Can I Have my Tattoo Removed, Without Noticing a Difference?

Hey, I'm thinking about getting my tattoo removed. The tattoo is on my upper back, and some of it down my spine. Fairly large tattoo, and only black ink was used. Most of the tattoo is outline and little shading. Another part of the tattoo uses bold ink, but it is "stretched" out on my back, rather than clustered in one area(picture a cross, with bold shading in the bolders). I'm light skin, so I heard it's easier to remove. My question. What are my realistic expectations to remove this tattoo?

Doctor Answers 3

Large Tattoo Removal

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Laser tattoo removal for a large tattoo can be very successful, when the proper tattoo removal laser is used and the treatments are performed by an experienced laser surgeon.  Tattoo removal lasers vary, so it is important to confirm that you are receiving treatments with the proper laser for your tattoo and your skin type.  You are correct; black ink tattoos on light skin types tend to have the best tattoo removal results.  Most tattoos require somewhere between 4-20 treatments for complete removal.

New York Dermatologic Surgeon

Can Tattoos be Removed Completely?

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Hi SLK.  It is realistic for a tattoo of this type to be removed.  The issue is how many treatments.  When tattoo treatments are performed, the goal is to safely remove all the ink without any scarring and this happens only when an experienced practitioner is using the correct technology.  As a consumer, the tradeoff you make is more treatments with a lower chance of scarring vs. fewer treatments with a higher chance.

Harold J. Kaplan, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Can I Have my Tattoo Removed Without Noticing a Difference...

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Laser tattoo removal can have a very rewarding outcome.  Fortunately, black ink and dark blue ink is the easiest to remove, while colors like green and yellow are more difficult.  On the average, six sessions are needed.  If a quality laser is used like a Q-switched Yag or Ruby laser, then often times the tattoo is either completely removed or almost completely removed.  Ultimately, it depends on how deep the ink is in the skin, and no one can guarantee that all the markings will be removed.  Most people are happy so that is why we perform the procedure

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

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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.