removal practice and notice this "ghosting" you are describing in even my lighter skin patients. What I normally do is give it a rest and hold off the next session for a few months. I space in lighter skin patients every 6 weeks so maybe I would tell this patient to return in 12 or 14 and to expose the area to a bit of sun.

The doctor may consider returning to the YAG . 

There was a study where the hypo pigmented areas were exposed to UVB light and the melanin returned.

Commack Physician

Hypopigmentation after Laser Tattoo removal

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Thanks for your question. Transient hypopigmentation in the course of laser tattoo removal can certainly occur and it is rarely permanent. Usually over the course of a couple of months, with a little bit of sun exposure (do not burn though!) the melanocytes in the area will recover and the skin returns to normal pigmentation.
Lisa Vuich, MD

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

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