Fresh tattoo. How long should I wait for laser removal to decrease chances of scarring & hypo/hyper pigmentation? (Photo)

My tattoo is two weeks old and I regretted it immediately after receiving it. How long should I wait to decrease my chances of scarring and hypo/hyper pigmentation? Which laser works best for a black outlined tattoo? If it's two weeks old and I start laser removal as soon as I can, does it make this tattoo more difficult to remove? About how many treatments would I need and how spaced out for best results? (Complete removal)

Doctor Answers 5

Tattoo Removal -- Pico/Q Switched Laser

You can start treatment as soon as you are healed from the tattoo itself. No matter the device it will take 3-6 treatments to see the outcome and response to treatment. You may need more depending on your response and the technology but black ink is the easiest to remove especially if it is new. Please consult with a laser expert. Best, Dr. Emer.

Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 191 reviews

Tattoo Removal

Thank you for your question. My preference for laser tattoo removal is the PiQo4 laser. This advanced technology has 4 wavelengths that use Pico technology including 1064 for black pigment. We are seeing tattoos being removed faster and safer. Your tattoo should be completely healed prior to treatments.

Dr. Daniel Ritacca

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

Laser for black tattoo

The good news is that black tattoos tend to respond well to laser treatment.  Multiple treatment sessions are required however.  Q-switched lasers such as Q-switched YAG work well for black tattoos.  Picosecond lasers would also be expected to work well for black.  I usually prefer to start treatment relatively early after getting a new tattoo to try to maximize removal before the tattoo has "set."  I would tend to use a lower setting on the laser the first time since the skin may still be healing.
Dr. Ort

Richard Ort, MD
Lone Tree Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Laser tattoo removal

Traditional thought was to wait 4 to 6 weeks after getting a tattoo before initiating laser tattoo removal. However we now feel that you can start the process much sooner. I tend to wait 2 weeks to make sure the skin is healed given the recent trauma of tattoo removal. 

Black ink ink is the easiest to remove and treatments are typically performed  6 weeks apart. Using older q switched technology it may take longer up to 6 to 8 treatments unless the R20 method is utilized which can shorten the number of treatments. See the link for the R20 method

the newer picosure technology may remove it a little quicker however it may still take up to 6 sessions

pigment changes and scarring risk although low is a potential risk with all laser based technology. The lighter the skin type the less the risk. It is important to take care of the area while it is healing and to avoid getting tanned or sun exposure while continuing the treatments 

All the best

Dr Soni

Hardik Soni, MD
Summit Emergency Medicine Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Tattoo Removal

You can begin to remove this tattoo immediately. Since it looks like it will take several sessions you should consult a specialist now. Best, Dr. Green

Michele S. Green, MD
New York Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 74 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.