Is There an Optimal Waiting Period Between Tattoo Laser Removal Sessions? (photo)

Upon scheduling my 2nd appt I was asked if I wanted to wait 4, 6, or 8 wks. I'm guessing this is just a formality for those confined by the financial obligation? Now it has me wondering, just speaking strictly in "result/success" terms, are one of those time frames more optimal than another? Financially, committing to every 4 wks is not a problem--the sooner I can complete removal, the better. However, if waiting longer may garner better results that would be preferable. Thoughts?

Doctor Answers 4

Tattoo Removal Appointment Frequency

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At my practice we recommend to come back every four weeks until the desired goal is achieved. This is because that is a normal skin cycle and it allows the skin time to recover. We typically schedule patients at four weeks out and have them give us a call if by that time they haven’t healed completely. Some patients may just need an extra couple of weeks; at that point we would reschedule them an extra couple of weeks out and note in their chart that is the normal cycle for their skin. “Dr. D”

Fayetteville Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 127 reviews

Laser tattoo removal times

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This is a great question which has not been very well studied. Ultimately, based on hard data, I can't give you an exact answer. There are proponents who argue that a longer interval allows the body to undergo more macrophage clearing of the tattoo ink particles. However, tattoo removal is a commitment and takes many treatments so many patients like to come in as often as possible to get their tattoos lightened. You are probably ok with all three of those intervals. Based on my experience, I tend to have patients come back between 4-6 weeks. 

Omar Ibrahimi, MD, PhD
Stamford Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Tattoo removal

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ideally one should wait for at least 4 weeks in between treatments. if the treated area has healed by 4 weeks you should consider another treatment. otherwise I would wait for another 1-2 weeks.

Misbah Khan MD, FAAD, FACMS
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

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Waiting period between treatments

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Your skin needs to recover after the laser treatments.  Treatments performed too soon could damage the skin.  Generally 4 weeks between treatments should be sufficient for a tattoo like yours.

Shim Ching, MD
Honolulu Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 51 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.