Laser Tattoo Removal Scar

When getting the laser removal for tattoos, does it leave a scar and will it get rid of the tattoo completely?

Doctor Answers 35

Laser Tattoo Removal

Laser tattoo removal, with the right laser(s) should not leave a scar. After much research, including several of our own staff members receiving laser tattoo removal with others systems, including the PicoSure, we have determined that the most effective and safest laser is the PicoWave. It is has been successful in treating all skin colors without scarring or pigmentation issues. It is important to follow the instructions of your physician and keep the lasered area out of the sun after treatment. To accelerate healing, we have also implemented the use of a laser gel with healing ingredients and a healing light source. The Gentlewaves photomodulation system has been used by NASA for wound healing. We include both the healing gel and photomodulation treatments as part of the cost of treatment.


Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 120 reviews

Picosure Tattoo Removal

Try and find a board certified physician that has a PicoSure laser.  Chances are you'll need fewer treatments, with less risk of scarring.  Also avoid sun exposure, and make sure to follow up with your practitioner.  Good luck!

Thomas McFadden, MD
Greenville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

Tattoo Removal and scars

The process of tattoo removal is a unique process where the individual colors are removed based on the unique colors of the different ink.  If the correct settings and lasers are used there should be no scar to remove the tattoo completely.  It can take several treatments to remove a tattoo. Please consult a board certified dermatologist with experience with tattoo removal for the best cosmetic results.

Michele S. Green, MD
New York Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

Scarring with Tattoo Removal

Laser tattoo removal has been around for a while and there are many types of lasers that can effectively remove tattoos. The most important thing to remember is to make sure that the person doing the procedure is well versed in lasers and laser tattoo removal.  So, the answer to your questions — scarring with lasers can always happen – and can happen even in the best hands.  Tattoo lasers of today can remove tattoos completely and at times they do not --- each tattoo is unique and it may require many treatments and several different tattoo lasers to make things work.

Michael Gold, MD
Nashville Dermatologic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Laser tattoo removal latest technology does not scar and can remove the tattoo completely

Laser tattoo removal latest technology does not scar and can remove the tattoo completely!

Laser tattoo removal is one of our specialty areas. We use the AlexTrivantage laser which delivers energy to the skin in nanoseconds. This causes the ink to break apart into tiny particles and dissolve -meaning better results in fewer treatments- 4 to 6 on average. Most tattoos are $275 a treatment. There is a package deal - buy 4 treatments and get the 5th one free but a lot of people pay as they go.

Ritu Malhotra, MD
Cleveland Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Scar is Unnecessary!

Dear candace19,

We truly have a state-of-the-art clinic for Laser Tattoo Removal and can treat virtually any tattoos of any color to the point where it has disappeared completely leaving no scar. This allows us to remove most tattoos in half the time of the previous technology. We use a unique combination of Q switched, Pico, and fractional lasers, used in a special sequence to get the optimal response.

The laser breaks up the ink particles, but it's your body's white blood cells that pick up the broken pieces of ink, and drag it away, that makes the tattoo disappear. That's why using the newest technology that breaks the ink up into the smallest pieces, without injuring the surrounding skin and causing less pain, is critical to long term success. Hope this helped!

Dr. S

Bruce Saal, MD
Los Gatos Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Scarring with tattoo removal

Yes, tattoo removal can completely remove a tattoo, but it can also sometimes leave a "scar".  The scar can be as minor is a slightly shiny, whitish "shadow", or it can be much thicker and more severe.  In our practice, we only use the Picosure laser which has been proven to not only be more effective, but also less likely to leave significant scars.  We have also treated scars and recalcitrant tattoos treated with other lasers and have some effective techniques to break up scar tissue to release more ink.

Anh-Tuan Truong, MD, FACS
Chicago General Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Tattoo Removal Scarring

Thank you for your question. Pico lasers are the most advanced technology. I utilize the PiQo4 laser which has 4 Pico wavelengths making it possible to treat 96% of ink in as little as 4-6 sessions on average. The amount of treatments and process of removal can vary based on several factors such as the location of your tattoo, your skin tone, how sharp the ink is, and how quickly your body eliminates the ink. Even with advanced lasers and multiple wavelengths complete removal is not always possible but can be. I believe that tattoos are removed faster and safer with Pico lasers and there is less risk of scarring with Pico lasers then with older laser systems. I think it is important not only to seek the best technology but an experienced laser tattoo removal provider. I hope this helps! Best wishes. 

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

Tattoo removal with PicoSure results in our NYC practice

Tattoo removal with lasers can vary how the procedure is performed by different providers. It is important to see a board certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon who has had appropriate training with lasers. Scars are very rare but can be created if there is a secondary infection or if the laser settings are not appropriate for the skin type. 

Some colors respond better than others and although some tattoo pigment is cleared 100%, many results are very good while some hint of a shadow can remain. Lighter skin color or post inflammatory darkening of one's skin can occur and this is usually temporary. There is a small percent of  tattoos for unknown reasons are resistant to the laser treatment and only a small component of the pigment diminishes. Different colors, depth of tattoo, age of tattoo, skin type are some of the variables that may affect the outcome.  It was only in the older days where, as an example, dermabrasion or salabrasion were done to lighten and remove tattoos and scars were inevitable. It is not the goal to hide a tattoo by causing a scar over it.

The information provided in Dr. Shelton's answer is for educational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical advice.  The information provided should not be relied upon as a substitute for consultations with a qualified health professional who may be familiar with your individual medical needs. 


Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Will laser tattoo removal leave a scar?

If the treatment is performed correctly by an experienced clinician using a Q-switched laser at the correct settings you should not have a scar. Additional factors that prevent scarring are spacing your treatments at least 6 weeks apart and following proper after care to allow your skin to heal. As far as full removal, most tattoos can be fully removed however you may experience the phenomenon of ghosting. 

Adaeze Okeke, MD
Houston Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 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.