Small Tattoo Removal. How Many Treatments Would it Take For Removal?

I just got a tattoo (smaller than a quarter black and red heart) on my rib cage. I'm a very small girl, not sure if that would change how deep the ink would go. Question is, how many treatments should something like this take? I'm not taking care of it so when it flakes it wills fade some. Also since it won't even be a month old before I start the removal process would that make it easier to come completely off?

Doctor Answers 3

Waitng Time to Treat a New Tattoo

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The number of treatment sessions is not dependent on the size of the tattoo.  Black tattoos generally clear in 4-6 sessions, red might take an additional 1-2.  Tattoo placement is traumatic; six weeks recovery is recommended.  “Recovered” skin responds better to the laser. Wait these few weeks! You'll appreciate the outcome!

Newport Beach Dermatologist

Red and black tattoo removal

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Black and red colors typically respond well to laser.  Red usually responds to Q-switched 532 nm laser.  I do not believe that a tattoo which is anywhere near the size of a quarter is "tiny".  Excising a quarter-sized tattoo on the rib cage of a small person would leave a significant wound and a significant scar.  You might prefer the tattoo over the scar that would result.  Of course, without seeing a picture, it is impossible to say for sure what the best course of action would be. 

Richard Ort, MD
Lone Tree Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Best option for removing a small tattoo - excision

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The red is going to be the hardest to treat. Overall, I'd say, even with a great tattoo laser, you're looking at about 15 or more treatments and even then, probably you'll still have a light but blurry and smeared tattoo. The best and cheapest removal for a small tattoo like this is to see a dermatologic surgeon and have it excised. You'll be left with a small scar, but it will be about 1000% cheaper than the laser procedures and removed entirely in one session. Laser tattoo removal is just really difficult and there's not one great laser that removes all the colors, or even all the tattoo at this point.

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.