Tattoo Removal: What laser works best on red ink?

Red ink seems to be one of the more difficult inks to remove, what laser works best?

Doctor Answers 3

Picosure Laser to remove your tattoo

Great question! Learn more about the Picosure laser, this revolutionary new laser will permanently remove your tattoo without harming the surrounding tissue. Consult with your doctor about this laser to find out if it is best for you.


New York Dermatologic Surgeon
3.8 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Tattoo Removal: What laser works best on red ink?

The best laser choice for red tattoo removal is the 532 nm q-switched Nd:YAG laser. Q-switched lasers are the mainstay of tattoo removal these days and we have three major types currently, the Nd:YAG, Ruby, Alexandrite. The Ruby and Alexandrite lasers are in the near-infrared spectrum, which means that they are not very well absorbed by red pigments. This may seem counterintuitive, but things that look red do not absorb red light, they instead reflect only red light and absorb all other wavelengths. This is why a rose looks red to the human eye, it reflects the color red. Now, with red tattoos, the same principle applies, and so instead, you would want to use the color laser that is absorbed best by red pigments, and that happens to be the complementary color on the color wheel, or green. The ND:YAG usually fires a laser beam at 1064 nm, which is also infra-red, but these lasers can also double their frequency, allowing for a 532 nm wavelength, which is in the green spectrum. That is why the 532 nm q-switched Nd:YAG laser is currently the best laser for removal of red tattoos. Good luck! 

Danny Soares, MD
Clermont Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Tattoo Removal

Red ink used to be one of the most difficult ink to remove in a tattoo.  Alex Trivantage laser is best laser on the market.  This laser is the only one on the market that can target colors including red.  The multiple wave lengths can target all the colors in the tattoo with 4-6 sessions.  You should contact a board certified dermatologist as soon as possible.

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