I'm on my 3rd session. Is this normal? (Photo)

So I got my 3rd session done yesterday and today my tattoo looks red around the treated area. Should I be worried because it looks like this ? When will I start to see more fading ? And how much more session do I need for this tattoo to be completely gone ?

Doctor Answers 4

Tattoo Removal -- Pico/Q Switched Laser

Redness after laser removal is common. Tattoos should be removed with q switched or pico lasers, we will often combine with fractional lasers to help speed the process. No matter the device it will take several treatments to see the outcome depending on your response and the technology. Treatments should be performed in 4-6 week intervals. Please consult with a laser expert. Best, Dr. Emer

Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 190 reviews

Tattoo removal question

Redness can occur after treatment. I would add a topical steroid cream to decrease though. Number of treatments will be 8-10 if I had to guess. However, to a get a better idea, look up the kirby-desai tattoo removal scale. This will give a better estimate on the numbers.

Steven F. Weiner, MD
Panama City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Tattoo removal expectations

It is normal to see some degree of redness as well as blurring of the ink. Fading will occur over the course of 4 to 8 weeks from a single session. Understand that while the laser breaks up the pigment into very tiny particles, it takes time then for your macrophages (skin cells) to process this debris and clear it through the lymphatic system. The number of treatments needed is always given as a range because there are so many variables at play some of which we cannot control. Typical is 8 to 12 sessions but some are gone in 4 to 6 and some take 15! Since your tattoo is all black and assuming just a medium ink density a good guess would be 6 to 8.
Lisa Vuich, MD

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

Tattoo removal process

It is common to see redness to the tattoo and surrounding tissues for a few days -- up to a week after a treatment. There can also be some pinpoint bleeding that can last a day or two. Fading of the tattoo depends on the area being treated, the density of ink and timing between treatments. The hand can be tough because the skin is thin. Fingers are even worse in terms of tattoo fading. This is because the tissue is thin. Still treatments can be successful to these areas. Aquaphor on the area daily with gauze dressings will aid in the healing. This is usually done for a week or two after treatments. 

Manu B. Aggarwal, MD
Lima Phlebologist

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.