Is It Possible to Remove Only One Part of a Tattoo? (photo)

This is a portion of a tattoo on my upper arm, that is otherwise lovely. I would like to remove the black on it, and don't really want to remove the yellow or orange. I feel that it wont get in the way of redoing this part later. Can I remove only a part of a tattoo? Only one color? I like the rest of the tattoo, and the lines I want to remove meet with other lines that I do NOT want to remove. The last thing I want is for the parts I like to become blurry. It was a cover-up, so there are layers

Doctor Answers 3

Can I Remove Part of a Tattoo?

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Hi Sprinkles.  Yes, you can remove part of a tattoo.  But with the look of your tattoo, it cannot be done easily or cleanly.  In almost all situations, when part of a tattoo is removed, there is a touch-up required.  In your case, the touch-up would be almost like getting a new tattoo because the part you want removed is present throughout the tattoo as opposed to just one side or a portion of it.  Best option is to have a practitioner look at it and give you an idea of how difficult it would be to remove just that part.  Good luck.

Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Laser tattoo removal of a portion of a tattoo

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To answer your question, yes it is possible to remove part of a tattoo. It depends on the skill and knowledge of the laser operator and so I would recommend you seek a consultation with a board certified dermatologist who has expertise in laser tattoo removal. Black ink responds well to laser tattoo removal. 

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

Tattoo removal

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Unfortunately, your tattoo is very tightly inked together and therefore it will be difficult to not remove the parts of it you like.  In some cases we can target the portions that are unappealing as the spot size we use is generally quite small.  In this case, the black ink crosses into the other colours you like and make it challenging to not touch.

I would suggest you have a full consultation with an MD in your area as perhaps the photo is a poor depiction and it will be easier than what can be seen on the web.  An in person consultation will assure you either way, what is or isn't possible.

good luck!


R. Stephen Mulholland, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 101 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.