Good Candidate for Laser Tattoo Removal? (photo)

I have a 2 year old tattoo about 3x3 inches on my hip. A ridiculous "19 and crazy" Japanese symbol. I got it done by a semi-professional unlicensed kid, clean needles, no irritation, no issues for the past two years - just tacky. It's mostly on my hip bone - so I'm not too concerned about it stretching and getting messed up with age/pregnancy. But what is recommended for removal? I am half black/half white and frequently use indoor tanning beds (if that makes any difference?)

Doctor Answers 6

Black tattoo removal

I agree that black tattoos are much easier to remove than other colors and that the q-switch YAG laser would be the best option. It will probably require around 5 or 6 treatments and given your skin type you must practice good sun protection. Please seek out a provider who has experience treating tattoos in darker skin types.

New York Dermatologic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Black tattoos are much easier to treat

It is better that your tattoo is all black.  It is much easier to remove.  It should take at least six sessions to remove this tattoo with the Yag laser.  I would never recommend an excision when there are great lasers available for this type of tattoo.

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

#tattoo removal

Black ink is a bit easier to work with when lasers are used for tattoo removal. its hard to estimate the exact size of the tattoo but I would recommend Q-Switched NdYAG laser for better results. its a bit big for surgical removal but staged excision (s) might be an option.

Misbah Khan MD, FAAD, FACMS
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Tattoo Removal

You are fortunate in that the tattoo is all black. I agree with my colleagues that the Q switched  ndYag 1064 wavelength laser is the way to go. Interestingly, my son showed me his tattoo this morning. We only treated him twice, using this laser, but the tattoo has begun to fade nicely. I am quite sure you should have similar results.

Be careful to limit sun exposure, it will allow your physician to set higher parameters, and give you a quicker result. 

Arnold R. Oppenheim, MD
Virginia Beach Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Tattoo Removal in Darker Skin

The safest laser for darker skin would be the Q-switched Nd:YAG laser with 1064 nm wavelength.  You should not tan a few months before and after the laser treatment.  Black tattoos usually respond well to laser treatment.

Richard Ort, MD
Lone Tree Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Tat Removal

You need to see someone who has a Q-switched laser and have multiple treatments. However, discontinue the tanning first and let your skin lighten as much as possible. Tanning puts a barrier between the laser light and your tattoo.

Presently, I perform several treatments in the same session which shortens the total number of treatments and cost. Multiple treatments per session is the newest way to maximize your tattoo removal.

T. Wayne Day, MD
Nashville Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

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.