Can this tattoo be completely removed? (photo)

I got this tattoo 6 days ago and have been a mess ever since. I planned this for years but as soon as I got it I regretted it and I've been so sick about it. I'm so upset that I may never be able to get my arm to look like it did before. Could this be removed without scarring and if so approximately how many treatments would it take?

Doctor Answers 5

Laser Tattoo Removal

Thanks for posting your photo. This tattoo should do very nicely with any 1064 wavelength laser. I would expect somewhere between 6-8 treatments and I wouldn't expect any scarring. Good luck, Dr. M


Annapolis General Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Laser Tattoo Removal

I am sorry to hear that you are upset about your tattoo. Pico lasers are the most advanced technology. I utilize the PiQo4 laser which has 4 Pico wavelengths making it possible to remove 96% of ink in as little as 4-6 treatments on average. The amount of treatments can vary based on how quickly your body eliminates the ink and how much ink is present. I also utilize the Picosure for a total of 5 Pico wavelengths.  I believe that tattoos are removed faster and safer with Pico lasers and there is less risk of scarring. I also think it is important not only to seek the best technology but an experienced laser tattoo removal provider. Best wishes. 

Daniel J. Ritacca, MD
Chicago Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Can this tattoo be completely removed?

Hello, thank you for your question. This tattoo should easily be removed. Black ink is the most responsive to laser tattoo removal. The way a laser rids the skin of ink is it shatters the ink into tiny particles and your body absorbs those ink particles. The latest technology in laser tattoo removal is pico-second technology. The PicoWay Laser (Candela/Syneron) uses photoacoustic impact/pressure waves rather than photothermal/heat.  This process has less heat, therefore it is more comfortable and the chances of hyperpigmentation are less.  The Pico-second pulse shatters the ink into even smaller particles, allowing the body to more easily absorb the ink.  The pico technology can usually remove a tattoo in about half as many treatments as the traditional Q-switch devices.  I would guess that it may take 4-6 treatments to remove all ink.

Good Luck!



Mark A. Blair, MD
Phoenix Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Arm tattoo removal

This should be able to be removed with a QS or Pico laser. I think about 8 treatments are needed. The good thing is that it is one dark color.

Steven F. Weiner, MD
Panama City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Tattoo Can Be removed

Dark ink is typically the easiest to remove. WHile it is not possible to guarantee 100% removal, your tattoo has the best change of near complete to complete removal. There is risk of pigment changes to the skin and scarring with all laser based procedures although based on the pictures, your risk is minimal  The lighter the skin, the safer it is.  Depending on the technology used, this tattoo could require anywhere from 6 to 12 sessions for removal  With the new picosecond technology, it may be possible to remove in fewer treatments , although there is no definite guarantee.  As always consult with a provider who has invested in the best technology and who has the experience to give you the results your are looking for

Hardik Soni, MD
Summit Emergency Medicine Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 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.