Best Laser Tattoo Removal Method?

I have two tattoos I'm going to remove in the near future. Both are big tattoos one on my arm is about 1-3 inches wide at some points and it swirls around my forearm to the elbow. The other is about a 4x4 on my right shoulder. I got lucky with the ink, one is black and the other is black and blue I know the procedures will be very expensive but I just have a couple questions. Now I would like these tattoos completely gone, there is no point in paying 7k-12k to have outlines of these tattoos still on my arm. I need them completely removed and I won't stop until they are. My questions are what can i do to have the completely gone so my skin isn't destroyed. I'm looking into laser removal. But lets say theres still a little bit left, would rejuvi method be possible after laser removal? or what other methods would be possible. Another question is i know it will be painful because I've had 4 sessions done on the one on my arm when it was much smaller. Is there an anesthetic out there you can use? I added a photo of the one on my arm.

Doctor Answers 4

Laser Tattoo Removal Still Gold Standard

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Laser tattoo removal is still the only really effective tattoo removal technique. Dermabrasion can help, but is not recommended for large areas. I have found the MedLite® C6 laser is the best laser for targeting tattoo dyes. Treatment with this laser offers good, if not excellent results, but not necessarily total perfection. There may still be a hint of the tattoo or slight fading of the skin from the treatment. Ask to see before and after photos of other patients with large tattoos that your physician has treated and this will give you a better idea of what is realistically possible, even though all tattoos are different and each patient responds slightly different to treatment. As far as patient comfort during laser treatments, topical numbing prior to the treatment is usually sufficient for most people. However, some patients prefer a relaxing medication such as Valium. If you opt for oral sedation, you’ll just need to make sure you have someone to drive you home after the treatment.

Palm Springs Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Q-Switched Lasers are the best for tattoo removal

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We have 2 lasers dedicated to the practice of tattoo removal. These lasers are q switched
technology which is the gold standard in tattoo removal. With both lasers we are able to
treat inks of multiple colors and depths of the skin. 

I perform several tattoo removal sessions a day and each is unique however, the darker the tattoo is usually easier to remove.


Daniel J. Ritacca, MD
Chicago Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

The best method for tattoo removal...

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The best method to remove a tattoo is by using a laser that uses a Q-switched YAG laser to treat the skin layer that contains the tattoo's ink.  Since your tattoos only have one to two basic colors, the results that you are looking for are more easily achieved.  Since your tattoos are sizable it may take many sessions which it sounds like you are prepared for.  It can take more than eight plus sessions for a total removal.  If there are some residual areas other options may include a surgical excision, or dermabrasion which can unfortunately give a scar.  There is a topical anesthetic that can be used an hour beforehand that numbs the area to make it a little more comfortable.  After the procedure the area should be kept moist by using a topical antibiotic ointment such as bacitracin and kept covered with gauze.  While most people are happy, you can never be guaranteed of your result.  Hopefully it will be gone or close to gone.

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

Laser treatment of tattoos

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You have obviously done your homework.  Treatment of tattoos by lasers is not a perfect science at this time.  It is true that dark tattoos against light colored skin tend to respond most favorably to laser treatment,. In some cases the tattoos clear with little remaining evidence while in other situations some residual outline can be visible.  The skin can also develop a textural change after laser-assisted tattoo treatment.  That said, none of the creams or other treatments are likely to produce much improvement and lasers are the best option.  Pain can be managed by topically applied cream or injections of anesthetic.  You may experience crusting for a few days after treatment.  The type of laser used is also important.  Due to all of these factors, make certain you are treated by someone with a great deal of experience using lasers to treat tattoos.

Brian Biesman, MD
Nashville Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 43 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.