How long would it take to remove this black tattoo? (Photo)

Doctor Answers 7

Tattoo Removal

You would be a great candidate for the Alex Trivantage laser. This laser is the only one on the market that can target colors.  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.

Black Tattoos Are Easiest to Remove

The pigment in tattoos is placed deep into the dermis. Therefore, it takes several sessions of treatment with a picosecond laser, such as PicoWay, to fully remove the ink. The tattoo is removed gradually, layer by layer, giving the skin time to heal in between sessions. Consult with a board-certified dermatologist to have your tattoo evaluated and get a more accurate idea of how many sessions it will probably take to remove it.


This could possibly be easily removed in as little as 6-10 treatments. Consider the Picosure laser for great results.

Christopher Balgobin, MD
Minneapolis Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Tattoo Removal -- Pico/Q Switched Laser

Tattoos can be removed with lasers. I suggest you see an expert for a formal evaluation.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

Laser Tattoo Removal

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. I also utilize the Picosure for a total of 5 Pico wavelengths. Tattoos are removed faster and safer with Pico lasers and there is less risk of scarring. It is important not only to seek the best technology but an experienced laser tattoo removal provider. I have been practicing laser tattoo removal for almost 20 years.

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

Use the Best Technology Available for the Fastest Results

Part of your answer will depend on the laser technology you decide to use.  Q-Switch or nanosecond lasers came out about 20 years ago.  Picosecond laser came out about 3 years ago.  The majority of former Q-Switch patients we see have significant hypopigmentation (ghosting) around and under their tattoo.  The Q-Switch lasers have trouble differentiating between the melanin in your skin and ink.  The technology uses heat to burn the pigment out of your skin.  In addition, we have seen patients with raised scars as if they have been branded.  Both of these condition are irreversible. 

Picosecond lasers fire 1000 times faster, using a pressure wave rather than heat to shear the ink molecules apart.  After using the PicoSure for almost 2 years, we have only seen pinpoint hypopigmentation in a very small number of patients usually of darker skin tones.  We cannot say it is impossible to get burned with a Picosecond laser, but it is highly unlikely.  We tell every PicoSure tattoo patient to expect at least 6 treatments, but don’t be surprised if it takes 10 to 12.  Patience is the key for our patients.  We typically see our tattoo removal patients every 6 to 8 weeks initially.  If they have more time than money, we encourage them to come every 6 months as the tattoos seem to continue to fade while they wait.

We recommend finding an experienced physician in your area.  Treatment prices vary by market.  The cost for picosecond treatments will be higher, but you should need less than half the treatments compared to a  nanosecond laser.

Laura Riehm, MD
Fort Worth Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Tattoo removal

Your black tattoo can be removed. The quickest and most complete treatment would be with a PicoSure laser by far. The usual number of treatments is between 5-10 with about 6 weeks between sessions. However, there are many factors what determine the number of treatments required such as location of the tattoo, the amount of ink used and how it was applied, age of the tattoo, and your individual immune response. Please find a doctor with a Picosure laser to be evaluated.

James Shire, MD
Chattanooga Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 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.