Bright, multicolored outer thigh tattoo - excision or laser? (Photo)

Hi, I would really like to have this 14.5 by 8 cm (widest part) tattoo removed. I need to decide on whether to try laser or surgery. I have been to a picosure provider and was told that it might not be worth it to try laser on it due to the colors I have. The surgeon told me that I would need about 4 serial excisions in order to get rid of it completely. What should I do? Should I still try laser first? What kind and how many treatments are needed?

Doctor Answers 5

Multicolored tattoo

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Your tattoo will be a challenging one to totally remove as there are some colors where no laser can guarantee complete removal.  You will need a laser that offers multiple wavelengths and at some point will need a picosecond laser to address faint residual pigment.  And heavens, don't let anyone talk you into serial surgical removal.  I can guarantee you will have an unsightly spreading scar on that outer deltoid skin.  

Los Gatos Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Tattoo Removal -- Pico/Q Switched Laser

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Tattoos can be removed with lasers it will take multiple wavelengths however to treat this one in a series of treatments.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 207 reviews

Tattoo removal for multicolored tattoo

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 I would not recommend excision for this large tattoo.  I like to excise tattoos when they are small and narrow.  Excision for this tattoo would be difficult and would leave significant scarring.  I would recommend laser treatment.  
Dr. Ort

Richard Ort, MD
Lone Tree Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Tattoo Removal

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Thank you for your question. I would recommend laser tattoo removal with a multi wavelength Pico laser that can target the various colors in your tattoo. Our PiQo4 laser has 4 Pico wavelengths making it possible to treat 96% of colors. We carry a total of 5 Pico wavelengths helping patients safely and promptly remove tattoos. We also offer describe patches for double treatments.

Dr. Daniel Ritacca

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

Bright colored tattoo

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 From my experience, these bright colors will respond best to a Ruby wavelength laser independent of its pulse width. There have been some new treatment parameters such as the use of the describe patch which will allow for multiple treatments in one session with different wavelengths. Try to find a practitioner in your area with all three wavelengths. Good luck.

Marc J. Salzman, MD, FACS
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 58 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.