How Long Before New Tattoo Can Be Removed?

I have a fresh tattoo that didn't come out the way I had hoped. Matter of fact, it was done yesterday and I feel quite distraught about it.

It is about 5 or 6 inches above my ankle bone and is a sun with a black center and orange/red flames. I did it to cover up a very old and tiny tattoo and wound up unhappy.

How hard would Tattoo removal be and how long do I have to wait to get started since it was just done?

Thank you,

Doctor Answers 7

How Long Before a New Tattoo Can Be Removed?

Tattoo regret is quite common, and I am sorry for your problem. Most of us would tell people you should wait for about 6 weeks for this to be treated – but over the years I have treated these tattoos pretty quickly and have had some success in doing so. You need to make sure you are going to a really skilled provider that treats lots and lots of tattoos and that they have several types of tattoo lasers available to treat the different colors you are describing.

Find a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon to treat this – and you need to know it takes several to many treatments to remove a tattoo. We have several new lasers available now which are better than previous ones; both of the Q-Switched variety and the new Pico second lasers – which may, and I say may, work faster in removing tattoos.

Nashville Dermatologic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Tattoo Removal

In order to remove a tattoo, you must wait  6 weeks from the time it has been placed. We are unable to tell how many passes over the tattoo it takes, it depends on your bodies ability o break to the tattoo and get rid of the ink. Every patient is different. We know that black does better than color, smaller is better than larger, non-smokers do better than smokers, older tattoos do better than newer and tattoos close to the heart does better then on the extremities. 
The R20 means that the tattoo can be removed in less visits to the office. 

Eric Schweiger, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

How long should I wait before starting Tattoo removal?

The skin cell cycle is approximately 35 to 57 days. Thus, patients should wait six to eight weeks after getting a tattoo to consider laser tattoo removal treatment.

William Kirby, DO, FAOCD
Manhattan Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

How soon

laser tattoo removal can be done 6 weeks after a tattoo is done.  It should not be done sooner than that. 

David S. Rosenberg, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Laser tattoo removal

Laser tattoo removal can be performed on fresh tattoos if the skin has epithelialized and well healed. 


Dr. Karamanoukian 

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 85 reviews

New tattoo after removal

Timing for this depends on your skin healing after the tattoo placement. I usually have patients wait roughly 2 weeks after getting a fresh tattoo before beginning laser removal treatments. As far as your colors are concerned, you will require a q switched 1064nm Yag for the black portion and ideally a Q switched 532nm green laser for the yellow and red flames. Hope this helps.

Louis M. DeJoseph, MD
Atlanta Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Tattoo removal

A tattoo is no different than another other form of trauma to the skin. There is a process of wound healing and scar maturation and you should allow this to occur prior to considering laser tattoo removal. Lasering adds damage to the skin and you want that skin to have had maximum healing before re-traumatizing it. Check out the photo gallery and note that most lasers still leave a "ghost" but this is usually preferable to the tattoo itself.

Theodore Katz, MD, FACS
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 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.