I've Recently Had my First Tattoo Removal Laser Session Done and I Have Seen VERY Minimal Results, Is that Typical?

Laser used is AlexTriVantage Various shades of black colored tattoo Little to no difference after 5 weeks of first treatment Tan/olive skin complexion Have not tanned or smoked since first treatment Have been following proper aftercare instructions Tattoo area is shoulder blade/back/ and rib cage area 550$ per treatment

Doctor Answers 10

One Tattoo Removal Treatment May Not Visibly Show Results, But Ink Has Been Removed

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Laser tattoo removal takes time and many sessions are needed — sometimes 5-10 or more — even with black ink, although we hope this works faster in many instances. During your consultation, you should have been informed this and that after the first session, you may not see "tons" of ink removal — this is not uncommon.  Sometimes there is more than you think — and photos can document your process, but don't despair. Keep going, and this will work for you.

Nashville Dermatologic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Typical results after one laser tattoo removal session

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Removing a tattoo is a long process with many treatments. You will not begin to see results after one treatment. On some tattoos, it can take between 10-15 treatments to remove a tattoo. It depends on the ink and the settings of the laser. It is important to be patient and give it time. 

Brian E. Dubow, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon

Tattoo Removal Efficacy Depends on the Lasaer and the Provider

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With the right laser, the PicoWay from Candela and the right laser provider, you should certainly see some reduction after just a single treatment. At this moment, no single laser effectively treats every color, so in addition to PIco technology, widely recognized as most effective, we also have a Q-switched laser available to use at no extra charge when certain colors are present that respond best to this technology.  to help  In my practice, we photograph each person prior to each treatment so you can easily monitor your progress. The fading may not take place immediately and because the change is gradual, on occasion people may not realize what a significant difference a single session will make. Prior to your first treatment, you will receive a no-pressure complimentary consultation that will detail the exact price of the treatment and an estimate of how many treatments will be required to deliver the results you want to achieve.

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 123 reviews

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Minimal change

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yes even with the Picosure laser, which is the top of the line laser which we use in our clinic, there can be only subtle changes after the first treatment.  Don't fear, it will get better with further treatments.  I will often offer free treatments if there is not complete resolution after 6 treatments

David S. Rosenberg, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Slow progress with laser tattoo removal

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Laser tattoo removal will take time for you to see significant results, but rest assured that it is ok to see slow progress rather than going too aggressive and having complications. 


Dr. Karamanoukian 

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Yes, multiple treatments are needed.

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What you are experiencing is common... many treatments are needed over many many months. This is compounded by the size of the tattoo ( Back, blade/ rib), location, and most importantly your skin type. Tattoo removal is especially difficult in patients with skin of colour, 


Dr Davin Lim
Laser and cosmetic dermatologist

Results From Laser Tattoo Removal

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Black ink actually absorbs all light wavelengths. Therefore it is the easiest to remove. However the shading involved does make the design slightly more difficult to remove. Besides the factors you mentioned, the number of treatments are also contingent on other factors such as the amount of ink, layering and the presence of any scarring or tissue changes. Practitioners are usually very cautious with darker skin tones to avoid the risk of overheating.

But don't get discouraged after your first treatment

Sanusi Umar, MD
Redondo Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Results after Laser Tattoo Treatment?

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Thank you for the question.

Yes, your experience is not unusual. Every patient has a different reaction to the laser tattoo treatment;  sometimes several treatments are necessary before significant results are seen. The degree of change seen will depend on the depth of the ink and the settings of the laser... it is very likely that the energy use will be increased during your next treatment.

Best wishes.

Little Change after First Laser Treatment

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I see this occasionally and we have been using modern tattoo removing lasers for over ten years. One good thing is that you have not seen any scarring or bad reactions.

I suspect at the next treatment, the power setting will be turned up allowing you to see a noticeable difference thereafter.

T. Wayne Day, MD
Nashville Dermatologic Surgeon

Black tattoo ink is hard to treat

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Black tattoo ink is very hard to treat and you are looking at many, many treatments to see results. Laser tattoo removal in general is very difficult and your tattoo will never be completely gone with any of the lasers on the market today. It's unfortunate, I know, but lasers have a long way to go in treating tattoos. One treatment will not yield noticeable results, and I'm sorry for that, but I'd say you are looking at a minimum of 8 treatments to see any lightening and blurring of the image. You're in for the long haul, but your results, are sadly, very normal.

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.